The Reverend Philip Endean SJ – RIP – In Memoriam

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26 December 1954-18 September 2023

Father Philip Endean SJ, of the British Province of the Society of Jesus, was a longstanding friend of the CJ, both in the UK and in the wider CJ.  His association with the wider CJ began with the 1993 General Congregation, at which he was invited by the then General Superior, Sister Michael Pelli, and her team, to preside.  It was an act of faith in someone who was then less than 40 years old, but an act of faith which proved well placed.

As well as his great intellect, Philip also brought to that GC, and to all his dealings with the CJ, his fluency in multiple languages and, not least his love of Mary Ward. He was subsequently asked to preside over the 2002 GC, at which the decision was made to apply to the Holy See for permission to take the full Jesuit Constitutions, together with the change of name, for both of which Mary Ward had struggled so hard but without success in her own day.  Philip’s unrivalled knowledge and love of Ignatian spirituality, of the Spiritual Exercises and of the Constitutions made an enormous contribution to the discernment of that momentous decision of GC 2002, which came to fruition with the June 2003 Decree of the Holy See, allowing both the adoption of the Jesuit Constitutions in full, together with the change of name to Congregatio Jesu. 

During the last decade, which co-incided with his move to the Jesuit Centre Sèvres in Paris, as professor of theology, Philip worked with our European Provincials and then, from 2019, as part of the facilitation team preparing for GC 2021-22, which should, of course, have taken place in 2020. By the time the first part of the GC took place, online, during July and August 2021, he had already been diagnosed with the cancer from which he died on 18 September 2023.  However, he was able to remain part of the GC preparatory group and to attend the 2021 online sessions of the GC, where his contribution in drawing together the threads of each day’s online sessions in an explicitly Ignatian way, was hugely appreciated, as were his quiet but invariably thoughtful and helpful contributions to the plenary sessions.  Sadly, as his cancer progressed, it became clear that his health would not allow him to attend the elective session of the GC in August-September 2022, where his absence as our “Ignatian mirror” was felt.

We commend Philip to God’s infinite love and mercy with great gratitude for his contribution to the life of the CJ over the past 30 years.  May he rest in peace, having more than fulfilled the words of Mary Ward, to “remain steadfastly in the service of God to the end…”

26 September 2023    
Jane Livesey CJ

Esther Finis