Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Jesuit Father Schroder dies; family donated land for Ignatius House

Published February 20, 2014

ATLANTA—Jesuit Father John F. Schroder, a native of Atlanta, whose family donated the home and land that established Ignatius House Jesuit Retreat Center, died Jan. 25 in Grand Coteau, La. He was 95.

He was a Jesuit for 72 years and a priest for 60 years. His active ministry across the South and in Belize continued until he was nearly 85.

Father Schroder was born on Jan. 11, 1919, the son of William and Suzanne Spalding Schroder. He graduated from Georgetown Preparatory School in Washington, D.C., in 1936 and from the University of Notre Dame in 1940.

He entered the Jesuits on Aug. 15, 1941 and studied at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala. He taught at Jesuit schools in Montreal, Canada, and Tampa, Fla., before completing theology studies at St. Mary’s College in Kansas. He was ordained a priest on June 17, 1953.

Much of Father Schroder’s priestly ministry was to preach the good news of the Gospel.  From 1955 to 1974 he was a member of the Jesuit “Mission Band,” offering parish missions throughout the South.

In 1957, Suzanne Schroder donated the family home and property to the Jesuits, which became the original Ignatius Retreat House.

Father Schroder was superior of Ignatius House from 1976 to 1980 when he was missioned to Belize. He served at St. Francis Mission in Corozal Town from 1981 to 2003, and his ministry extended to some 20 surrounding villages.

In 2003, Father Schroder moved to Jesuit Hall in St. Louis, then to Ignatius Residence in New Orleans. He moved to Grand Coteau in May 2013.

The funeral Mass was celebrated Jan. 30 in the chapel at St. Charles College in Grand Coteau, followed by interment in the Jesuit cemetery.

His parents, three brothers and one sister are deceased. Father Schroder is survived by two sisters-in-law, Van Schroder and Frances Schroder, both of Atlanta, and by nephews and nieces.

Memorial donations may be made to the Father John F. Schroder Fund at Ignatius House Jesuit Retreat Center, 6700 Riverside Drive, NW, Atlanta, GA 30328 or to the Senior Jesuits Fund of “The Jesuits,” 710 Baronne St., Suite B, New Orleans, LA 70113.