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Our Founder Rev. John A. Hardon S.J.

Reverend John A Hardon, Catholic priest, writer, and theologian

John A. Hardon, S.J. was born into a devout Catholic family in Midland, Pennsylvania (June 18, 1914) and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He obtained his bachelor's degree at John Carroll University before entering the Society of Jesus in 1936. He obtained a master's degree in philosophy at Loyola University Chicago, studied theology at West Baden College in West Baden, Indiana and was ordained a priest on June 18, 1947 on his 33rd birthday. He received his doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

Father Hardon was a very prominent member of the Jesuit community, which is known for its academic rigor, and wrote dozens of books on religion and theology, including: The Catholic Catechism (1975), a defining volume of Catholic orthodoxy; and the Modern Catholic Dictionary (1980), the first major Catholic reference dictionary published after the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965).

Father Hardon was also a major contributor to Catholic newspapers and magazines and was executive editor of The Catholic Faith magazine. He had a close working relationship with Pope Paul VI, engaging in several initiatives at the Pope's request, including his authoring of The Catholic Catechism.Father Hardon's Catholic Catechism was a significant post-Vatican II work in the sense that it essentially brought modern Catholic teaching and faith into one book, unlike any other before, and was a precursor to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is the official codified teaching of the Catholic Church, written by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) and promulgated by Pope John Paul II in 1992. Hardon served as a consultant for the drafting of that document.

Father Hardon died in Clarkston, Michigan, on December 30, 2000 after suffering from several illnesses. Having been known throughout his life as a holy man, there is interest among many Catholics for his beatification and a Church-sanctioned prayer for that cause has been written. According to Church law, Father Hardon could have his cause for beatification opened by the Church as early as December 30, 2005. If that happens it would place him on the path towards possible sainthood.


Created on 07/14/2006 06:25 PM by HTA
Updated on 07/15/2006 11:43 AM by HTA
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