Father Gerard Bell, S.J.


Father Gerard Bell, S.J., who was a retreat master at a number of Jesuit facilities, died Nov. 17 at Murray-Weigel Hall at Fordham University in the Bronx. He was 88.

He taught Latin and English at Brooklyn Prep, 1951-1953, and was assistant to the master of novices at the Jesuit novitiate at Plattsburgh, 1959-1962.

Father Bell served at the Loyola House of Retreats, Morristown, N.J., 1962-1968, where he specialized in youth retreats. He also served at retreat houses on Staten Island and at Loyola-on-Potomac. He was a chaplain at Farleigh Dickinson University and The Catholic University of America.

For many years he was director of the Insignis Foundation in Silver Springs, Md., which offered a contemporary adaptation of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola for lay people. While there, he conducted retreats and workshops and offered spiritual guidance and pastoral counseling.

He retired to Murray-Weigel Hall in 2012.

Born in Brooklyn, he graduated from Mount St. Michael Academy in the Bronx. He entered the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) at St. Andrew-on-Hudson, Poughkeepsie, in 1944. He studied philosophy at Woodstock College, Maryland, 1948-1951, and then theology there, 1954-1958. He was ordained at Fordham University Church in 1957. During his final year of formation, he served at the Jesuit Martyrs shrine, Auriesville, 1958-1959.

A Funeral Mass was offered Nov. 21 at the chapel at Murray-Weigel Hall. He was buried at the Jesuit Cemetery at Auriesville.


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