Jesuit Father Drew Christiansen

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Jesuit Father Drew Christiansen, a professor at Georgetown University and formerly head of the U.S. bishops’ Office of International Justice and Peace, died April 6 in Washington, D.C. He was 77.

His position at the time of his death was as distinguished professor of ethics and human development in Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service and senior fellow at Georgetown’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs.

He served at America magazine, a national Jesuit publication based in Manhattan, for 10 years, from 2002 to 2012. For the last seven years, he was editor in chief.

In 1991, Father Christiansen was appointed the director of the U.S. bishops’ Office of International Justice and Peace. He earlier held teaching or research posts at Georgetown, the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley in California, the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., where he helped found its Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, and Santa Clara University. Later he was a visiting professor at Boston College in Newton, Mass.

While in the bishops’ office, he made more than a dozen trips to the Middle East, the Balkans, Haiti, Mexico’s Chiapas state and other world trouble spots. He also led three pilgrimages of U.S. Catholic social action directors to Israel.

Born on Staten Island, he entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1962 and was ordained a priest in 1972. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Fordham University, advanced degrees in theology and divinity from Woodstock College and two master’s degrees and a doctorate from Yale University.

A Funeral Mass was celebrated April 20 at Holy Trinity Church in Washington, D.C. Burial was at the Georgetown University Jesuit cemetery. —CNS