January 3 – John William Ferrill (2012)

Jesuits are known for being excellent educators and there is no better example of their efforts than John William Ferrill. His early studies were at St. Ignatius High School and the University of San Francisco, both Jesuit institutions. After obtaining his BA in Philosophy in 1943, John joined America’s greatest generation and served his country with distinction in the U.S. Navy. His service earned him a Purple Heart and the Navy Commendation Medal.

While his military career provided him with educational opportunities, John pursued studies on his own to increase his understanding of Christianity. He completed coursework at the University of the South and Virginia Theological Seminary, receiving a diploma in Theological Studies from the latter in 1991. John and his wife Ruth, a Protestant, found common ground for their faith journey in the Episcopal Church. Epiphany was a parish that welcomed them during trying times in their lives. Following his passing on January 2, a celebration of John’s life was held at Epiphany with memorial contributions designated for the church’s ministry with the poor, a fitting tribute to a life-long student of Jesus’ teaching.

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