After 73 years living under vows of poverty, chastity and obedience with the Jesuits, Fr. Bill German died July 4 at the age of 92. Photo by Michael Swan

Fr. Bill German, a widely-travelled teacher and pastor, dies at age 91

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  • July 11, 2017

Jesuits who strive to see God in all things had a secret weapon in Fr. Bill German – a priest with an uncanny ability to connect all people with their own instinct for God. His missionary career took German from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to Darjeeling, India. In Canada he was treasured as a spiritual director, confessor and pastor.

After 73 years living under vows of poverty, chastity and obedience with the Jesuits, Fr. Bill German died July 4 at the age of 91 in palliative care at Rene Goupil House in Pickering, Ont..

German was 19 when he entered the Jesuit novitiate in Guelph, Ont.. in 1943. By 1950 he was in Ethiopia teaching high school.

He had to come back to his hometown of Toronto study theology, but that only lasted a year. He was ordained a priest in 1956, after completing theology studies in St. Mary’s College, Kurseong, Darjeeling. He spent 31 years in India teaching, administering schools, giving retreats and pastoring Catholic parishes.

At an age when many retire, German returned to Canada in 1985 to begin a 29-year career in spiritual direction and as associate pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Toronto.

Like most English Canadian Jesuits, his final resting place is in the Jesuit cemetery on the old novitiate grounds in Guelph.

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