Robert Francis Taft, S.J.
January 9, 1932 - November 2, 2018
We have received word of the passing of Father Robert Taft, SJ. He entered eternal life at 4:05 AM this morning, appropriately, on All Souls Day / The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed.
Many of us were privileged to have had him as a brilliant professor and most of us have been privileged to read his voluminous collection of articles and books.
He was the recipient of the Federation’s 2007 Frederick R. McManus Award.
He was an expert in Oriental Liturgy (the Eastern Rite Churches) and a professor emeritus of the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome of which he was vice-rector from 1995 to 2001.
Born in Providence, Rhode Island, Taft entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus on August 14, 1949. He studied at Weston College. During his period of regency, he taught for three years at Baghdad Jesuit College. He returned to the United States in 1959 and pursued a graduate degree in Russian at Fordham University. He was ordained a priest of the Byzantine Rite on June 3, 1963. He then undertook studies at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome in 1970. He completed his doctoral thesis under Jesuit Professor Juan Mateos, writing on the Great Entrance of the Divine Liturgy in 1975. It was immediately hailed as a classic in the field.
May his memory be eternal.