Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J.
Time & Location
About the event
In 1974 Father Joseph Fessio, S.J. is an American Catholic priest of the Jesuit order and the founder and editor of Ignatius Press. He was the founding provost of Ave Maria University until March 2007.
From 1954 to 1958, Father Fessio attended high school at Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, California. He studied civil engineering at Santa Clara University for three years before entering the Society of Jesus on September 7, 1961. Before his ordination to the priesthood, he earned a B.A (in 1966) and an M.A. (in 1967) in Philosophy from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. He also earned an M.A in Theology from his studies in Lyon, France. He was ordained a priest on June 10, 1972.
In 1975, he earned his doctorate in theology (Th.D.) from the University of Regensburg, West Germany. He completed doctoral studies in theology under then-Professor Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI). The subject of his thesis was The Ecclesiology of Hans Urs von Balthasar.
From 1967 to 1969, Father Fessio taught philosophy at Santa Clara University. From 1974 to 1988, he taught systematic and spiritual theology at the University of San Francisco, where he founded the St. Ignatius Institute in 1976.
In June of 1978, Father Fessio co-founded Ignatius Press, becoming its first editor. Ignatius Press has been instrumental in maintaining and promoting the full teaching of the Catholic Church to the English-speaking world. The press’s fidelity to the Church has enabled millions of readers to experience the full richness of the faith. Important books that otherwise might have remained on the shelves of university libraries were, and are, made available to the wider public. Both before and after Pope Benedict XVI was elected in 2005, Ignatius Press has been the primary English-language publisher of his pre-papal writings.
In 1987 he was a Peritus at the Seventh Ordinary General Assembly of Bishops, held at the Vatican.
From 1988 to 1991, he was the editor of 30 Days, In the Church and the World, and in 1991 he became the publisher of the Catholic World Report.
In 1995 he was the publisher of Catholic Dossier, Catholic Faith, and Homiletic & Pastoral Review. That same year, he also co-founded "Adoremus", the Society for the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy.
In 1998 he founded the Catholic Radio Network, and in 2002 he founded Campion College of San Francisco, but was subsequently ordered to leave San Francisco by the Jesuit Order, although he retains leadership of Ignatius Press.
From 2002 to 2007, Fr. Fessio served as chancellor, and subsequently provost, of Ave Maria University. In 2007, he served as a theologian in residence of Ave Maria University.