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Fr. Anthony Aracich, S.J.

Xavier Mourns the passing of Fr. Anthony Aracich, S.J.

The Rev. Anthony Aracich, S.J., a language teacher at Xavier for many years in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, passed away on Thursday, September 12 in the St. Peter’s University Jesuit Community in Jersey City, New Jersey. Fr. Aracich first arrived at Xavier as a scholastic in 1962. Over the years he taught Spanish, Latin, Italian and French and introduced the first classes in Russian at Xavier. He did doctoral studies at NYU, and taught at Canisius High School, Regis High School, St. Peter’s Prep, St. Peter’s College and the Insituto Ciencias, the Jesuit school in Guadalajara, Mexico. In recent years he had been very active in Hispanic ministry in a number of Jersey City parishes.

Upon learning of Fr. Aracich’s death, Xavier President Jack Raslowsky noted, “I cannot think of Tony without a smile and a story.” Mr. Raslowsky worked with Fr. Aracich for many years in Jersey City when he was the Prep principal and Fr. Aracich the chair of the language department. “Tony cared deeply for the students he taught and the colleagues with whom he worked. And he loved being both a Jesuit and a priest. He could tell a great story and it is fair to say that he embellished freely, always leaving his audience laughing, smiling and shaking their heads. Few who met Tony would ever forget him.”

Fr. James F. Keenan, S.J., Xavier’s 29th president noted, “Tony loved teaching languages because for him they were a window into other cultures and histories, a way to understand people who might appear different but who at their core were, like us all, children of God. He celebrated that common humanity and goodness in different peoples and cultures and worked hard to share that with students and parishioners through the years. The God he loved through the years now welcomes him home.”

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.

St. Aedan’s: the St. Peter’s University Church
800 Bergen Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07306

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - 7:30 p.m.

St. Aedan’s: the St. Peter’s University Church
800 Bergen Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07306

Parking is available at the St. Peter’s University lot opposite the grammar school at 41Tuers Avenue. This is the street behind the church.

Notes of condolences may be sent to Father Aracich’s cousins:

Lucy Aracich Hughes
20 Cottage Place
Gillette, NJ 07933

Gloria Aracich Del Corso
22 Lenape Lane
Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922

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In response to the news of Fr. Aracich's passing, Lucas A. Ferrara issued the following statement:

While Fr. Aracich certainly had his share of quirks, he was a great teacher and caring priest. He went out of his way to speak to my parents -- who were immigrants -- in their native Italian and insisted that I embrace my ethnicity and study the language (intensively) with him.

He had an ascerbic wit and special sense of humor -- but never crossed the boundaries of professionalism. And for a guy that wasn't that athletic, he also had an extremely competitive edge, frequently encouraging students to engage in language competitions throughout the tri-state area.

He believed in his students, and lived to see them succeed. Like many of my fellow Xavier graduates, I am grateful for his contributions to my education, identity and development. He will be missed.