Fr. Sam (Paul) Kehres, S.J.

Died in Pune on 26 March 2010

Born: 15 Dec. 1919, in Fort Wayne, Indiana
Entered: 1 Sept. 1938, at Milford, Ohio
Ordained: 13 June 1951 at West Baden, Indiana Came to India: 1956
Professor/Registrar/Librarian at JDV, Pune: 1956-67, 1972-2010
Professor at Shembaganur: 1967-72

Fr. Ted Bowling recently wrote this account of Fr. Kehres’ Jesuit life:

What can I say about my friend and colleague, Fr. Sam Kehres? As I look back on the many years that have gone by since Fr. Sam joined the De Nobili College staff in May, 1956, I recognize three phases in his life that could be described as (1) the sun rise, (2) the afternoon, and (3) the sunset years.

The sunrise years refer to the young Fr. Kehres, when he was carrying a full load of work both at the Papal Seminary and De Nobili College. At the Seminary, he taught biology and inferior psychology. Someone once dubbed him as the Superior Professor of Inferior Psychology.

From 1967 to 1972 he was shifted to Sacred Heart College, Shembaganur, to teach Biology and all courses of Psychology. When Fr. Sam returned to De Nobili, he was appointed Registrar for a period of two years while at the same time continuing to teach Biology and Inferior Psychology. When the new Registrar arrived on the spot, Fr. Same assisted him by writing down all the marks of all the students in the Master Record kept in the Registrar’s Office. This activity earned for him the nickname of the "Marxist"

At De Nobili College itself, he has worn many hats: Superior of the Philosophers, House Treasurer and House Librarian. I suspect that the faded blue cap he now wears about the house dates back to that period. Apart from these official duties, he was always available to the staff for proof-reading articles or books meant for publication, and to students for help in writing their assignments. Also from 1976 to his sickness in Nov. 2008, he helped me by keeping the Prem Marg magazine and the IHS leaflets accounts, as well as doing proof-reading.

The afternoon phase of his life probably began when he became Professor Emeritus at the age of 65, but he continued to teach Biology for another ten years. He also assisted the college treasurer by passing out the house money to those staff and students who needed it. And all this time (as well as in the first phase of his life) he was known to all the children around the campus as the Jadu Father, the one who does tricks with stringsand wire puzzles to entertain them, and by so doing won the appreciation and thanks of the children’s parents. We can safely say that Fr. Sam at the age of 88 had reached his sunset years, but still the sun is shining brightly enough to allow him to take care of the staff mail, to assist the librarian by putting returned books back in their proper places on the shelves, by putting away newspapers in the staff room, and he still did proof-reading for those to come to him for this favor. He died as he lived, quietly and peacefully, but his absence will be felt by all.

We miss you Santiago, we miss your quiet but endearing smile …….

(All members of Patna Province should offer one mass for the repose of his soul and members of Ara community two masses)

Funeral: 9 April at 3.30 pm; XTTI, Patna.

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