Fr. Martin Casey, 75 Years in Society of Jesus
Fr. Martin Casey, S.J., the second-oldest and one of the longest-serving members of Georgetown’s Jesuit community, died of congestive heart failure last month in Wolfington Hall. He was 96 years old. Casey entered the Society of Jesus in 1931 and was ordained 12 years later. He lived in the Philippines for over 20 years, teaching math and chemistry at local universities. He then became pastor of the Holy Trinity Church in Georgetown until 1964, where he baptized John F. Kennedy Jr. He also served as superior and pastor at Old St. Joseph’s Church in Philadelphia and superior at Leonard Neale House in Washington, D.C. Since arriving at Georgetown in 1973, Casey served as the university’s treasurer and associate minister until 1992. In 1997 he began working part-time for the university as a financial officer in the Office of Federal Relations. Fr. Ronald Murphy, S.J., a German professor, knew Casey for more than 30 years and remembers him as an endearing friend. “He was a people-rooter: He rooted for everyone in the [Jesuit] House and was our cheerleader, even when in a wheelchair due to his ailing health. You just felt like he was applauding for you when you went out to do your job,” Murphy said. Fr. John Langan, S.J., the Cardinal Joseph Bernardin Chair in Catholic Social Thought, described Casey as “very kind, cheerful and good-humored” and “an accomplished man.” Casey is survived by his sister, Mother Marie Therese, O.C.D., a member of the Carmelite Monastery in Mobile, Ala.
Fr. Freeze, Former Provost and Dean
Fr. J. Donald Freeze, S.J., who served as Georgetown’s provost for 12 years, died on Dec. 10 in the Jesuit Community at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. Freeze, who had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, was 74 years old. Freeze came to Georgetown in 1971 to serve as an assistant dean in Georgetown College. He was named provost in 1979 by then-University President Fr. Timothy S. Healy, S.J. Freeze held the position until he left Georgetown in 1991. A Baltimore native, Freeze entered the Society of Jesus at age 18 in 1950. He went on to earn degrees at Wernersville (Pa.) and Weston College (Mass.). He then taught Latin and French at St. Joseph’s Preparatory School in Philadelphia and studied theology at the University of Innsbruck in Australia before being ordained a priest in 1968. Freeze came to Georgetown after teaching at West Virginia University and serving as chair of the philosophy department at Duquesne University. During his time at Georgetown, he was loved and admired for “his intelligence, his imagination, his energy, his dedication, his warmth [and] his wit,” Rev. Aloysius Kelley said in a eulogy given at the funeral mass on Dec. 16. Kelley said that students who came to visit with Freeze in his room in Copley Hall often would stay there chatting until the middle of the night. His Sunday night masses – nicknamed “Freeze’s Breeze” – were so popular that they were standing-room-only, Kelley said. Following his tenure at Georgetown, Freeze served as rector of Loyola Retreat House in Faulkner, Md., and then as treasurer of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus. A memorial Mass for Freeze will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 16 at 4 p.m. in Dahlgren Chapel. A reception and tribute in the ICC Galleria will immediately follow the Mass. Both are open to the university community.