Fr. Thomas King, S.J., a respected member of the Georgetown community for 41 years, died suddenly from a heart attack at 5:30 p.m in Wolfington Hall on Tuesday at age 80.
“The funeral will be held at Dahlgren Chapel of the Sacred Heart on the Georgetown campus at 9:00 AM on Saturday, June 27,” rector of the Jesuit community, Fr. John Langan, S.J. said in an e-mail. “A wake will be held at Wolfington Hall, the Jesuit residence, from 3:00 to 5:00 PM and from 7:00 to 9:00 PM on Friday, June 26.”
When students return to campus in August, a campus-wide Mass will be held to honor Fr. King’s life, Fr. Langan said.
“Clearly, the Jesuit community has lost a beloved brother, and Georgetown has lost a legend in the classroom and a most generous and loving priest,” Vice President for Mission and Ministry, Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., said in an e-mail. “May he rest in peace.”
King was a professor of theology; he taught The Problem of God and classes covering the works of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Thomas Merton, Jean Paul Sartre and C. G. Jung.
King also was a strong presence outside of the classroom. During his second year of teaching at Georgetown, he began offering 11:15 p.m. Mass six days a week at Dahlgren Chapel of the Sacred Heart. These masses have become increasingly popular with Georgetown’s student body over the past 40 years.
He had also served as a chaplain in residence and was an active participant in student retreats.
During his time at Georgetown, King wrote nine novels, including “Teilhard’s Mass: Approaches to `The Mass on the World'” (published in 2005) and “Jung’s Four and Some Philosophers: A Paradigm for Philosophy” (published in 1999).
In 1999, The Hoya named King “Georgetown’s Man of the Century,” claiming that “no one has had a more significant presence on campus and effect on students than Father King.”
University spokesperson Julie Bataille and Father Patrick Rogers, S.J., could not be reached for comment.”