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One of the most well-known Jesuits in the history of St. Louis University High, Fr. Martin Hagan devoted over 50 years of his priestly life to the young men of SLUH. It is with great sadness the school learned that early today, on Monday, April 28th, Fr. Hagan passed away after complications from a recent fall.

"SLUH is a school steeped in rich tradition, a tradition that has been shaped over time by Jesuits like Fr. Hagan," says SLUH President David Laughlin. "We are thankful for the many gifts and blessings Fr. Hagan has bestowed on our community, and for this he will always be remembered at SLUH."

Fr. Hagan made it his constant goal to make each student feel welcome and successful. In fact, he made it his goal each year to know every student by name. As many alumni can attest, he was flawless in this endeavor.

Fr. Hagan will long be remembered for his warm, kind-hearted spirit as a priest, counselor and friend; as a teacher of religion and English; as coach of the five-time national champion rifle team; and as moderator of the recreation room.

Recognized as synonymous with the school and a touchstone for generations of Junior Billikens, this man of compassion and generosity, this "man for others," continues to be an inspiration. Please join the SLUH community in prayerful remembrance and celebration of the life of Fr. Hagan.

This Wednesday, April 30th there is a visitation at St. Francis Xavier College Church from 3-5 p.m. The funeral mass will be Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. Ralph Houlihan, SJ, will be the homilist.

Below is a note from the Provincial regarding the death of Fr. Hagan:

I am writing to inform you that Father Martin Hagan SJ, died peacefully on Monday morning, April 28, 2008, at Saint Louis University Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. Father Hagan was 89 years old and a member of the Jesuit Hall Community. Born in Wichita, Kansas, on March 11, 1919, Marty entered the Society of Jesus at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant, Missouri, on September 1, 1937. He was ordained June 14, 1950, in St. Mary's College in Kansas. Following tertianship in Decatur, Illinois, he was assigned to St. Louis University High School where he spent the next 51 years teaching and counseling freshmen. Each year Marty diligently learned the name of each new freshman and tracked their academic progress. He perfected tried and true ways of encouraging each of them to excellence . . . or at least passage to sophomore year. He founded a rifle club which he coached to five national championships. He was equally well known as the moderator of the school recreation room where he gathered the largest collection of pool tables in the Midwest. He paid for new equipment by assessing a five-cent fine each time a billiard ball hit the cement floor. Students still call out "nickel" every time a pool shot goes astray. In 2003 the rec room was named in his honor, a fitting tribute to a man who frequently said the sound of a crowd of boys laughing is "music to my ears and brings a smile to my face." May he rest in peace.

Click HERE to view the KSDK-TV broadcast remembering Fr. Hagan.

Click the following article dates for coverage from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

April 30, 2008

April 29, 2008