News Detail
Jesuit Father Niel Jarreau (Photo by Michael Alexander)
“Most of my time as a priest was — and still is — spent in my office listening to hurting people who are searching for the will of God in their lives and striving to become the person they truly want to be." — Jesuit Father Niel Jarreau
After 70 Years, Jesuit Still Ministers to Those Searching for God

October 9, 2013 — Jesuit Father Niel Jarreau has been a Jesuit 70 of his 86 years, and today he is still active in ministry as a retreat director at Ignatius House Retreat Center in Atlanta.

After celebrating his 70th anniversary as a Jesuit this past summer, Fr. Jarreau said that it has always been an exciting, greatly fulfilling and peaceful way of life.

Fr. Jarreau joined the Society of Jesus at the age of 16. A graduate of Jesuit High School in New Orleans, he went on to complete studies at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala., and St. Mary’s College. He was ordained a priest in 1956.

“I knew I wanted to be a priest from the very beginning,” Fr. Jarreau said. “It never left me.”

Following his ordination, Fr. Jarreau served in high school ministry at Jesuit College Prep School of Dallas and Jesuit High School of Tampa.

Fr. Jarreau then did retreat ministry as assistant director of Ignatius Retreat Center in Atlanta for seven years before returning to Dallas to serve as associate director of St. Rita Church. He was also a retreat director at Montserrat Retreat House in Lake Dallas before coming back to Atlanta in 2002.

Today, Fr. Jarreau is a counselor and conducts private retreats at Ignatius House. Of all his various roles in service to the church, Fr. Jarreau said that what he’s doing right now is the most fulfilling.

“So many people are looking for something worthwhile to put their life’s energy into,” he explained.

Fr. Jarreau noted that what he cherished most about the Jesuit training was the study of modern psychology.

“Most of my time as a priest was — and still is — spent in my office listening to hurting people who are searching for the will of God in their lives and striving to become the person they truly want to be. Unfortunately, there is too much unnecessary suffering of this kind in the world,” he said. “Here, after the grace of God and the Jesuit training, psychology has been my greatest companion.

“Christianity is a tremendous challenge,” said Fr. Jarreau about the need to be rid of ambitions for power or money. “Only God himself can fill our emptiness.” [Georgia Bulletin]


Recent News

February 28, 2017 — Lent begins tomorrow, and the Ignatian family has an array of resources for prayer and reflection to help guide you through the next 40 days.

February 27, 2017 — Fr. Robert T. Costello, SJ, died Feb. 21 in St. Louis. He was 87 years old, a Jesuit for 65 years and a priest for 53 years.

February 24, 2017 — The new exhibit has opened at the St. John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C.

February 22, 2017 — Water is a fundamental human right.

February 21, 2016 — The trips provide students an opportunity to live and serve in solidarity with the people in Kingston.

February 17, 2017 — After months of planning and setbacks, Holy Trinity Church in Washington, D.C., finally has a refugee family of eight from Syria in their care.

February 15, 2017 — Fr. Cedric Prakash, SJ, of Jesuit Refugee Service, has seen the refugee crisis firsthand.

view all news

Search news

Publications
Since St. Ignatius bought a printing press in 1556, the Jesuits have been involved in communications. Today the Society of Jesus publishes a number of award-winning journals and publications. Click below to access our latest issues.

America 2/20/17

America 2/6/17

America 1/23/17



Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth
The Jesuit Center in Wernersville, Penn., is a place of natural beauty, welcoming quiet and spiritual sustenance for those who seek peace within.