Died 9 November 2018
Jesuit Father Daniel J. O’Brien died on Nov. 9, 2018 at Murray-Weigel Hall, in the Bronx, New York.
He was born and raised in Hoboken, New Jersey, attended Xavier High School in New York City and upon graduation in 1945, studied at St. Peter’s College for a year before entering the Society of Jesus at St. Andrew-on-Hudson in Poughkeepsie, New York, on Sept. 7, 1946.
In 1950, Fr. O’Brien moved to Woodstock College in Maryland to study philosophy for two years before moving to Bellarmine College in Plattsburgh, New York, for his third year of philosophy. Then in 1953, he went to Brooklyn Prep where he taught physics and mathematics for two years. In 1955, he spent a year at Fordham University studying physics.
Fr. O’Brien returned to Woodstock College in 1956 to study theology for four years. Cardinal Spellman ordained him to the priesthood on June 20, 1959, in Fordham University Church in the Bronx. In the summer of 1960, having completed his theological studies, Fr. O’Brien went to Dublin, Ireland, for his tertianship year. He pronounced his final vows on February 2, 1964. From 1961-65, he was a graduate student in mathematics at the University of Notre Dame.
Fr. O’Brien taught mathematics for the next ten years at Fordham University and at the Jesuit Philosophate in Shrub Oak, New York. While teaching, Fr. O’Brien also served as minister at Murray-Weigel Hall (1969-1973), which was then a house of studies, and as assistant chaplain at Fordham University (1973-1975).
It was in 1975 that he moved to the 83rd Street Jesuit community to teach mathematics at Loyola School and to serve as assistant director of the Jesuit Seminary and Mission Bureau. Fr. O’Brien returned to Fordham in 1977 and for the next 5 years taught mathematics and was also minister to the Fordham University Community.
Fr. O’Brien moved to Syracuse, New York, to become rector of the LeMoyne Jesuit Community in 1982; from 1984 to 1988 he also taught mathematics at the College. In 1988, he moved to Rochester, New York, where he served as president of the McQuaid Jesuit High School until 1992. During those years he again taught mathematics.
In 1992, he returned to Fordham University, where he served as an assistant dean, director of transfer students and advisor of pre-med students. In addition to his work in the University, he became minister of the Jesuit Community in 1995, a post that he held for the next 11 years. From 2006-2011, Fr. O’Brien continued his work as assistant dean and advisor. Finally, in 2011 he retired from his work in the university and served as guest master at Spellman Hall. Because of failing health, he moved to Murray-Weigel Hall in 2014.
Fr. O’Brien was an excellent Bridge player and had a quiet and prayerful presence at Murray-Weigel until his death.