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Saint Peter’s Community Mourns Fr. Ruane

Saint Peter’s College is mourning the loss of Rev. John Ruane, S.J., who passed away on Saturday, May 5, at the age of 92 at Jersey City Medical Center. He was surrounded by his loving family.

Fr. Ruane was a devoted and longtime member of the College, joining the campus community in 1973. He served in various roles during his time at Saint Peter’s, including as a professor of philosophy and as treasurer, house consultor and rector’s admonitor of the Jesuit community before retiring in 2009. Afterward, he remained closely connected to the College and resided in the Jesuit residence on Glenwood Avenue up until the time of his death.

"Fr. Ruane was an integral part of the Saint Peter’s family," said Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D., president of Saint Peter’s College. "With many years of service to the College, his professional and personal contributions were countless. Fr. Ruane was not only a valued colleague, he was also a very special person and a true friend to so many of us. He will be greatly missed." 

Fr. Ruane, born in Jersey City on April 2, 1920, graduated from St. Peter’s Prep in 1937. He joined the Society of Jesus on September 7, 1937 at St. Andrew-on-Hudson in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., where he took first vows toward ordination in 1939. In continuing his education, Fr. Ruane was accepted to study philosophy at the Ateneo de Manila, a Jesuit college in the Philippines, as a volunteer seminarian in 1941.

Upon returning to the States, Fr. Ruane was ordained to the priesthood on June 19, 1949. He graduated from Woodstock College, a Jesuit seminary located in Baltimore, in 1951 with a degree in theology. He went on to earn a doctorate in philosophy at the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium before returning to the Philippines to teach academic areas such as psychology and artistic writing.

Fr. Ruane returned from abroad and went on to teach philosophy at St. Joseph’s College in Gettysburg, Pa., from 1970 to 1972, and at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala., from 1972 to 1973. He also participated in three sabbaticals to institutions for higher education throughout his career: Fordham University, 1969 to 1970; Georgetown University, 1978 to 1979; and Boston College, 1995 to 1996.

He is predeceased by siblings Thomas, William, Joseph and Virginia. He is survived by his sister Anne Grady, and numerous devoted nieces and nephews.

The wake for Fr. Ruane will be held on Tuesday, May 8 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at St. Aedan’s: The Saint Peter’s College Church at 800 Bergen Avenue in Jersey City. The funeral will be held on Wednesday, May 9 at 10:30 a.m., also at St. Aedan’s: The Saint Peter’s College Church.

Condolences may be sent to Fr. Ruane’s sister, Anne Grady, 2 Claridge Drive Apt. 10C West, Verona, N.J. 07044.