(Mobile, Ala.) Father Stephen F. Campbell, S.J. died Jan. 7, 2023, at the Jesuit Residence at Spring Hill College. He was 68 years old, a Jesuit for 48 years, and a priest for 37 years. For more than 30 years, he was a prominent member of the Spring Hill College faculty, as associate professor and chair of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts.
Fr. Campbell will be remembered in a Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. in St. Joseph Chapel at Spring Hill College, with visitation beginning at 10:00 a.m. Burial will be immediately after the Mass in the Spring Hill College Jesuit cemetery, followed by a reception on the first floor of the Barter Student Center.
“Fr. Campbell valued having a real relationship with students, colleagues, and his family, ” said Fr. Bob Poirier, S.J., Rector of Spring Hill’s Jesuit Community. “He kept in touch with those he knew. He genuinely cared about each of us. He exuded warmth and wit. Ignatius of Loyola believed that love shows itself in actions, and Steve’s actions showed his love. During his illness he was upbeat. As he faced death, he was ready to move on to God’s eternal Kingdom. We all now have an advocate for us in heaven who is looking out for us, just as he did on earth.”
Stephen Campbell was born in New Orleans, La. on Nov. 14, 1954, to Julia Dox and Nicholas M. Campbell, Sr., who predeceased him. He is survived by his sister, Catherine Reichard, and his brothers John D., Nicholas M., Jr., Robert M., Michael C., and Patrick H. Campbell, as well as by nieces and nephews.
He attended Jesuit High School, graduating in 1972, and then Spring Hill College for two years, before entering the Society of Jesus on Aug. 14, 1974, at St. Charles College in Grand Coteau, La. He pronounced his first vows on Aug. 15, 1976, and was ordained to the priesthood on June 8, 1985, at St. Joseph Chapel. He pronounced his final vows on March 21, 2003.
He taught French and theology at Jesuit High School in Tampa 1978-81 and while there began to direct plays with the Masque Club. The theater would become a passion for him, as he earned both a Master of Arts in Theatre and a Ph.D. in Theatre/Drama from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.
Father Campbell was missioned to Spring Hill College as a professor of Theater in 1991. He would remain there his entire priestly career. During his time at Spring Hill, he also served as rector of the Jesuit Community 2003-09, as well as acting rector for much of 2015 and 2017-18. He also served Spring Hill College as chair of the Visual and Performing Arts Department.
Father Campbell earned his bachelor’s degree at Loyola University in New Orleans and a Master of Divinity at the Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, Mass. He spent a fourth year studying theology at the Centre Sèvres in Paris, 1985-86.
We remember with gratitude all that God has done through Fr. Campbell’s life of service to God and God’s people. Memorial gifts may be made to the Spring Hill College Department of Performing Arts at SHC.edu/give. Donations can also be sent to USA Central and Southern Province of the Society of Jesus at 4511 West Pine Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108, or through the province website at www.JesuitsCentralSouthern.org.
ABOUT SPRING HILL COLLEGE:
Founded in 1830, Spring Hill College is the oldest Catholic college in the Southeast and the third oldest Jesuit college in the United States. Spring Hill combines the Jesuit tradition of excellence in education and a commitment to caring for the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – with innovative educational experiences. Located in Mobile, Ala., Spring Hill’s mission is to form leaders engaged in learning, faith, justice and service for life. As a result, Spring Hill students are engaged, inspired and transformed by their experiences.