Father Mace served in Asia and in the Jesuits’ Wisconsin Province
March 10, 2021
Jesuit Father John Mace, who devoted nearly half of his 65 years in the Society of Jesus as an educator and mentor to Jesuit seminarians in Asia, died Feb. 21 at St. Camillus Jesuit Community in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He was 83.
A memorial Mass will be held May 1, on what would have been his 84th birthday, at St. John Church on the Creighton University campus. He donated his body to the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Father Mace grew up in Omaha, attending the former St. Peter Elementary School and Creighton Preparatory School. He entered the Society of Jesus after graduation in 1955 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
He was ordained in 1968 in Seoul, South Korea, made tertianship from 1972 to 1973 in St. Paul, Minnesota, and pronounced final vows in 1976, at Sogang University in Seoul.
After ordination and while in graduate studies in theology, Father Mace was an assistant director of campus ministry at Marquette University in Milwaukee.
His service in South Korea included teaching at the regional seminary in Daegun from 1965 to 1968. He also was novice master for Korean Jesuits and rector of the Jesuit community at Sogang University in Seoul, becoming the university’s president in 1983.
He returned to the United States in 1985 to serve in the Jesuits’ Wisconsin Province as teacher at the order’s novitiate, as assistant secretary for formation, and as socius to the Wisconsin provincial.
Father Mace again served in Asia as rector at the Jesuit Conference of East Asia and Oceania in Manila, the Philippines, from 1996 to 2006.
From 2007 to 2011, he was regional superior for his order in Timor-Leste, and was secretary to the delegate of the Korean Provincial to the Jesuit mission in Cambodia from 2011 to 2016.
During the past five years, Father Mace served as pastoral minister at Omaha’s Creighton University and later at the St. Camillus Jesuit Community.
Father Mace was preceded in death by parents, Ruth and John Mace Sr., and brothers-in-law, Tom Bogard and Bob Hiebner. He is survived by sisters, Marian Bogard of Omaha and Barb Hiebner of Punta Gorda, Florida; 10 nieces and nephews, and 18 great-nieces and great-nephews.