In Memoriam: Fr. Paul Marshall

07.17.2014 | Campus and Community
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Former University Rector Father Paul Marshall, S.M. ’69, died suddenly Thursday, July 17, while visiting Marianists in India. Marshall was 66.

Marshall spent 47 years as a Marianist, serving as a social worker, teacher, parish pastor and administrator. He served as rector from 2005-10 when he was appointed assistant for temporalities for the Marianist Province of the United States, headquartered in St. Louis, and was also a professor in the department of religious studies.

"He touched the lives of countless students and embodied our philosophy of learn, lead, serve," said University President Daniel J. Curran. "We will miss him deeply."

As rector, Marshall helped establish the Marianist Educational Associates, a program that develops a community of lay faculty, staff and administrators dedicated to preserving the University's Marianist heritage. In 2007, while leading faculty and staff Marianist Educational Associates on a trip to walk in Marianist founder William Joseph Chaminade's footsteps in France, Marshall spoke about the importance of furthering the Marianist charism at the University.

"The charism should infuse every aspect of the University, who we are and what we do," he said. "It embraces all areas of academics and growth — nothing is outside the kingdom of God."

Marshall also served in many leadership positions in the black Catholic community in the U.S. He had a great passion for social and racial justice and promoting the gift of the black Catholic community to the entire Church. As he wrote on the occasion of his 25th jubilee as a Marianist, "The Marianists have always been open to someone of a different culture. Our life together, I believe, is a witness to the kingdom of God. Every race, culture, and people are called to be followers of God. Mary, our model of faith, praised God who raised the lowly and freed the oppressed. Working for freedom and promoting the faith in the black community have given meaning to my life as a Marianist."

A Cleveland native, Marshall earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Dayton and a master of divinity from the University of St. Michael's College in Toronto. He professed first vows in 1966 and was ordained in 1976. Before returning to to the University of Dayton in 2000, he served as pastor of St. Aloysius Church in Cleveland and was president of the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus. He volunteered with the University of Dayton alumni chapter programs in Cleveland and, in the greater Dayton community, Marshall served as urban corps director in the youth services office for the city of Dayton. Parity Inc. selected him in 2008 as one of its Top 10 African American Males for his leadership and contributions to the Dayton community.

"Let us thank God for the gift of his life and the many ways he blessed our University community,” said Father James Fitz, S.M., University of Dayton vice president for mission and rector. "Let us thank Mary Our Mother for the gift of his perseverance as a Marianist religious. Together, let us pray that he may rest in the peace of Christ."

Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date.

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of media relations, at 937-229-3391 or srobinson@udayton.edu.