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Father James Hasse

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June 28, 2011

A Mass of Christian Burial for Jesuit Father James Hasse was celebrated June 24 at the Colombiere Center in Clarkston, Mich. Father Hasse, 76, died June 19 in Pontiac, Mich.


 Father James Hasse

A native of Joliet, Ill., Father Hasse joined the U.S. Navy after high school, serving for three years. He attended Marquette University for two years before entering the Society of Jesus at the Milford novitiate in 1959. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in philosophy and anthropology from St. Louis University. Father Hasse cultivated his talent for art at the University of Notre Dame, earning a master of fine arts degree. He received his master’s degree in divinity from Bellarmine School of Theology.


Following his ordination on May 29, 1969, Father Hasse spent almost 20 years in service at Holy Family Church in Chicago. In 2000 he became a founding member of Claver Jesuit Mission in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Located in and serving a predominantly African-American community, Claver strives to proximate solidarity with the poor. As part of the Claver Mission, Father Hasse used his passion for art to connect with his neighbors and helped create a safe haven for children in the neighborhoods of Winton Hills and South Cumminsville. His paintings were displayed in such venues as the University of Dayton and the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor Centennial Barn.


In 2008 Father Hasse received the Martin Luther King “Keep the Dream Alive Award,” presented by the former St. Mark Parish in Cincinnati in recognition for his more than 40 years of service to African-American communities.


Father Hasse is survived by his sisters, Mary Ann Hasse, Rita Blackburn and Franciscan Sister Bernadine Hasse, and his brothers, John and William.

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