Father Lorenzo “Larry” J. Palafox, SJ, entered into God’s peace on November 28 at the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos. He was 80 and had been a Jesuit for 62 years.
Father Palafox was born in San Francisco January 8, 1936. He graduated from St. Ignatius High School in 1954 and entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Los Gatos in August of that year. His studies took him from Los Gatos (spiritual formation, Latin, and Greek) to Gonzaga University, Spokane (philosophy), to Alma College (theology), and then to the Philippines (spirituality), with a three-year break for teaching English and geometry at Bellarmine Prep, San Jose. In 1967 he was ordained to the priesthood in St. Ignatius Church, San Francisco, where he had served daily Mass as a high school student.
Upon completion of training, he taught for a year at Loyola High School, Los Angeles, and, at the height of the Vietnam War, embarked on a 20-year ministry as a U.S. Navy chaplain. Assignments took him to a variety of vessels and bases in Europe, Asia, and the United States. He retired from Camp Pendleton in 1990 with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
Following his ministry to military personnel, Fr. Palafox was assigned to Jesuit High, Sacramento as community treasurer and pastoral minister. “Father P,” as he was known, was chaplain to the baseball teams and prefect of the study hall, and remained close to alumni from his decade and a half of service. He retired to Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos, in 2007.
He is survived by cousin, Roberta Ruiz Hoffman of Walnut Creek, and many other relatives.
Mass of Christian Burial will take place on December 5, 10:00 a.m., at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, 300 College Avenue, Los Gatos, with burial immediately after at Santa Clara Mission Cemetery, 490 Lincoln Street, Santa Clara.
Donations in memory of Father Palafox may be made to the California Province of the Society of Jesus, P.O. Box 68, Los Gatos, CA 95031, or through the province’s secure donation site at www.jesuitswest.org/donations online.