Jesuit Father James R. “Jim” Hanley died on Sept. 28, 2015, at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, California, after a long illness. He was 88.
Fr. Hanley was born in San Francisco on June 22, 1927, the son of Daniel and Helen Hanley. He graduated from Sacred Heart High School and entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Los Gatos in June 1945. He earned a master’s in economics at Gonzaga University, taught Latin at Bellarmine Prep in San Jose, California (1952-54) and taught economic history at the University of San Francisco (1954-55). Theological studies were made at Alma College in Los Gatos, and he was ordained a priest at St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco on June 13, 1958.
On completion of studies in 1960, he was assigned to St. Ignatius High School in San Francisco, where he taught religion and served as student chaplain. He oversaw curriculum changes and strengthened the student retreat program. From 1968 until 1973 he taught religion at Loyola High School of Los Angeles. He was named rector-president of St. Ignatius College Prep in 1973, holding that position until 1975 when he was named vice provincial for formation for the California Province, in charge of the educational and spiritual formation of Jesuit seminarians.
After leaving that office, Fr. Hanley served in retreat ministry at the Jesuit Retreat Center in Los Altos (1981-91), Manresa Retreat House in Azusa (1992-94), and again at Los Altos (1995-2008). Over the years he established a reputation as an excellent spiritual director to priests, religious sisters and laypeople. In 2008 he relocated to Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, continuing his ministry of counsel and support to the clergy of the Bay Area and of the Diocese of Stockton.
Fr. Hanley was the brother of the late Mary, Patricia, and William Hanley. He is survived by his nieces, Maureen Malley, Ellen Hanley (Lou Lopez), and Carol Hanley (Jeremy Butler), as well as his nephews, Kevin Hanley (Susan) and Terry Hanley (Sandra). He also leaves six grandnephews and grandnieces, Dan Hanley (Stacia), Sean Malley, Kelly Hanley, Mike Hanley (Allison), Lauren Yarwood, and Aiden Yarwood) and four great grandnephews and great grandnieces, Jimmy Malley, Graham Hanley, Juniper Hanley, and Emmet Hanley.