Father Anthony P. Sauer, SJ, who devoted 40 years of ministry to the students, faculty and families of St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco, including 27 years as president, died November 28, 2021, in a San Jose hospital. He had been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis earlier in the year. He was 87 years old and a Jesuit for 61 years.
Anthony Perdue Sauer was born in Los Angeles on June 28, 1934, the second of four sons of Dr. Kearney Sauer and Rita Perdue Sauer. He graduated from Loyola High School of Los Angeles in 1952 and Santa Clara University in 1956 before serving in the Army, including a posting in Korea (1956-58). He taught English at Loyola High before entering the Jesuit novitiate at Los Gatos, California, in 1960 to begin studies for the priesthood. His Jesuit training took him to St. Louis for a degree in philosophy and to the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, California, for a master’s in theology. Before his ordination, he taught English at St. Ignatius Prep (1965-67). He was ordained a priest on June 11, 1971, at Blessed Sacrament Church in Hollywood.
With studies completed, he returned to St. Ignatius Prep (SI), where he was to spend a total of 40 years as counselor, campus minister, rector of the Jesuit community, president and his favorite role, teacher of English. His years as president saw the growth of the school, transition to co-education, major building programs and building the endowment for tuition assistance. A master teacher who instilled critical thinking and writing skills, Fr. Sauer had great influence on the students he taught, extending long after graduation. Over the years, he witnessed the marriages of countless SI alums, baptized their children and conducted funerals of family members. When SI instituted a full scholarship middle school in 2017, the campus was named the Fr. Sauer Academy in his honor.
Significant years of ministry were also spent in Phoenix, Arizona, as rector (1974-79) and president (1978-79) of Brophy College Preparatory and as associate pastor of St. Francis Xavier Church (2013-2021). Failing health brought him to the infirmary at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos in October 2021.
Fr. Sauer was the brother of the late Kearney, Michael and Patrick Sauer. He is survived by his nieces and nephews, Anne Marie Hale of Los Angeles; Brian Sauer of San Francisco; Daniel Sauer of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts; Matthew Sauer of Portland, Oregon; Michelle Portes of Los Angeles; Patrick Sauer of New York; Terry Sauer of Los Angeles; Timothy Sauer of Livermore; and many grandnieces, grandnephews and extended family members.
A funeral Mass will take place Friday, December 10, 2021, at 1:30 p.m. at St. Ignatius Church, 650 Parker Avenue, San Francisco. Due to COVID-19 protocols and capacity limits, seating will be limited. Proof of vaccination required. The service will be livestreamed through the St. Ignatius Church YouTube channel.
Donations in memory of Fr. Sauer may be made to the Jesuits West Province of the Society of Jesus, P.O. Box 68, Los Gatos, CA 95031, to the Fr. Sauer scholarship or Academy at St. Ignatius Prep at https://www.siprep.org/giving/how-to-give/make-a-gift-online or to a charity of your choosing.