In Memoriam
Requiescat in Pace: Fr. Phil Blake, S.J.

Reverend Philip Church Blake, S.J., 87, died September 5, 2013 at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos. He celebrated 65 years as a Jesuit and 52 years as an ordained priest.

Phil was born in San Jose on May 15, 1926. After graduation from Bellarmine College Preparatory, San Jose, he served in the Army Air Corps as a radio operator during World War II. He attended Santa Clara University for two years before joining the Jesuit Order in 1948. He taught Latin and chemistry at Loyola High School, Los Angeles, 1955-58, and pursued theological studies at Alma College. He was ordained a priest in 1961 and made his Tertianship in Colombia, in “a great tomb of a building, full of cracks caused by an earthquake,” which featured a recreation room having “no furniture in it; just a bare room with a picture on the wall, which someone said was a Christmas decoration they forgot to take down.”

Phil served as a teacher and parish priest in Mexico, 1964-69 (Mexico City, Jalapa), and re-entered the military as a U.S. Army Chaplain in 1969. His assignments included service in Vietnam and Cambodia, where he received the Bronze Star for service under fire. His letters described his experiences there: the heat, the constant rifle and mortar fire, the trips by chopper to say Mass at fire support bases and in the field, and even an encounter with a very large python. Later assignments included Hanau, Germany, Canal Zone, Sinop, Turkey, and Ft Huachuca, Ariz., where he and the ceremonial color guard stationed there dressed in 1870 style cavalry uniforms for parades and civic functions.

Returning to civilian life in 1981, Phil served as a spiritual director and retreat master at the Jesuit Retreat Center of Los Altos. To assist in his work, he studied at the C. J. Jung Institute, Zurich, where he received a diploma in analytical psychology in 1989. As he explained:

“As I learned more about Jungian psychology, I realized that what Carl Jung was saying on the psychological level fit well with the Christian spiritual journey, give or take a few ideas….After four years of study, I graduated with the diploma as a Jungian analyst….It has been a great gift in my work as spiritual director and retreat director. Depth psychology has led to depth spirituality.”

Phil returned to his work at Los Altos as a retreat director and became active in the Vatican II Institute at St. Patrick’s Seminary, Menlo Park. At both places, he gave special themed retreats and workshops using Jungian themes.

He then served as associate pastor at St. Francis Xavier Church, Phoenix, 2000-03, before assuming his last assignment as pastoral minister at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos.

Phil was an avid backpacker and loved exploring the Sierras, especially Yosemite. His military assignments and sabbaticals, including a stay at a Benedictine monastery in Tamil Nadu, India, made him a world traveler and served as a source for many stories.

He is survived by his brother, Freeman D. Blake, of Eureka. A Funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, September 12 at 10:00 a.m. at Jesuit Center, Los Gatos. Burial will follow at Santa Clara Mission Cemetery. May he rest in peace.

Donations in memory of Fr. Blake may be made to the California Province of the Society of Jesus, P.O. Box 68, Los Gatos, CA 95031, or you may call (408) 884-1632 or make a donation online at https://www.jesuitscalifornia.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=912





Recent News

February 14, 2020 — Fr. Patrick J. Cahalan, SJ, emeritus chancellor of Loyola Marymount University (LMU) and long-time president of Loyola High School of Los Angeles, entered into God’s peace today at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos, California.

February 13, 2020 — He became president in 1997.

February 3, 2020 — Father Paul J. Goda, SJ, emeritus professor of law at Santa Clara University, died January 29, 2020 at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos at the age of 88.

February 3, 2020 — Father Andrew B. Garcia, SJ, professed Final Vows as a full member of the Society of Jesus on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord at the 9:30 AM Mass at Most Holy Trinity Parish, San Jose, California.

January 30, 2020 — Cristo Rey San José Jesuit High School and Loyola High School of Los Angeles recently received historic gifts.

January 28, 2020 — Father Bernard (Barney) Coughlin, SJ, the former long-serving president of Gonzaga University, died today at the age of 97 at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, California.

January 28, 2020 — Jesuits West Province is pleased to announce that two veteran fundraisers are joining the Province staff.

view all news

Search news

Publications

Jesuits West Magazine - Fall 2019

Jesuits West Magazine - Spring 2019

Mission Magazine - Fall 2018


Companions
Fall, 2019

Companions
Summer, 2019

Companions
Fall, 2018


Loyola Institute for Spirituality
Loyola Institute for Spirituality (LIS), founded in 1997, is located in Orange, CA. LIS provides many programs and services for individuals, parishes, and dioceses throughout Southern California and beyond.