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December 27, 1931, to August 29, 2010
Br. John J. Petrus, SJ, who served as a Jesuit for 49 years, died on August 29, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio. Br. Petrus was born to Joseph and Elizabeth Petrus on December 27, 1931, in Fairport Harbor, Ohio. He was the beloved oldest brother of Lawrence Petrus, Judith (Stephen) Foltin, Martha (Ernest) Petti and Elaine (William) Schneid and the devoted uncle to many nieces and nephews.
Br. Petrus, who was more fondly known to his Jesuit brothers as “Tu Es,” (a nickname given to him by his classmates referring to the inscription in the dome of the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome) graduated from Harvey High School, located in Painesville, Ohio, in 1950. He entered the Jesuits in March of 1961 and took his final vows on April 22, 1972, in Cleveland, Ohio. His service carried him all over the Midwest, working in various schools as a maintenance and boiler room employee. He performed the majority of his service at Colombiere College in Clarkston, Michigan.
Fr. Carl Bonk, SJ, who presided over the funeral Mass for Br. Petrus at St. Ignatius High School Chapel in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 2, 2010, remembered John warmly and spoke of him as being “a simple and humble man in the fullest sense of the word. He was truly a friend in the Lord. John fit in and was at home wherever he lived in the Jesuit communities.”
One of John’s Jesuit brothers from his entrance class and a close friend, Br. Anthony Kreutzjans, SJ, spoke of Br. Petrus as “quiet, peaceful, respectful, and dedicated.” He recalls, “I remember John telling me years ago when we were in early formation, ‘Our time is spent working for the Lord! Don’t work past quitting time, because then you are just working for the devil.’ John is a dear friend and I will miss him.”
Memorial gifts may be made to The Jesuits, 2050 N. Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois 60614.
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