Finding Aid Date
MS Anderson, FW
Father Francis W. Anderson, S.J., was the son of John A. and Mary J. Harrington Anderson; he was a native of Charlestown, Mass.; born there June 4, 1900. He was educated at St. Francis de Sales School and at Boston College High School from which he graduated in June 1918. The following September, he entered the Society of Jesus at their novitiate at Yonkers, N.Y. In September 1920, he was sent to St. Andrew's, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. for his classical studies. During the years 1922-1925 he spent studying philosophy at both Weston College and Woodstock College, Maryland. He was one of the pioneers of the Jesuit House of Studies at Weston College, Weston. After completion of his philosophical studies, Father was sent to teach classics to Freshmen at Boston College in 1925 and spent the following two years, 1926-1928 teaching Latin, Greek and English to Seniors at Boston College High School in the South End of Boston. From 1928 to 1932 Father made his theological studies at Weston College, Weston, MA, and was ordained to the priesthood on the 16th of June 1931 by His Lordship, Bishop Thomas A. Emmet, S.J. Vicar Apostolic of Jamaica, B.W.I. He remained at Weston College after completion of his theological studies to teach the Jesuit seminarians classical studies 1932 to 1934; then he went to Tronchiennes, Belgium for a year of ascetical theology. After these studies Father was sent to the recently opened Jesuit Baghdad College in Iraq, where he spent the next five years, 1935-1940 teaching and being Headmaster. There then followed a year of the study of Arabic, in preparation for a six year stint (1940-1946) as Director of Catholic Schools in Transjordan with headquarters in Jerusalem. During this time also he undertook an educational mission to Persia (Iran) in 1949 at the request of Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Churches. From 1946 to the present Father always kept his interests in the Mission fields paramount, but now from afar: Father was Director of the American Jesuit Overseas Project both from Washington, D.C. and from Rome 1947-1950. He was a co-editor of the Jesuit Missions magazine from 1950-1953 with headquarters in New York City. Except for the years 1959-1963 when he was engaged in pastoral work at St. Francis Xavier Chapel at 126 Newbury Street, Father held positions of Director or Assistant Director of the Jesuit Mission Office in Boston for the New England Jesuit Missionary endeavors. During the last year of his life, he preformed pastoral duties at St. Francis Xavier Chapel, 312 Dartmouth Street, Boston, where he died of a heart attack at the age of 73 while vesting for Mass. Father Anderson is buried in the Jesuit Cemetery at Campion Center, formerly Weston College, Weston, Mass.
The collection contains correspondence, diaries, personal and family papers, publications, reports, subject files, talks and writings. The correspondence includes letters to and from members of the Society of Jesus and other clergy, family members, acquaintances and government officials. The family letters are largely original letters mailed by Fr. Anderson to his mother and sisters. Many carbon copies of his letters to other correspondents are also included in the files. The diaries and reports are mostly from the time he spent in the Middle East. There are many subject files relating to Fr. Anderson’s retreat and sodality work, as well as, the time spent at St. Francis Xavier Chapel in Boston, MA. The talks consist of lectures, mostly about the Middle East, and sermons or homilies given at St. Francis Xavier Chapel. There is a full run of the column “Come, Follow Me,” written for Jesuit Missions Magazine between 1948 and 1953. The collection also includes a 2.5” box of portrait and group photographs, including photographs of the Apostolic Delegation to the Middle East in 1945 and photographs of Archbishop Arthur W. Hughes.
New England Jesuit Province Archives; New England Province of the Society of Jesus; and Anderson, Francis W. SJ, "Francis W. Anderson, SJ Papers" (2015). Finding Aids, Special Collections. 9.