Document Type

Finding Aid

Collection Date


Finding Aid Date



MS MerrickJP


All physical materials associated with the New England Province Archive are currently held by the Jesuit Archives in St. Louis, MO. Any inquiries about these materials should be directed to Jesuit Archives. Electronic versions of some items and the descriptions and finding aids to the Archives, which are hosted in CrossWorks, are provided only as a courtesy.

Joseph Patrick Merrick was born on August 13, 1895 in Arlington, Massachusetts. He graduated from Boston College High School in 1913 and entered into the Society of Jesus on August 14, 1914 at St. Andrew-on-Hudson, New York where he spent his novitiate. He then began study in Philosophy in 1918 at Woodstock, Maryland and in 1921, began his regency in Vigan, Philippines. In 1924 he returned to Woodstock to begin studies in Theology. He transferred to Weston College, Weston, MA to complete his theological study in 1927 where he also was ordained on June 23, 1927. Upon completion of studies, he taught physics at the College of the Holy Cross from 1928 until 1933, returning, though, for a year, 1930-1931, to St. Andrew-on-Hudson for his tertianship. He was then assigned to Baghdad College, Baghdad, Iraq where he remained from 1933 until 1969, interrupted by two years as a U.S. Military Army Chaplin in Abadan, Iran from 1943 until 1945. In 1969, Father returned to Boston where he did pastoral work at St. Cecilia and at the Church of the Immaculate Conception until 1982. Then, he retired to Campion Center, formerly Weston College, Weston, MA and lived until he died on May 9, 1989. He is buried in the Jesuit Cemetery at Campion Center.

The collection consists of unpublished manuscripts and poems, retreats and sermons, correspondence, notes, and personal items. During his life, Father wrote many poems and short stories which are in the collection. Also in the papers is a novel titled The First Catholic Muslim, based on his time inIraq. None of his work was ever published. Subject material and transcriptions of some correspondence and other writings is also included in this collection. This material was developed by Fr. David J. Suwalsky, S.J. while taking a course “Holiness and hagiography” at Weston School of Theology in March of 1993.



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