Fr. Ernie Ferlita passes on

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Thu, 02/05/2015

Father Ernest Ferlita was born December 1, 1927. He was ordained in Mobile, AL in 1962 and pronounced his final vows in 1967 in the Jesuit House of Studies at Spring Hill College.

Ernie was a prolific writer and his plays have received numerous awards and been translated into several languages and produced around the world. He was fascinated with the possibilities of linking drama with spiritual issues, and many of his works did just that, whether it was the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki or the martyrdom of Jesuits in 17th century Scotland or 20th century El Salvador. His work, Black Medea, which he called "the most gratifying experience," was given three off-off Broadway productions. It is a tribute to the timeliness of his work that one of his plays, The Witness was performed as part of the 2014 observance of the 25th anniversary of the killing of the Jesuits at the UCA in El Salvador.

Another play, Ma-Fa, based on the life of Jesuit Adam Schall in China, was the second-place winner of the International Competition of Religious Drama. He is also the author of several books, including The Paths of Life, three books of reflections on readings for the Sunday Mass. Many of these reflections were given as homilies to the congregation at St. Clare's Monastery in New Orleans, where he served as chaplain.

During his time at Loyola he served a Chairman of Loyola's Department of Drama and Speech (1970-88) and Chairman of the University's Board of Directors (1972-75). He continued as a professor in the Drama Department until 2002. After, he served as emeritus professor until 2010.

Fr. Ferlita's wrote his last play at Loyola, his interpretation of "Alice in Wonderland," that will run Thursday, Feb. 5 through Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015 in the Lower Depths Theater on Loyola's campus.

Our prayers go out to the Loyola Jesuit community.