Rev. Robert Ignatius Bradley S.J.

June 8, 1924January 20, 2013

BRADLEY, Rev. Robert Ignatius, S.J, returned peacefully to God in his sleep Dec. 20, 2013, at the Jesuit Center, Los Gatos, CA, at age 89 after a short illness. He was born and raised in Spokane of a pioneer family. He was the son of banker Joseph Bradley and Muriel (Wicks) Bradley, one of eight children in a Catholic family that produced four priests. Fr. Bradley graduated from Gonzaga High School in June 1941 and immediately entered the Society of Jesus at their Novitiate in Sheridan, OR. He studied philosophy at Mount St. Michaels, earning a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in history. In 1949-1950, Fr. Bradley taught history at Gonzaga University, where he coached the debate team and was yearbook advisor. From 1951-1952, he taught Latin and history at Gonzaga High School, served as director of forensics and yearbook moderator, and led the debate team to win three statewide championships. Fr. Bradley was sent to Louvain, Belgium, for his theology studies, and was ordained to the priesthood on Aug. 15, 1955. He received a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Columbia University and taught history in the College of Arts and Sciences at Seattle University, where he became dean. In the late 1960s, he accepted a position as professor of theology at St. John’s University, Long Island, NY, and became chaplain for the newly founded Catholics United for the Faith (CUF), serving for 30 years. Fr. Bradley left St. John’s in 1981 to teach theology at the Notre Dame Institute in Arlington, VA, now the Graduate School of Christendom College, Front Royal, VA. Every summer, he was director of the Catechetical Institute at Our Lady of Peace Monastery in Beaverton, OR. While teaching in Virginia, Fr. Bradley served as chaplain to the Monastery of the Poor Clares in Alexandria and also worked with the Legion of Mary there. After a year in Rome, he received a Sacred Theology Doctorate from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum) in 1988. He moved to Texas in 1996 where he accepted an adjunct faculty position in theology at the University of Dallas Institute for Religious and Pastoral Studies and taught there for several years while serving as a priest in the Diocese of Austin, where the bishop assigned him to the St. Joseph Latin Mass. He also taught theology at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton, NE.for the Fraternity Society of St. Peter. Fr. Bradley retired from active ministry in late 2011, working as a spiritual advisor in Austin until November 2013. During his years in Austin, Fr. Bradley inspired six young men to enter the seminary, and helped many young people enter the Church, drawing them from the University of Texas to his Sunday Latin Mass liturgies at St. Mary’s Cathedral. He was an inspiration and role model to countless men and women throughout the United States. Fr. Bradley was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Joe, Bill, Fr. Richard, S.J.,Don and his sister, Honey Gal Kilmartin. He is survived by brothers, Frs. Jack of Los Angelus and Ted of Spokane, as well as many nieces and nephews. A special thank you to Dr. Betty Bosarge of Spicewood, TX, for her excellent care during his final years. A vigil service will be held Wednesday, January 8, 2013 7:00pm at the Jesuit House Chapel, on Gonzaga University campus. The funeral Mass will be January 9, 2013 11 a.m. at the same location. He will be buried close to his brother Dick at the Jesuit Cemetery at Mt. St. Michaels, Spokane. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Fr. Bradley’s name to the Society of Jesus or the Monastery of the Poor Clares, 2505 Stonehedge Drive, Alexandria, VA 22306.


  • Prayer Service Wednesday, January 8, 2014
  • Funeral Service Thursday, January 9, 2014

Rev. Robert Ignatius Bradley S.J.

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Janis (Bell) Haswell

January 31, 2014

Many of us know Fr. Bradley as a holy and inspiring man. But I first met him when I was a history major at Seattle University. Fr. Bradley was then dean of the college and taught upper-division history courses on Tudor and Stuart England. He was an exceptional teacher and scholar with a wonderful mind and an ability to lead his students to insights about human history that have stayed with me all these years. Thank you, Fr. Bradley....

Ronnie (Veronica) Frazier

January 10, 2014

Oh, what a diminishment for us left behind! As I told Betty, I cried when I heard that Fr. Bob had gone home, but it didn't last long, because I couldn't keep the grin off my face when considering what it must have been like when Fr. Bob and our dear Lord met face to face -- oh, what an event! Fr. Bob was such a brilliant man and a great teacher who I studied with at the Notre Dame Institute. He accepted an invitation to supper with us. My Mom had two brothers Jesuits, so Fr. Bob felt right at home, and we enjoyed many happy evenings together. I guess one of my favorite memories is of my Dad launching spontaneously into "springtime in the Rockies," -- our family and Fr. Bob loved the Rockies -- and Fr. Bob jumping right in for a passionate duet! I recall my Mom and I just cracking up, and all I could think of was how can I keep a straight face the next time I'm in class and Fr. Bob is lecturing on monophysitism or some such! He was such a great, great guy. Thanks Betty, for everything you did for our dear Fr. Bob. Rest in peace, dear friend.
Ronnie (Veronica) Frazier

Albert Doskey

January 6, 2014

Perhaps I have loved priests equally to him, but none have I loved more than him. I spent three years with him in Austin and visited him afterward. I read his dissertation, the one for the Ph.D. from Columbia. I visited his home. Fr. Bradley, SJ, on occasion stern with me, was always so good to me. I remember him so fondly. I will pray for the repose of his soul, but I am confident that if he must suffer the delightful pains of purgatory, it will no be for long, and then I will depend on his intercession, perpetual and kindly, before the sovereign Godhead.

Jonathan Carson

January 6, 2014

After I converted to Catholicism, I had not yet made an individual confession, and one day I sat across the table from Father Bradley and confessed a lifetime of sins. Ever after that, despite knowing of my sins, he treated me with compassion and respect. And that is only one of the many reasons I feel so grateful to him.

Stella Trevino

January 6, 2014

Father, I'm not going to "worry my pretty little head" anymore. I know you are in heaven praying for all those whose lives you so wonderfully touched with your humility, deep prayer life and sense of humor. I will never forget to pray for you, pray for me.

January 6, 2014

May we all pray for His Kingdom to come...Matthew 6:9,10

January 6, 2014

I met Father Bradley just a few months
ago and was inspired by his theology
and humbleness. He was a wonderful
priest and will be missed. I pray for
him to be with our Lord forever. Bob W.

James Arrington

January 5, 2014

Requiescat in pace.

James Arrington

January 5, 2014

A holy priest who inspired and served the Diocese of Austin with his celebration of the Extraordinary Form. Requiescat in pace !

January 3, 2014

Fr. Bradley taught me World History at Seattle University in the early 60's. I still remember working so hard for him and finally earned an "A" after the third class! He exuded love for his work and I can still see him holding the globe of the world with such reverence and awe. I have often spoken of him over these years as one who taught me to love history. Patricia Edlefsen, Culver City CA