Dear Brothers: Father Andrew P. Whitman, S.J.

PLEASE POST
January 10, 2015
Dear Brothers:
Father Andrew P. Whitman, S.J. was called to eternal life on January 7, 2015, at Regional
Medical Center in Lafayette, LA. He was 88 years old, a Jesuit for 63 years and a priest for 51
years.
Born in Detroit, MI on February 28, 1926, Andy attended Fortier High
School in New Orleans, LA. After graduating, he earned a B.S. in Civil
Engineering at Tulane University, and then served as an instructor in their
College of Engineering for five years. He entered the Society on July 1,
1951 at St. Charles College in Grand Coteau, LA. Following First Vows
he studied humanities in Grand Coteau and philosophy at Spring Hill
College in Mobile, AL. He then began graduate studies at Catholic
University in Washington, DC, earning first an M.S. (1958) and then a
Ph.D. in Mathematics in 1961. He studied theology at Woodstock College
(1960-64), receiving the S.T.L. in 1964. He was ordained at Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL
on June 12, 1963. He made Tertianship in Decatur, IL (1964-65), and pronounced his final vows
on February 2, 1970, in the chapel at Stake Jesuit College Preparatory in Houston, TX.
Andy’s career in the field of mathematics was a truly distinguished one, and a letter of this sort
can cannot possibly do it justice. After two years at Loyola University in New Orleans, he spent
seven years (1967-1974) at the University of Houston, where he earned a tenured position of
Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics. In 1974, he joined the faculty of the
Pontifícia Universidade Católíca of Rio de Janeiro, where he was a tenured Associate Professor.
In 1982-83 he took a sabbatical year at the Vatican Observatory, where he joined the staff as an
adjunct scientist in 1983. He returned to the United States in 1989 and took the position of
Lecturer at the College of the Holy Cross. In 1996 he joined the staff of the Vatican Observatory
and was stationed at the Vatican Observatory Research Group at the University of Arizona as a
research scientist. In 1998 he was appointed as a permanent member of the staff of the Vatican
Observatory and also took on duties of an administrator; he spent the next fourteen years based at
the University of Arizona as a research scientist for the Vatican Observatory.
One of Andy’s areas of passionate interest was the Clavius Group, which he co-founded in 1963.
This is a group of lay and religious mathematicians who meet each summer at various
mathematical centers and departments to form a Faith Community and to do mathematics at levels from research to study seminars on current topics of interest to the Group. His
involvement with the group reflects his lifelong dedication to linking mathematics and faith.
In 2003, Andy wrote the following: “…if this does not seem too exaggerated, my mathematics
that I do is a prayer. One faces naked and beautiful truth when he does mathematics. One cannot
win in this game by banging the table, or claiming the wisdom of old age, or pretending. Either
your logic works and can be acknowledged by others, or it does not. And when it does, say after
a proof that carries through several pages, you are in the presence of the Divine.”
In 2010, ill health required him to return to the South, eventually to the St. Alphonsus Rodriguez
Pavilion in Grand Coteau. For as long as he could, he continued his work on a textbook in Lie
Algebra. He was humbled and gratified in 2011, when he was awarded the Holy Cross Pro
Ecclesia et Pontifice by Pope Benedict XVI in recognition of his service at the Vatican
Observatory.
Andy is preceded in death by his parents, Andrew Whitman and Elizabeth Greichek Whitman
Dourrieu, his brother Gerald and his step-brother John Newton. He is survived by his sister
Elizabeth and his nephew Stephen DiLorenzo. Letters of sympathy can be sent to:
Ms. Elizabeth Whitman
1316 Aris Ave.
Metairie, LA 70005
Stephen DiLorenzo
12891 St. Helena Street
Clinton, LA 70722-3105
Arrangements are as follows:
Visitation: Saturday, January 17, 2015
10:00 a.m.
Main Chapel, St. Charles College
Grand Coteau, Louisiana
Funeral Mass: Saturday, January 17, 2015
11:00 a.m.
Main Chapel, St. Charles College
Burial: Jesuit Cemetery, St. Charles College
Following the Funeral Mass
We remember with gratitude all that God has done through Andy’s life of service to God and
God’s people. All members of the USA Central and Southern Province are to a Mass for him.
Members of the St. Charles College community are to offer an additional Mass as well.
Sincerely in Christ,
John F. Armstrong, S.J.
SociusPLEASE POST
January 10, 2015
Dear Brothers:
Father Andrew P. Whitman, S.J. was called to eternal life on January 7, 2015, at Regional
Medical Center in Lafayette, LA. He was 88 years old, a Jesuit for 63 years and a priest for 51
years.
Born in Detroit, MI on February 28, 1926, Andy attended Fortier High
School in New Orleans, LA. After graduating, he earned a B.S. in Civil
Engineering at Tulane University, and then served as an instructor in their
College of Engineering for five years. He entered the Society on July 1,
1951 at St. Charles College in Grand Coteau, LA. Following First Vows
he studied humanities in Grand Coteau and philosophy at Spring Hill
College in Mobile, AL. He then began graduate studies at Catholic
University in Washington, DC, earning first an M.S. (1958) and then a
Ph.D. in Mathematics in 1961. He studied theology at Woodstock College
(1960-64), receiving the S.T.L. in 1964. He was ordained at Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL
on June 12, 1963. He made Tertianship in Decatur, IL (1964-65), and pronounced his final vows
on February 2, 1970, in the chapel at Stake Jesuit College Preparatory in Houston, TX.
Andy’s career in the field of mathematics was a truly distinguished one, and a letter of this sort
can cannot possibly do it justice. After two years at Loyola University in New Orleans, he spent
seven years (1967-1974) at the University of Houston, where he earned a tenured position of
Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics. In 1974, he joined the faculty of the
Pontifícia Universidade Católíca of Rio de Janeiro, where he was a tenured Associate Professor.
In 1982-83 he took a sabbatical year at the Vatican Observatory, where he joined the staff as an
adjunct scientist in 1983. He returned to the United States in 1989 and took the position of
Lecturer at the College of the Holy Cross. In 1996 he joined the staff of the Vatican Observatory
and was stationed at the Vatican Observatory Research Group at the University of Arizona as a
research scientist. In 1998 he was appointed as a permanent member of the staff of the Vatican
Observatory and also took on duties of an administrator; he spent the next fourteen years based at
the University of Arizona as a research scientist for the Vatican Observatory.
One of Andy’s areas of passionate interest was the Clavius Group, which he co-founded in 1963.
This is a group of lay and religious mathematicians who meet each summer at various
mathematical centers and departments to form a Faith Community and to do mathematics at levels from research to study seminars on current topics of interest to the Group. His
involvement with the group reflects his lifelong dedication to linking mathematics and faith.
In 2003, Andy wrote the following: “…if this does not seem too exaggerated, my mathematics
that I do is a prayer. One faces naked and beautiful truth when he does mathematics. One cannot
win in this game by banging the table, or claiming the wisdom of old age, or pretending. Either
your logic works and can be acknowledged by others, or it does not. And when it does, say after
a proof that carries through several pages, you are in the presence of the Divine.”
In 2010, ill health required him to return to the South, eventually to the St. Alphonsus Rodriguez
Pavilion in Grand Coteau. For as long as he could, he continued his work on a textbook in Lie
Algebra. He was humbled and gratified in 2011, when he was awarded the Holy Cross Pro
Ecclesia et Pontifice by Pope Benedict XVI in recognition of his service at the Vatican
Observatory.
Andy is preceded in death by his parents, Andrew Whitman and Elizabeth Greichek Whitman
Dourrieu, his brother Gerald and his step-brother John Newton. He is survived by his sister
Elizabeth and his nephew Stephen DiLorenzo. Letters of sympathy can be sent to:
Ms. Elizabeth Whitman
1316 Aris Ave.
Metairie, LA 70005
Stephen DiLorenzo
12891 St. Helena Street
Clinton, LA 70722-3105
Arrangements are as follows:
Visitation: Saturday, January 17, 2015
10:00 a.m.
Main Chapel, St. Charles College
Grand Coteau, Louisiana
Funeral Mass: Saturday, January 17, 2015
11:00 a.m.
Main Chapel, St. Charles College
Burial: Jesuit Cemetery, St. Charles College
Following the Funeral Mass
We remember with gratitude all that God has done through Andy’s life of service to God and
God’s people. All members of the USA Central and Southern Province are to a Mass for him.
Members of the St. Charles College community are to offer an additional Mass as well.
Sincerely in Christ,
John F. Armstrong, S.J.
Socius

Vatican Observatory Foundation

It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of Fr. Andrew Whitman, S.J., on January 7th in Grand Coteau, Louisiana. Father Andy was a brilliant mathematician who spent many years in Tucson working with the Vatican Observatory Research Group. In 2011 Pope Bendict XVI awarded him the Holy Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice in recognition of his service to the observatory.

The full notice from his province can be read here.

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