Loyola Celebrates the Life of Reverend Ronald J. Amiot, SJ, Trustee and Former Rector – Newsroom
The Reverend Ronald J. Amiot, SJ, Loyola Board Member and former Rector of the Loyola Jesuit Community, died Saturday, September 3, 2022 at St. Ignatius Loyola Community in Manhattan. Prof. Amiot, who had also worked in student development for Loyola from 2007 to 2016, was 73 years old.
“Father Amiot has been a valued board member for four years, and he and I were just talking about his continued service for another term. He was so looking forward to continuing to serve,” said Terrence M. Sawyer, JD, President of Loyola “We have been blessed by Fr. Amiot’s leadership, his love for Loyola and our Jesuit mission, his active participation and his commitment to our university.
Elected to the Board of Trustees in October 2018, Fr. Amiot has served on the Board’s Advancement and Enrollment Management Committee and, most recently, the Student Development Committee.
“In his time on the board, Fr. Amiot brought not only a passion for Jesuit liberal arts education, but also an invaluable commitment to our students and their experience,” said Gerry Holthaus, 71, Chairman of the Board “We will miss his leadership, his insight and his enthusiasm for the work, as well as his warmth and sense of humor.”
When Fr. Amiot started as special assistant to the vice president for student development in 2007, Susan Donovan, Ph.D., served as the vice president for student development. Later executive vice president of Loyola and now president of Bellarmine University, Donovan recalls that Fr. Amiot came to Loyola from his role as president of Cheverus High School, a Jesuit school in Portland, Maine.
“Father. Amiot was a wonderful person and a caring, caring Jesuit. His academic discipline was psychology and he understood people. He contributed greatly to the division and the campus community. There were many assignments that others would have shunned (including the College Board on Discipline), but Fr. Amiot always stepped in and stepped up,” she said.
Donovan and her husband, Bill Donovan, Ph.D., Professor skilled of history, recalls Fr. Amiot’s ability to bring the meaning of the Gospel to the daily lives of his listeners in his homilies at the Memorial Chapel for Elders.
“I appreciated his outspoken ability to raise concerns, but he was also open to differing opinions and would reconsider his position when others brought thoughtful counter-arguments to his position,” she said. “He embodied his Jesuit training in discernment and contemplation. His spirit and compassion for others will be missed. Her laugh was contagious and her endearing personality was unique.
Prof. Amiot had earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Louis University, a master’s degree in theology/divinity from the Weston School of Theology at Boston College, and a historical/pastoral theology from the School of Divinity at St. Louis University, and a Ph.D. in Counselor Education/Educational Guidance and Human Development from the University of Iowa.
Jen Lowry, Ph.D., faculty chair and associate professor of psychology, recalls working with him on the internationalization and Ignatian citizenship components of the last strategic plan, The Ignatian Compass: Guiding Loyola University of Maryland to Ever Greater Excellence.
“He was a wonderful, kind, caring person with a wry sense of humor and an infectious laugh. A brilliant mind, sparkling eyes, a mischievous smile and a genuine, empathetic human being who had a knack for being direct in his thoughts and kind in his delivery,” Lowry recalls. “We had fun conversations about psychology and human nature through psychological and philosophical lenses, especially Freud and existentialism. He was a wise counselor and a good friend, and I will miss him dearly.
Christina Spearman, Ed.D., assistant vice president for career development, recalls working with Fr. Amiot when she was director of student life. He supported student development work by participating in the student conduct process and serving on the university’s disciplinary board.
“Father. Amiot always brought a beautiful sense of responsibility and nurturing. He was deeply invested in the people who would go through the process, getting to know them as individuals, and working with the members of the Disciplinary Board of college, trying to help them develop appropriate opportunities to learn from the bad choices they had made and to learn more about themselves and their values,” Spearman said. “He was joyful. joy in work even when it was hard.
When Fr. Amiot returned to Loyola as a board member four years ago, Spearman enjoyed reconnecting with him and seeing him apply his understanding of student development to the work of the board.
“He was so invested and engaged in anything we brought to administrators who needed their advice or guidance, especially when we were talking about the changing nature of our students. Whether it was related to COVID or mental health or any topic, he was very open and supportive of people working in student development,” she said. “He was just a supporting figure and he had a great connection to the job.”
Prof. Amiot was born on June 14, 1949 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, entered the novitiate at Shadowbrook in Lenox, Massachusetts on August 14, 1967 and was ordained on June 4, 1978 at the College of the Holy Cross. He made his perpetual vows at the Collège Sainte-Croix on June 14, 1990.
The Loyola University of Maryland community prayed for Fr. Amiot for the intentions of the 5:00 p.m. Mass on Sunday, September 4 at the Alumni Memorial Chapel. The Jesuit community of Loyola offered a mass on Monday, September 5 for the repose of its soul.
Sunday, Sept. 11, 3 p.m.-5 p.m. and 7 p.m.-9 p.m.
Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel
1076 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10028
Christian burial mass
Monday, September 12 at 10:30 a.m.
St. Ignatius of Loyola Church
980 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10028
The liturgy will be broadcast live on this youtube site.
Interment will be at Campion Center Cemetery, Weston, Massachusetts on Tuesday, September 13.