Father Robert Croken, former Director of the LRI and co-editor of four volumes in the Collected Works of Lonergan, went to his eternal reward early Friday morning, 1 March 2013 at Rene Goupil House in Pickering, Ontario. He was in his 80th year of his life and in religious life for 59 years. Bob was born in Emerald, Prince Edward Island, the son of Cornelius and Margaret Hammill. After schooling of 6 years in the neighboring town of Kinkora and at St. Dunstan’s University, he entered the Society at Guelph on 7 September 1953. He did one year philosophy at the seminary in Toronto in 1957 and two more years at Mount St. Michael’s, Spokane. His regency took place at Loyola High School, Montreal and theology followed in 1962 at the new Regis College in the Toronto suburb of Willowdale. He was ordained a priest on 5 June 1965 and did tertianship at St. Beuno’s in Wales.
Bob began further studies in theology in 1967 at Fordham University, Bronx, N.Y. Upon receiving his degree, after 4 years he moved back to Toronto to begin lecturing in theology at St. Augustine’s Seminary and at the Toronto School of Theology. In 1977 he was appointed Rector of Regis College and continued his teaching assignment. He went back to Guelph in 1984 to become Rector of Ignatius College and ended his term in 1990.
After a sabbatical he became Director in 1991 of the Lonergan Research Institute. When his term as Director ended in 2001 he continued on at the LRI as a valued collaborator and writer. Bob was co-editor of four volumes in the CWL: 6 (Papers 1958-1964), 17 (Papers 1965-1980), 20 (Shorter Papers), and 22 (Early Works on Theological Method I). He was also the author of a volume on Luther’s views of the Eucharist as sacrifice.
By 2008 Bob was increasingly afflicted with memory loss, resulting in confusion and inability to carry on detailed conversations. While still healthy and active, he decided it would be better to move to Pickering. Bob had given up driving and thus his pastoral ministry in the archdiocese came to an end. A quiet and reflective Jesuit, Bob was an attentive listener and enjoyed good conversation. He was a calming presence in any community he lived in.
May the angels lead him to paradise.