Fr Geoffrey Holt SJ
27 April 1912 – 28 September 2009
Thomas Geoffrey Holt (known as Geoffrey) was a historian, a writer and a Jesuit priest. He died at the Corpus Christi Jesuit Community in Boscombe, Dorset, on 28 September 2009, having recently marked 79 years as a member of the Society of Jesus.
Born in Hereford in 1912, Geoffrey was a pupil at Stonyhurst College and entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Roehampton at the age of 20. He studied philosophy at Heythrop College in Oxfordshire and achieved his BA in history at Campion Hall in Oxford. During the war years, he taught at Corby School in Sunderland and Stonyhurst College, before being awarded a Licentiate in Theology at Heythrop.
After three years of teaching at Mount St Mary’s College, Spinkhill, Geoffrey did his tertianship at St Beuno’s in North Wales in 1949 and then spent the next 16 years teaching at Stonyhurst College.
In 1966, he was appointed Assistant Archivist for the British Province, based in Mount Street in London, a position he held for the next 20 years until he became the Provincial Archivist in his own right. During this time, he wrote extensively about the history of the British Jesuits and became a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in London (1973) and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (1985). He also lectured in Church History at St John’s Seminary, Wonersh, from 1974 to 1979.
Geoffrey Holt’s articles covered many aspects of English Catholic history – from biographies of such celebrated figures as Cardinal Vaughan and St Thomas More, to recusant history and the suppression of the Society of Jesus. He remained Archivist Emeritus until he moved to the Corpus Christi Jesuit Community near Bournemouth when
it opened in 2007.
Fr Geoffrey Holt’s Requiem Mass will be celebrated at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street, London W1, on Tuesday, 6 October 2009 at 11am.
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