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Tenny Wright

On June 17, longtime profressor of religious studies Tennant (Tenny) Wright, S.J., '63 STL (Licentiate in Sacred Theology) died at the age of 87. He was born in Los Angeles on September 16, 1927, the son of Tennant C. Wright, Sr., a film director and Warner Brothers executive, and Marion McMahon Wright.

Wright graduated from Loyola High School, Los Angeles, and after earning his BA in English at Loyola Marymount University, he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Los Gatos in 1950. He earned further degrees in English at Gonzaga University, theology at Santa Clara, and pursued graduate studies in religious studies at the University of Chicago. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1962.

His 58-year association with Santa Clara University began as an instructor in English, 1956-1959. After ordination, he returned to Santa Clara as teacher of theology, 1964-1967, and senior lecturer of religious studies, 1969-2008. Following his formal retirement from teaching he continued to teach and keep active in ministry. For many years he spent one semester a year teaching Religious Studies at St. John's College, Belize, and doing pastoral ministry there.

Tenny was a man of many interests. His concern with social justice issues resulted in correspondence with presidents, prime ministers, members of Congress, and activists. His interest in literature resulted in a long time correspondence with Graham Greene. He also taught for a brief time in Xiamen, China, studied Zen Buddhism in Japan, and he served the Diocese of San Jose in his ministry to incarcerated youth and their families as well as to the Emmaus Community of LGBT Catholics. He also published articles and op-ed pieces in a number of newspapers and periodicals on a variety of religious and social subjects.

submitted Jun. 28, 2015 5:14P

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