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Dec 9, 2002

Senior Belizean Jesuit dead at 90

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Belize’s longest serving Jesuit priest has died at the age of ninety. Father Charles Hunter passed away on Saturday in St. Louis, Missouri. He had been flown there from Belize last week following a fall in which he broke his hip. He died from complications brought on by the surgery. Father Hunter, born in 1912 in Belize City, originally sought a career as an attorney and was studying law at Oxford University in England. But the hurricane of 1931 and the death of so many priests and scholastics in that disaster led Father Hunter to change his plans. He entered St. Stanislas Seminary in Florissant, Missouri in 1932. Both before and following his ordination in 1945 he held a number of teaching posts in St. Louis, where he specialized in Latin and Greek. For ten years he was the master of novices at the seminary and ironically played a major role in the formation of many U.S. Jesuits who went on to work in Belize. In 1974, at the invitation of the Provincial, he finally received the opportunity to return home. Father Hunter became a member of the faculty at both the high school and sixth form of St. John’s College where he taught English and theology in addition to pioneering the teaching of Caribbean literature. It was Belize’s connection to Caribbean arts, language and culture that stimulated father Hunter during the last third of his life, much as the Greek and Latin classics had consumed him in his earlier years. Although he eventually retired from teaching, Father Hunter kept very busy on his regional studies, writing numerous articles and conducting retreats for priests, nuns and lay Catholic leaders. Charles Theodore Hunter, dead at the age of ninety.


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