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In Memoriam: Rev. Dennis McNally, S.J.

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Published: May 7, 2020

Total reading time: 2 minutes

Rev. Dennis McNally, S.JLongtime faculty member, gifted artist, inspiring mentor and devoted Jesuit priest, Rev. Dennis McNally, S.J., passed away unexpectedly but peacefully on May 6 in his room at the Loyola Center. Fr. McNally has served Saint Joseph’s University loyally since 1975, chairing the Department of Fine and Performing Arts for 22 years and guiding aspiring artists.

Fr. McNally excelled at developing and teaching new courses in a variety of media and subjects ranging from ceramics and figurative sculpture to architectural history and art education. He also enjoyed leading students through immersive experiences in other cities and cultures. He taught study abroad classes in five cities and traveled on service immersion trips with students to Tijuana and Appalachia.

Additionally, Fr. McNally has presided over hundreds of alumni weddings.

A prolific painter, Fr. McNally’s work is inspired by his faith and he likened the process of painting to prayer. He generously shared his art with others and hoped that it would inspire them to pray.

“Fr. McNally has left an indelible mark on our University, on countless students throughout his more than four decades on campus, and on his colleagues and Jesuit brothers,” says University President Mark C. Reed, Ed.D. “He will be missed, as will his creativity and spirituality.”

The University was set to award Fr. McNally the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching this spring and will do so posthumously in his honor.

Memorial donations made in Fr. McNally's honor will support immediate financial aid and scholarship needs for students, especially in these unprecedented times. Donations may also be directed to the Corpus Christi Fund, established by Fr. McNally and the Jesuit community to support art students. For more information, visit

To view and inquire about purchasing Fr. McNally's artwork, please visit