Saint Louis University

Ralph Renner, S.J., an alumnus and former student counselor and academic advisor at Saint Louis University, died Sunday, June 23. He was 74.

Ralph Renner, S.J.

A Jesuit for nearly 57 years, Father Renner entered the Society of Jesus at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant, Mo., on August 8, 1956. He completed a B.A. in philosophy at SLU (A&S '62) and also studied music at Washington University.

After teaching Latin and directing the jazz band at Regis Jesuit High School in Denver from 1965 to 1967, he studied theology at SLU. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 4, 1970, at the St. Louis Cathedral.

Following his ordination, Father Renner taught music and directed the concert and jazz bands at Saint Louis University High School. As chair of the music department, he helped develop both the choral and instrumental music programs. He completed Master's in music theory at Washington University in 1980.

The following year, Father Renner moved into university work, serving in campus ministry at Creighton University while completing a Master's in counseling. From 1988 to 2001, he worked as a student counselor and academic advisor at SLU, where much of his work was with international students, whom he helped adjust to a new culture and guide through the complexities of university life.

Michael Barber, S.J., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said Father Renner's life touched many around him.

"He served as a quiet, gentle presence, as someone who could listen well to people's concerns, whether it was students struggling with personal problems, deciding what course their academic development should take or those navigating the shoals of trying to live in a new culture."

During that time Father Renner also completed a Ph.D. (A&S '89) in Education with a focus in Counseling.

From 2004 to 2013, Father Renner worked as an assistant editor at the Institute of Jesuit Sources in St. Louis. Included among his projects was a translation of "Paris in the Time of Ignatius of Loyola, 1528-1535," by Philippe Lécrivain.

Father Renner is survived by his brother, Michael Renner, and sisters, Mary Behan, Laurie Walters and Ann Stein.

Visitation will take place from 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, June 26, at St. Francis Xavier College Church, and will be followed at 7 p.m. by a funeral Mass. Burial is at 9 a.m. Thursday, June 27, at Calvary Cemetery.