Mauricio Gaborit, S.J.: 1947-2023
Former Saint Louis University psychology professor and Madrid associate dean and vice president Mauricio Gaborit, S.J., died Saturday, March 4, 2023. He was 75 years old, a Jesuit for 57 years, and a priest for 44 years.
Remembered by his Jesuit brothers for both his scholarship and his commitment to social justice, he Was remembered in a Mass of Christian Burial at the chapel of St. Ignatius Hall in Florissant on Saturday, March 11, 2023.
Gaborit was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on Dec. 30, 1947. His parents, Armando Gaborit and Consuelo Pino de Gaborit, preceded him in death. He is survived by his brother Fernando and his sisters, Martha Gaborit de Kamper and Norma Regina Gaborit de Callejas, as well as by several nephews and nieces.
He entered the Society of Jesus on June 30, 1965, at the Noviciado San Ignacio de Loyola in El Salvador and pronounced first vows on July 4, 1967. He was ordained to the priesthood on July 29, 1978, in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Tegucigalpa in Honduras. He pronounced final vows in the Society of Jesus on March 24, 1999, in the Parroquia Cristo Liberador in El Salvador.
From 1973 to 1974, Mauricio taught psychology at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras. He then spent one year in New York City working for the United Nations on a U.N. development program; he would return to work at the U.N. for another year in 1978.
In 1979, he began doctoral studies in social psychology at the University of Michigan. He was awarded a Ph.D. in 1984, after which he returned to teach at the National University of Honduras in Tegucigalpa for one year before returning to the University of Michigan as a research associate for two years.
In 1987 he was missioned to Saint Louis University as a professor of psychology, where he remained until 1996, with the years 1992-96 spent at the university’s Madrid campus as associate dean and vice president.
From 1996 until 2022, he was a professor of psychology at the Universidad Centroamericana in San Salvador, El Salvador. There he also served as the chair of the psychology department and director of the graduate program in psychology.
He returned to St. Louis in 2022 for health reasons.
Over the years, Fr. Gaborit published numerous papers and books on such topics as addiction, immigrant children, the memory of victims killed in the Salvadoran civil war or by military incursions, the psychology of trauma (e. hurricanes or earthquakes), and the psychology of liberation.
In El Salvador, he regularly drove the hourlong trip to the small village of Nueva Trinidad to celebrate Mass, and he established a small house in the city of San Salvador where young men from that village were able to pursue their education at the Universidad Centroamericana.
Father Gaborit exemplified the Society of Jesus’ commitment to faith and justice, both in his distinguished scholarship and in his humble pastoral and social care for those on the margins of his own society.
He studied for two years at the Instituto Superior de Humanidades Clásicas in Quito, Ecuador, 1967-69, before going to St. Louis to study philosophy at Saint Louis University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1971 and a master’s in social psychology in 1973. He earned his M. Div. at the Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, Mass. in 1979.