JS: Priest revived tradition of Marquette Law School chaplain

After a career teaching religious studies at Seattle University in Washington state, Richard Sherburne, a Jesuit Catholic priest, traveled and spent time at his cabin on Vancouver Island before returning home to Milwaukee.

He served as chaplain of the Marquette University Law School from 2002 to 2008, where Janine Geske, then interim dean, hired the Shorewood native after she decided to revive a long tradition of having a chaplain serve at the law school.

"I wanted someone who would mix well with students, who was a good listener, somebody who's not dogmatic," Geske said in an interview for the spring 2005 edition of Marquette Lawyer.

His office hours were held in the student lounge during the bustling noon hour. His demeanor: low-key, a style influenced by his lifelong study of Buddhism and Eastern religions.

Sherburne died on Sept. 28 after a long illness and had resided at St. Camillus in Wauwatosa since 2008, according to his sister, Cecile Smith. He was 87.

He was a graduate of Marquette University High School and he received his bachelor's and master's degrees in classics at St. Louis University. He was ordained at Church of the Gesu in 1956 and finished his Jesuit training in Decatur, Ill.

His service at the law school after retirement was his second stint working at Marquette. He taught classics, advised foreign students and served three years as dean of students at the university earlier in his career.

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