Fr. Mathewson Memorial Mass Set for Dec. 10

Posted: December 7, 2020

On Thursday, Dec. 10th, at 5:30 p.m., the Bellarmine Jesuit Community will live stream a Memorial Mass in honor of Fr. Bob Mathewson, S.J., who passed away On Dec. 6th.

All are invited to join the Mass by visiting

Fr. Mathewson, known by many affectionately as “Fr. Mat,” was a powerful, innovative force who left a legacy of goodness wherever he ministered in the Province, particularly at Bellarmine, Brophy, and Loyola.

As a respected former Principal and President, he made tremendous and greatly needed improvements to the schools where he worked. Notably, he hired the first female faculty member at Bellarmine when he hired Joan Lundgard as our Librarian more than 50 years ago, as commemorated on a dedication plaque at the Mathewson Library Classroom. Fr. Mathewson also changed the schedule at Bellarmine to meet the needs of individual students and introduced a weekly rotation, an innovation that was soon adopted by all the other Jesuit schools in the then California Province.

Fr. Mathewson also was instrumental in fundraising, and the generosity of his family has made a meaningful difference to families, students, and school communities throughout the Province. In the many years that he worked at Bellarmine, his heart was always with students in need as he shepherded and counseled those who received tuition assistance while also ensuring that their logistical and financial needs were met. This compassionate stewardship was the catalyst for the establishment many years ago of the Fr. Robert Mathewson, S.J. Tuition Assistance Endowment at Bellarmine, and of the school’s Charles N. Mathewson Direct Tuition Assistance Fund in recognition of Fr. Mat’s brother and Bellarmine's longtime benefactor.

An informative feature about Fr. Mathewson may be read on page 4 of the Spring 2020 edition of the Jesuits West publication, Mission, and additional insight about him may be read in the Behind the Collar piece in the Summer 2013 edition of Bellarmine College Prep Magazine on page 29. In that profile, Fr. Mathewson shared that his personal philosophy was to “accentuate the positive.” That is certainly appropriate when one reflects on the tremendous positive influence he had on countless students and families during his life and apostolic ministries in Jesuit secondary education.

His passing occurred on St. Nicholas Day, a saint known for his service to others, especially children and those in need. Please pray for Fr. Mathewson, his family, his brother Jesuits, and all who knew and loved him.

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