It is with great trust in God's mercy, that we announce the death of Fr. John Janko Zagar, O.P., who passed quietly in his sleep around 2am on May 1, 2013 (the memorial of St. Joseph the Worker).
Fr. Janko was born in Croatia in 1921 and professed his first vows there in 1944, before immigrating to the United States and transfiliating to the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus (Western Dominican Province). After earning an STL and MA from Blackfriars and the University of Oxford, and a PhD from the University of Paris (Sorbonne), Fr. Janko spent many years in the province as a professor of moral theology at St. Albert's College and the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology. A few of his course offerings included: "The Origin and Formulation of Christian Social Philosophy" and "Basic Social Values in Light of Christian Social Ethics." In addition to his duties as a teacher, Fr. Janko was tasked with serving as Regent of Studies for the province from 1969 to 1975, as well as Academic Dean at the Dominican School from 1977 to 1984.
In 1984, near the end of his term, Fr. Janko published Acting on Principles: A Thomistic Perspective in Making Moral Decisions. His concise yet thoughtful style made the book a primer for those trying to understand St. Thomas Aquinas' contribution to the Catholic moral tradition. Although out-of-print for a few years, it was recently republished in 2010 and can be found through a number of online booksellers.
In his final years of retirement here at St. Albert's, Fr. Janko contributed to our common life in a number of ways. The birdfeeder outside his window attracted birds and squirrels alike, and provided him, and the brothers who came to his room, with great joy. Through his prayers and daily offering of Mass, as well as his willingness to serve as a spiritual director and confessor to the brothers, he provided support and stood as a model of Dominican life.
May 7 at 7:30pm -- Fr. Janko's Funeral Vigil (Compline in private)
May 8 at 10am -- Fr. Janko's Funeral Mass (followed by burial)