June 4, 2007

Rev. G. Thomas Krettek, SJ
Provincial Wisconsin Province
P.O. Box 080288
Milwaukee, WI 53208-0288

Dear Tom,
            Since we have just learned of Fr. Robert North's death, I want you and the entire Wisconsin Province to know that we at the Pontifical Biblical Institute will be remembering him in our Masses and prayers.
            Bob North spent much of his active apostolic life at the Biblical Institute,  and even though he moved on in his later years his memory has remained very much a part of us. As you know, Bob was an extraordinary Jesuit and scholar. He was an indefatigable worker and a genius at languages. Generations of students at the Biblical Institute knew him as a stimulating and provocative teacher and admired him for his constant intellectual honesty. The caravans that he led through the Holy Land and Middle East enabled so many of our students to come into contact with the lands of the Bible and they profited greatly from this since they were able to see things through his eyes. In addition to his teaching and writing, one of his great contributions to the Institute, and to biblical studies for scholars around the world, was his production of the Elenchus Bibliographicus Biblicus, an indispensable tool for anyone working in the biblical field. He devoted himself to this outstanding work for twenty years, from 1980 to 2000.
            He was active as a scholar not only here in Rome, but was a visiting professor in many places around the world: St. Louis University, Marquette University, Canisius College in Sydney, Australia, Bellarmine College, Baguio, Philippenes, Daegun College in Kwang-Ju, Korea, Michigan University, Windsor University, Gonzaga University in Spokane and in Seoul, Korea. He was President of the Catholic Biblical Association of America during the year 1983-84. He was superior and director of the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Jerusalem from 1956 to 1959.
            In addition to his scholarly activities, he was an exemplary Jesuit priest and delightful community companion. There was never any lack of conversation at table or in the recreation room when Bob was around. His passing gives us the opportunity to thank God for Bob's vocation to the Society of Jesus and for his dedication to the religious life and to the life of biblical scholarship. May he rest in peace!

Sincerely in Our Lord,

Stephen Pisano, SJ
Rector – Pontifical Biblical Institute