Date of death: 4/14/2023
Saint Meinrad Class: O 1978
Father Christopher P. Pinné, SJ, died April 14, 2023, in St. Louis. He was 70 years old, a Jesuit for 41 years and a priest for 35 years. Father Christopher Pinné was born in Easton, Pennsylvania, on May 27, 1952. His parents, Frederick J. Pinné and Alice T. Pinné, preceded him in death. He is survived by his brothers and sisters-in-law: Allan (Nancy) M. Pinne; Frederick “Rick” (Wendy) Pinné, III; and Terence (Susan) G. Pinné, as well as his brothers in the Society of Jesus. A graduate of Rockhurst University, he entered the Society of Jesus on Aug. 27, 1981, in Denver, after acquiring both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in theology. He pronounced first vows on Aug. 21, 1983, and was ordained a priest on June 12, 1987, at St. Francis Xavier College Church. He pronounced final vows on Oct. 3, 1994.
Father Christopher P. Pinné began his Jesuit ministry in 1983 at De Smet Jesuit High School in St. Louis, where he taught religion. Following his theology studies and ordination, he returned to De Smet Jesuit in 1988 as dean of students, religion teacher and counselor. In 1993, he was assigned to Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, Mo., where he taught theology and served as superior of the Jesuit community. He served as interim president there for part of the 1999-2000 school year. Following a sabbatical, Fr. Pinné returned to St. Louis, where for six years he was the provincial assistant for vocations, associate director of the advancement office and coordinator of the Alum Service Corps program. Father Pinné’s life took a dramatic turn in the spring of 2007, when he was struck by a car. Some months later, his back began giving him serious trouble, resulting in the first of three painful surgeries, the last of which left him paralyzed from the waist down. Throughout the ordeal of multiple recoveries and then adjustment to life in a wheelchair, Fr. Pinné inspired many with his cheerful, hopeful and determined spirit. During this time, from 2007 to 2011, Fr. Pinné taught theology and served as chaplain at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colo.
In 2011, health needs necessitated a return to St. Louis, but always wanting to be of service, he served as chaplain of the Saint Louis University Law School. Father Pinné returned to the classroom at St. Louis University High School in 2014 and moved to De Smet Jesuit in 2016 to serve as campus minister. He returned to pastoral ministry at Jesuit Hall in 2017 and moved with his community to St. Ignatius Hall in St. Louis County in January 2023. He never ceased being the compassionate, encouraging, prayerful priest that so many students and colleagues had come to know. Father Pinné earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and theology at Rockhurst University, a master’s degree at Saint Louis University, and both Bachelor of Sacred Theology and a Master of Divinity at Regis College in Toronto, Ontario.