Sacramental Priest, St. Alphonsus Rodriguez Church
Fr. Gillespie entered the Society of Jesus in 1964 and was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1972. For two decades he pastored parishes in the Carolinas and Georgia: seven years in the Charlotte Diocese, six years in the Raleigh Diocese, and five years in the Savannah Diocese and about three years in the Charleston Diocese. He has also served as a retreat director in the dioceses of Dallas and Allentown.
Fr. Gillespie holds a Master of Divinity Degree, a Master’s Degree in Philosophy from Boston College and a Doctorate in Sociology from the University of Texas in Austin (with concentration in Social Demography). He has worked for about three years in Latin America, including Chile (2 years), Brazil (6 months), Mexico and Paraguay (two months each) and over a half dozen other Spanish American countries. He has also lived three months in the Middle East, including two months in Jordan, with brief stints in Iraq, Lebanon, and Israel. In addition to his pastoral assignments, he has also taught at different levels, e.g., in the Jesuit grade school in Osorno, Chile while also coaching basketball there, and at St. Joseph’s University where he was a tenured faculty member in the Sociology Department. He was a research director and later Executive Director of CARA at Georgetown University where he conducted survey research for religious orders and dioceses. He has published in the areas of emigration, mortality, religiosity of undergraduates, priestly vocations and on the Church’s liturgical calendar. Fr. Gillespie is Philadelphia born of Irish immigrant parents, has two brothers who are priests, one of whom is the Jesuit pastor at Holy Trinity parish in Washington, D.C., and the other is a semi-retired diocesan priest of the Raleigh Diocese. Fr. Gillespie is the assigned Sacramental Priest at St. Alphonsus Rodriguez parish in Woodstock, Md.