During my Fordham days I’d often have an opportunity to hear and talk occasionally with a Jesuit named Fr. Vinny O’Keefe and certainly my Jesuit friends would talk often about the former superior general, Fr. Pedro Arrupe and also Fr. Vinny O’Keefe, SJ, the Vicar General of the Society who was an amazing guy who was always friendly to us students when he came around and often had great stories to tell.
He was the right hand man to Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ who was the great superior general of the Jesuits as the church moved into the period following the Second Vatican Council. Once Arrupe became unable to lead the Jesuits after suffering a stroke, the Jesuits nominated Fr. Vinny as a type of interim to run the order until a successor could be found. Reportedly, Pope John Paul II didn’t like the idea of an American progressive running the Jesuits. The Pope then intervened by appointing a more traditional Jesuit to serve as the Jesuits’ interim leader. This caused quite a rift between the Jesuits and the Papacy at the time.
Jesuit filmmaker, Fr. Jim Mcdermott, SJ realized how important Fr. Vinny was to the society recently, and did a series of videos on his relationship to Arrupe. I found this one to be particularly on the mark:
Rest in peace, Vinny. You were a real treasure.