Steuart, Robert Henry

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Jesuit spiritual writer; b. Reigate, Surrey, April 13, 1874; d. London, July 9, 1948. Father Steuart, a Scot, claimed descent from Robert Bruce, who defeated the English at Bannockburn in 1314. He was educated with the Benedictines, and was destined for the Navy, but was failed for a trivial physical cause. This was a bitter disappointment; but he eventually found his vocation as a Jesuit. He served as chaplain to the forces in World War I, and wrote a moving account of life in the trenches called March, Kind Comrade. He was superior at Farm Street, London (192635). As a retreat master Steuart clothed the Ignatian Exercises with his own very original thought and expression, and inspired many to move forward on the path to perfection. His teaching was Christocentric, his favorite theme "I live; now not I, but Christ liveth in me." He had dry humor, clear vision, and a keen insight into souls. He was a pioneer in encouraging the formation of modern secular institutes, and anticipated the Church's return to constant invocation of the Holy Spirit. Above all, he is remembered as a master of the life of prayer.

Bibliography: r. h. j. steuart, The Inward Vision (New York 1929); Temples of Eternity (New York 1931); Diversity in Holiness (New York 1937); The Two Voices, ed. c. c. martindale (Westminster, Md. 1952); Spiritual Teaching, ed. k. kendall (Westminster, Md. 1952). k. kendall, Father Steuart: A Study of His Life and Teaching (London 1950).

[k. kendall]