The Rev. Edward J. Small, S.J., a member of the Fairfield Jesuit Community, died Jan. 18, 2010, at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Newton, Mass., after an extended illness.

He was born in Bridgeport on Nov. 12, 1939, the only child of Edward J. Sr. and Bernice E. (Billingslea) Small.

After his graduation from Fairfield Prep in 1957, Small entered the New England Province of the Society of Jesus at Bellarmine College, Plattsburg, N.Y. Following the Jesuit course of studies, he was ordained to the priesthood at St. Ignatius Church, Chestnut Hill, Mass., on June 6, 1970, by Richard J. Cardinal Cushing. In addition to receiving a bachelor and master's degrees in philosophy, Small earned a M. Div. from Weston Jesuit School of Theology and a master's in English literature from the University of San Francisco.

Small spent apostolic life in two important areas of service: high school education and parochial ministry. He taught English at Boston College High School, Dorchester, Mass.; St. Ignatius High School, in San Francisco; Bishop Connolly High School, Fall River, Mass.; and Fairfield Prep, Fairfield. He served as parochial vicar in several parishes in the Diocese of Bridgeport, including St. Lawrence, Huntington; St. Rose, Newtown; Christ the King, Trumbull; St. Mary's, Ridgefield; Our Lady of Grace, Stratford; and Holy Family, Fairfield. For many years, Small also served as the chaplain for the Ancient Order of Hibernian's (AOH) -- John F. Kennedy Division, and was involved with the AOH on both state and national levels.

In addition to his brother Jesuits, Small is survived by several cousins.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Jan. 26 in the Campion Center, Weston, Mass., where he was interred in the Jesuit Cemetery. A memorial Mass for Small will be celebrated today, March 3, at 7 p.m., at Holy Family Church, 700 Old Stratfield Road, Fairfield.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Fairfield Jesuit Community Scholarship Fund, 1073 North Benson Road, Fairfield, CT 06824 c/o Rev. Walter J. Conlan, S.J., Rector.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Lesko & Polke Funeral Home of Fairfield. To sign an online register, visit