Passing of John Melloh, S.M.

mellohWe regret to share the sad news of the passing of Rev. John Melloh, S.M., PhD,  a friend, mentor and colleague of so many. John passed away in late December while visiting family in Florida. 

John was a member of the Society of Mary (Marianists). He received an A.B. in Philosophy and Mathematics along with a B.S. in Education at the University of Dayton. An M.A. in Liturgical Studies from the University of Notre Dame was followed by a Ph.D. from St. Louis University in Historical Theology.

John was past president of the Catholic Association of Teachers of Homiletics (CATH) and a charter member of the international homiletics society Societas Homiletica. With William Storey, he served as co-editor of Praise God in Song: Ecumenical Daily Prayer and also PGIS: Night Prayer.  He lectured widely in the U.S., Canada, England, and Australia.

He served on the faculty of the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, where he served as director of the then Center for Pastoral Liturgy from 1979-1984. Later, he founded the Marten Program in Homiletics and Liturgics. He retired in 2008. 

Funeral services are planned for this coming week at the Chapel of the Marianist Community in Mineola, NY.


  1. Quite interesting. I did not know he was a Marianist. I graduated Chaminade, but never heard of Fr. Melloh. Perhaps he is also an alumnus of the high school.

    I bitterly disliked the Marianist’s decidedly progressive liturgy, but the priests and brothers were very orthodox theologically. I will be sure to read Fr. Melloh’s works, if only because of the intersection of a common education.

    1. He was by far the greatest teacher I ever had while attending Chaminade High School in Hollywood Florida. The best teacher period anywhere. He had plenty of competition both at Chaminade and college.

  2. A remarkable teacher and writer. Always wanted to make sure the liturgy made sense. A pillar in liturgical teaching and in taking the time to talk things through. Thanks Praytell for the notice.

  3. One of my favorite of his works was “The Prayer of Participation.” It appeared as a chapter in Children, Liturgy, and Music, edited by Virgil Funk in 1990. I continue to refer to it to this day.
    Thank you!!

  4. Thank you for posting this note about John’s passing. John had great faith in and hope for all the students he taught. I am grateful to have known him.

  5. John Melloh played an important role in the middle years of implementing the vernacular Liturgy in English. He had a great spirit about him. I too am grateful to have known him.

  6. John Melloh’s Thursday morning HOMILETICS class was always a welcome break from the rigors of ND liturgical studies. I shall always remember the look on his face when in response to an assignment to prepare a homily for a children’s eucharist, I showed up with my blind puppet named Bartimaeus. A year later, his recommendations on bibliographical precision greatly improved my M.A. thesis.

  7. I met John when he was filling in for Mark Searle’s ritual studies class at ND —- doing it well. He was engaging and helped me to appreciate the liturgy and it’s beautiful ritual. His sharing of poetry, music, scripture, words of the liturgy – weaved a beautiful garment. Thank you, John.

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