Fenton J. Melia, S.J.

No Date

Is there anyone in the Oregon Province who has not enjoyed the bounty of Brother Fenton Melia's kitchen?

Fenton entered the novitiate in Florissant, Missouri, in 1957 at the ripe old age of 31, his reputation as a cook already established in the merchant marines. After vows, he moved to Oregon's novitiate, no longer a novice but as cook. He's been cranking out meals for Jesuits ever since.

Every man at Sheridan during Bro. Melia's tenure will have his own favorite Fenton story as he valiantly tried to maintain silence among a kitchen crew of 18 and 19-year-olds for nine years, three meals a day.

"Brothers in Christ, who's got the whistle?"

But we all knew inside this Iron Chef beat a heart as soft as butter. From his bakery flowed an endless supply of home-baked breads, rolls, pies, cakes, cookies, and cinnamon rolls straight from heaven.

During his career, Fenton also cooked at the philosophate in Spokane, the boarding school in St. Marys, Alaska, and at the Loyola Renewal Center in Portland. Always a great baseball fan, he began refereeing for the Little League and, when he moved back to Spokane in 1998, he also began donating his time and talents at the House of Charity.

A famous chef once claimed, "Cooking done with care is an act of love." For over 40 years, Fenton Melia has served meals to the province and its guests always with a generous helping of love.

Copyright 2007 Society of Jesus, Oregon Province. All Rights Reserved.


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