Director of Libraries, Ateneo de Manila University, 1959-1980, Fr. Robert J. Suchan, S.J. died of apparent heart failure 22 August 2015 according to Jesuit News.
Samson Lim (AB GS ’72), remembers him well his book To Give and Not to Count the Cost: Ateneans Inspiring Ateneans 1859-2009 (2010):
“As a student, I spent most of my free time in the Rizal Library, which was then under Fr. Robert Suchan. He was every bit the librarian we all imagine them to be—strict, stern, and perhaps, even to some people, scary. I remember how his mere presence could intimidate students that they would literally part like the Red Sea when they saw him approaching. I never talked to Fr. Suchan—I just knew his name, what he looked like, and how he never smiled, but I consider him one of my Ateneo heroes, whose work contributed significantly to what I am today…
“Fr. Suchan protected the integrity of the library and demanded respect for the instituion. To him, rules were rules, and nobody was exempted. He made sure that the library was always a quiet and conducive place for reading and study. He expected everybody to behave and use the library solely for its intended purpose… Fr. Suchan may be unpopular to some students, but to us who frequented the library, he was an inspiration—an inspiration to be dedicated to our craft, to do things well, even against all odds…
“The lessons I learned, the books I read, the knowledge I gained from the Rizal Library helped mold me into what I am today, and that library would not have been what it was and is today if not for the strict, stern (and scary) librarian that was Fr. Suchan.”
Rizal Library posted his photo that best sums up his spirit:
Lord, let the virtue of Thy Holy Spirit descend on these books; let it purify, bless, and sanctify them. Sweetly enlighten the hearts of those who read them, impart their true sense to them. Grant us also to be faithful to the precepts emanating from Thy Light, in accomplishing them by good works, according to Thy Will.
(from a framed poster held by Fr. Robert J. Suchan SJ)
Schedule of Wake and Funeral Services Oratory of St. Ignatius, Loyola House of Studies Ateneo de Manila University Wake Masses Aug 23 Sunday 8PM Aug 24 Monday 8PM Funeral Mass Aug 25 Tuesday 8AM Interment at the Sacred Heart Novitiate Jesuit Cemetery follows after the mass.
I remember Fr. Bob as the Director of the Rizal Library here at the then Ateneo School of Arts and Sciences when we were studying as an undergrad back in the early 80’s. He was 89 years old, 71 years a Jesuit, 59 years a priest.
— Rizal Library (@Rizal_Library) August 22, 2015
Much of what the Rizal Library is today may be traced to the efforts of Fr. Bob Suchan. Please pray for the repose of his soul.