Son of Raymond A. Schroth, of Trenton, N. J., a World War I hero and editorial writer and reporter for the Trenton Times, Brooklyn Eagle and New York Herald Tribune for over 40 years, and of Mildred (Murphy) Schroth, of Bordentown, N. J., a teacher in the Trenton public and Catholic school systems, Raymond A. Schroth, S.J., has spent his life as a Jesuit, journalist, and teacher.
After graduating from Fordham College in 1955--where he majored in American civilization, studied in Paris, and was editorial editor of the Fordham Ram--he served as an antiaircraft artillery officer in Germany for two years and joined the Society of Jesus in 1957. Ordained a priest in 1967, he obtained his PhD in American Thought and Culture at the George Washington University and taught journalism at Fordham until 1979. During that time he was also associate and book editor of Commonweal magazine.
After two years as academic dean of Rockhurst College in Kansas City, he became academic dean of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. In 1985-86 he held the Will and Ariel Durant Chair in the Humanities at Saint Peter's College in Jersey City. From 1986 to 1996 he taught journalism at Loyola University in New Orleans and was adviser to the Maroon, its award-winning newspaper. In 1995 the Southeast Journalism Conference named him Journalism Educator of the year. In 1996 he returned to Fordham as assistant dean of Fordham College Rose Hill and director of the Matteo Ricci Society, which prepares students to compete for prestigious fellowships. Meanwhile, from 1967 he served as a resident faculty member in the student residence halls.
He has published eight books, including: The Eagle and Brooklyn: A Community Newspaper (Greenwood); Books for Believers: 35 Books Every Catholic Should Read (Paulist); with Jeff Theilman, Volunteer: with the Poor in Peru (Paulist); and The American Journey of Eric Sevareid (Steerforth), a biography of the CBS commentator.
In 1999 he moved to Saint Peter's College, where he wrote two books: From Dante to Dead Man Walking: One Person's Journey through Great Religious Literature and Fordham: A History and Memoir, (Loyola Press in 2001-2002). In 2000 Saint Peter's College named him the Jesuit Community Professor in the Humanities. In Spring 2003 he was made editor of the national Jesuit university review, Conversations and will continue to serve in this position until 2013. His The American Jesuits: A History, (New York University Press, 2007), was followed by Bob Drinan: The Controversial Life of the First Catholic Priest Elected to Congress, (Fordham University Press, 2010). He taught a graduate journalism course at NYU in 2004 and journalism history at Brooklyn College in 2006.
In recent summers he has traveled to Gabon, South Africa, Peru, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, France, Thailand, Vietnam, Cuba, Indonesia, the Czech Republic, and China to educate himself, write articles, and take pictures. In 2003 his National Catholic Reporter media essays won the Catholic Press Association's best cultural columnist award. His over 300 articles on politics, religion, the media, and literature have appeared in many publications, including the Columbia Journalism Review, Commonweal, America, the New York Times Book Review, the Los Angeles Times, New York Newsday, Kansas City Star, Boston Globe and the Newark Star Ledger, where he was a weekly online columnist for several years. From time to time he lectures and appears on radio and TV. He is listed in Who's Who and Contemporary Authors. In his free time he swims, bikes, walks, reads, goes to movies and restaurants, and prays.