A California native, Fr. Buckley, joined the United States Navy when he was 18 years old. After serving for two years, he left to attend the University of Santa Clara in northern California. He received a B.A. in 1950, after which he entered the Society of Jesus. He went on to receive two master’s degrees — one in history and the other in philosophy — from Gonzaga University. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1962 and completed a Ph.D. in history from the University of Paris, Sorbonne, in 1967.
In his many years of working with young adults, Fr. Buckley has taught at the University of Santa Clara, Gonzaga University, and the St. Ignatius Institute at the University of San Francisco. He also served as president of St. Ignatius College Preparatory High School in San Francisco, and later as acting dean of the University of San Francisco. From 1994-2000 he was director of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars and has been a trustee on the boards of the University of San Francisco and St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park, Calif.
Fr. Buckley is widely published, having authored his own works and collaborated on others as co-author or translator. His publications include Your Word, O Lord … Meditations for College Students and Anyone Else and When Jesuits Were Giants, both published by Ignatius Press; and a translation of Simon Decloux’ The Ignatian Way, published by Loyola University Press.Fr. Buckley celebrated his Golden Jubilee in 2012 and was honored by the College on this occasion with a reception for his friends and former students in San Francisco, his long-time home. In recent years, Fr. Buckley has turned his focus to spiritual direction and enjoys working with college students, helping them develop their relationship with Christ and grow in their love for God. Fr. Buckley joined the College in August 2004.