Father Parsons entered the Society of Jesus at St. Andrew-on-Hudson, Poughkeepsie, New York, where he took his first vows on August 15, 1905. He made his juniorate at St. Andrew (1905-1907), studied Philosophy at the college of St. John Berchman's Louvain, Belgium (1907-1910) and received minor Orders at Mechlin, Belgium (1908). The regency years were spent at Boston College High School (1910-1912 ), Loyola School in New York City(1912-1914), and Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts(1914-1915). After entering Woodstock (1915-1919), where he received Holy orders (May 18, 1919), he was sent in pursuit of graduate studies in theology at Gregorian University in Rome (1919-1921). He served as professor of Fundamental Theology at Woodstock and received his last vows feb. 2, 1923. Parsons was appointed Assistant Editor of America Magazine under Richard H. Tierney, S.J., its third editor. He was shortly afterwards appointed Editor-in-Chief (Feb. 25, 1925) after Father Tierney suffered a massive stroke, a post he held until 1936. From 1936-1940,Father Parsons served as Director of the Riggs Memorial Library and the university Archives of Georgetown University prior to serving as Georgetown Professor of Political Science (1937-1938). He, subsequently, served as Dean of the Georgetown University Graduate School (1938-1940) after which he held Catholic University's Chair of Political Philosophy. Parsons returned to Georgetown University in 1952 where he spent his remaining years as Professor of Political Science and writer/correspondant for America Magazine.
For more detailed biographical information concerning Father Parsons, consult the obituary pamphlet authored by John LaFarge,S.J., found in the America Magazine Archives, Box 51, Folder 13. In total, the Wilfrid Parsons Papers comprise 13 boxes [approx.19.5 linear feet] and contains 14 series.
It should be noted that much of this material contains items pertaining to America Magazine and which overlaps that found in the America Magazine Archives.