Born August 25, 1955, Fr. Linnane entered the Society of Jesus in 1977 and was ordained to the Roman Catholic priesthood on June 14, 1986. He earned an A.B. degree, magna cum laude, from Boston College in 1977 and an M.A. from Georgetown University’s Department of Government in 1981 before undertaking divinity studies at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, where he received a master’s degree in 1986 and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology in 1988. He earned master’s degrees from the Yale department of Religious Studies in 1990 and 1991, and a Ph.D. in religious studies concentrating in religious ethics in 1994.