For Jesuit Father James McCann, it all started with taking a course in the Russian language while in high school.
“They were offering different languages” to students, said Father McCann, 61, a Chicago native. “I probably put down Russian as my third choice. But what I think they did was that they took everyone who put Russian down as any choice at all and put them into the class.”
As providence would have it, McCann liked learning Russian. That led to an interest in almost anything having to do with the East.
That interest led to his current stop, a seven-year stint as head of the U.S. bishops’ Office to Aid the Church in Central and Eastern Europe.
It will play an important role in his next assignment, as rector of the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome.
Read more about McCann’s new appointment here.