Archive for January, 2011

Jesuit Father Joseph M. O’Keefe Named 27th President of Saint Joseph’s University

Jesuit Father Joseph M. O’Keefe Share

Jesuit Father Joseph M. O’Keefe has been named the 27th president of Saint Joseph’s University. Fr. O’Keefe, who is currently the dean of the Lynch School of Education at Boston College, will take office May 18, 2011, succeeding Jesuit Father Timothy R. Lannon, who is leaving to become president of Creighton University.

A nationally and internationally renowned educator with expertise in urban Catholic schools, international comparative education and community service learning, O’Keefe holds a doctoral degree in administration, planning and social policy from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. He earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the College of the Holy Cross and master’s degrees in French literature and divinity from Fordham University and Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, respectively.

O’Keefe has been the dean at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education since 2005, after serving as the school’s associate dean (2001-03) and then interim dean (2003-05). He has written extensively about Catholic education and the challenges facing Catholic schools, both urban and rural, in the 21st century, with a focus on providing educational opportunities at all levels, particularly for those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and underserved populations.

O’Keefe also serves on the boards of Loyola University New Orleans and Marquette University. He has been a visiting scholar at Catholic University of America and Australian Catholic University and a visiting associate professor at Georgetown University, where he held the Jesuit Chair in Education.

Jesuit Shares Story of How His Mother Chose Life, Discusses Importance of Pro-Life Work

IMG_2415Today, pro-life groups from Jesuit high schools, colleges, universities and parishes from across the US are banding together as part of the Ignatian Pro Life Network’s annual Mass for Life & Rally on the Mall in Washington, DC.

The participants will gather on the Mall following today’s Mass for Life where they will hear from speakers and students before heading out to join others at the March for Life.

National Jesuit News recently spoke with the Ignatian Pro Life Network’s coordinator, Jesuit Father Phil Hurley about the importance of Jesuits and their partners to be involved in pro life advocacy work and Father Hurley shared with us his own personal story on why this work means so much to him in the video below.

Jesuit Father David Suwalsky Named President of Jesuit High School in Sacramento

Suwalsky Headshot


Jesuit High School in Sacramento, C.A., has chosen Jesuit Father David J. Suwalsky as its new president, with his term starting on July 1st.

Fr. Suwalsky is currently the treasurer and chief legal officer of the Missouri Province of the Society of Jesus and Minister of the Bellarmine House of Studies. He also serves on the boards of De Smet Jesuit High School and Loyola Academy in St. Louis, Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, and the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley.

The current president, the Jesuit Father Gregory Bonfiglio, announced in June that he would step down at the end of this school year.

“We strongly believe Father Suwalsky is the right person to lead Jesuit High School as its 12th President,” Kevin J. Ramos, chair of Jesuit’s board of trustees, said in a statement. “His extensive background in Jesuit education will be an asset to our student body and we look forward to his service.”

Jesuit High’s board of trustees unanimously elected Suwalsky to replace Bonfiglio.

Jesuit Principal Serves At-Risk Students at Portland Nativity School

Jesuit Father Jeff McDougallShare

Jesuit Father Jeff McDougall is principal of St. Andrew Nativity School in Portland, Oregon, which educates 60 middle school students, all from at-risk families with minimal income.

Members of St. Andrew Parish and the Jesuits began the school ten years ago to provide a Catholic education for at-risk children. Parents pay just $25 a term, and the students benefit from small classes and long hours.

Fr. McDougall employs proactive discipline, so students hear what is expected of them from the start. They are to be open to growth, intellectually competent, grateful, religious, loving and committed to justice.

“What we always tell them here is, ‘Keep trying,’” McDougall said.

Read more about this Nativity school sponsored by the Oregon Province at the Catholic Sentinel.

Jesuit Provincial Honors Volunteers for Ignatian Service

Jesuit Father Douglas Marcouiller thanked Jesuit Volunteer Gabby Alexander at a celebration honoring the three St. Louis-area volunteer programs.

Jesuit Father Douglas Marcouiller thanked Jesuit Volunteer Gabby Alexander at a celebration honoring St. Louis-area Ignatian volunteers.


Jesuit Father Douglas Marcouiller, provincial of the Missouri Province of the Society of Jesus, recently honored members of the three groups of lay volunteers working in St. Louis: the Alum Service Corps, the Ignatian Volunteer Corps and the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.

Fr. Marcouiller called the 42 Ignatian volunteers “a close-knit group of friends — friends with each other and the poor.”

At a Mass for the volunteers, Marcouiller said that the volunteers “see the spirit of God working in the world.”

Marcouiller said it is a gift to be drawn into the lives of others such as former prisoners or middle school students. “These are places where we can encounter the Lord,” he said.

For more on the Fr. Marcouiller and the volunteers, visit the St. Louis Review.