Archive for September, 2013

Jesuit Father Brian Paulson Named Next Provincial of Chicago-Detroit Province

Jesuit Father Brian G. PaulsonJesuit Father General Adolfo Nicolás has appointed Jesuit Father Brian G. Paulson as the next provincial of the Chicago-Detroit Province of the Society of Jesus. Fr. Paulson will begin his leadership role in July 2014, succeeding Jesuit Father Timothy P. Kesicki, who will become president of the U.S. Jesuit Conference.

During his term as provincial, Fr. Paulson will become the provincial of the new USA Midwest Province when the existing Chicago-Detroit and Wisconsin Provinces come together by 2017 as part of an ongoing national realignment of Jesuit provinces.

Fr. Paulson has served in a variety of leadership positions as a Jesuit. After 11 years as president of Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago, he was assigned to his current role as rector of the Loyola University Jesuit Community in Chicago in 2010. From 1993 to 1998 he was the vocations director for the Chicago Province.

“As I finish my term as provincial of the Chicago-Detroit Province, I couldn’t be happier that Fr. General has named Fr. Paulson to be the next provincial,” said Fr. Kesicki. “He has the proven capacity and the gifts to care for the Jesuits and the ministries of our province. … I look forward to working with him in my new role as president of the Jesuit Conference.”

“I am deeply humbled to accept this call of Fr. General to lead and serve my brother Jesuits as provincial of the Chicago-Detroit Province,” says Fr. Paulson. “In my 32 years as a Jesuit, I have been richly blessed with Jesuit and lay friends, along with tremendous opportunities for ministry, all of which I treasure.”

Fr. Paulson entered the Society of Jesus at Loyola House Jesuit Novitiate in Berkley, Mich., on September 12, 1981. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 13, 1992, and professed final vows on March 25, 2001. A native of Waukegan, Ill., he attended Campion Jesuit High School in Prairie du Chien, Wis., and when the school closed in 1975, he finished his high school education at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Ill., and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in international economics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

Since joining the Jesuits Fr. Paulson has earned a master’s degree in political philosophy from Loyola University Chicago, a Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree from Centre Sevres in Paris, a master’s degree in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Massachusetts. He currently serves on the board of trustees at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis, Christ the King Jesuit College Preparatory School in Chicago and the Lumen Christi Institute of Chicago, and he is a trustee associate at Boston College after 16 years of service on the board of trustees. [Chicago-Detroit Province]

Jesuit Directs Magis Theatre Company’s “Occupy Olympus” at New York City International Fringe Festival

Photo by Leo Sorel

Jesuit Father George Drance directed the Magis Theatre Company’s “Occupy Olympus” last month at the New York City International Fringe Festival, the largest multi-­arts festival in North America. The play garnered positive reviews, including one from The New York Times.

The company adapted the ancient Greek comedy “Plutus, God of Wealth” by Aristophanes, about the socioeconomic situation of Athens around 400 B.C., in order to tell the story of the modern-day Occupy Wall Street movement. Although “Plutus” was written in 388 B.C., Fr. Drance believes the themes of economic fears and disillusionment are still applicable in the modern era. “I was blown away by how relevant it is to our time,” he said.

“We’re at a moment in history where people feel overwhelmed by their circumstances, perhaps alone in their experience of it and without a means of doing something specific or engaging in a kind of discourse that can actually seek specific changes.

“Because of that, we’ve given up striving for any kind of change,” he said. “My hope is that — by pointing out that this has been a constant part of history — we would take courage and rally ourselves to continue to strive for justice.”

Fr. Drance, who is artistic director of the Magis Theatre Company, has performed and directed in more than 20 countries on five continents, for companies such as Theatre YETU in Kenya and Teatro la Fragua in Honduras. He currently serves as artist-­in­‐residence at Fordham University in New York.

The New York City International Fringe Festival celebrated its 17th anniversary this August. About participating in Fringe NYC, Fr. Drance said, “The word ‘festival’ says it all. It contains elements of a community getting together to celebrate. Much of my [previous work] involved participating in festivals all over the world. Festivals stimulate, and cross-pollinate art in ways that no other form can do. We learn from each other. We inspire each other.”

For more information about the Magis Theatre Company, visit magistheatre.org. [New York Times, nytheatre.com, Fordham University, New York Province]