Posts Tagged ‘Ordination’
Sixteen U.S. Jesuits were ordained to the priesthood this June, and since then, these men have been busy celebrating Masses and starting their first assignments as priests. Their hometowns, proud to be a part of their lives, were eager to acknowledge the priests’ roots and highlight their individual stories.
The Hawaii Catholic Herald reported that it was a “joyful ‘local style’ homecoming” for newly ordained Jesuit Father Phillip Ganir who returned to the Hawaiian Islands for a visit in June to celebrate a special thanksgiving Mass for his family, friends and fellow religious. Fr. Ganir left Hawaii in 1999 to join the Society and has since been traveling abroad for ministry and studies.
“The consolation overflows,” Fr. Ganir told the Hawaii Catholic Herald at the June 23 Mass, which 500 people attended. “Gratitude only deepens. The shape of gratitude really takes on the faces of the people in the parish.”
After his visit, Fr. Ganir headed to California to serve as associate pastor of St. Ignatius Loyola Church in Sacramento.
Jesuit Father Peter Folan spoke with his hometown newspaper in Massapequa Park, N.Y., about his new life as a Jesuit priest: “My job is to live a life about the Gospel. Preaching the Gospel, but only using words when necessary. I’m not going around knocking on doors selling Bibles. It’s about knowing the poor, the marginalized, the voiceless, and acting on behalf of people who can’t act for themselves.”
Of his vocation Fr. Folan explained, “The longer I stayed there and the more I invested myself in the Jesuits, the more I knew I wanted this life.
“If there is no real sacrifice, then there is no real love,” Fr. Folan said. “Not being married is a sort of sacrifice, but it makes sense to me. It is one that I find bears great fruit.”
Fr. Folan’s first priestly assignment is serving as an associate pastor at Holy Trinity Church in Washington, D.C.
Jesuit Father Michael Rogers told the Westerly Sun in Rhode Island on the eve of his ordination that the Jesuits “are at home wherever we are sent — ultimately, our home is where Christ is.”
Fr. Rogers considers one of his many homes to be Westerly, where he spent summers growing up. He returned there to celebrate his first Mass as an ordained priest in June at St. Pius X.
Fr. Rogers said his family’s summer parish played a role in his decision to become a Jesuit priest. He recalled the weekend during his sophomore year of high school when his mother said the family was going to pay a quick visit to their summer house — and dropped him off at St. Pius instead.
“We pulled into the lot, where there was this coach bus waiting,” he said. His mother had signed him up for a youth trip to Steubenville, Ohio, which turned out to be life-changing.
“I think that at some point in everybody’s faith life, there’s a moment where God becomes real,” Fr. Rogers said. “All of a sudden, you find yourself talking to God, and you find yourself listening to what God has to say.”
After his ordination, Fr. Rogers traveled to Brazil, where he served as the national coordinator for MAGIS, the Jesuit-sponsored program cultivating Ignatian spirituality for young adults that preceded World Youth Day in July.
Three months after the historic election of the first Jesuit pope, the Society of Jesus, the largest order of priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic Church, is ordaining 16 new Jesuit priests this month in the United States.
Ordination ceremonies are being held at Fordham University in the Bronx, N.Y.; Holy Name of Jesus Church in New Orleans; Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Los Angeles; and Madonna della Strada Chapel at Loyola University Chicago.
Before entering the Society of Jesus, the ordinands worked in nonprofit community service, higher education, state government, documentary film production, biomedical research and as teachers in high schools and colleges. They highlight the diversity of the Society of Jesus, founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola in 1540 “to serve the Lord alone and the Church, His spouse, under the Roman pontiff.”
The ordinands hail from every part of the country, including Connecticut, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin. As undergraduate students, several attended Jesuit colleges or universities, where they first came to know the Society of Jesus. As Jesuits in formation, the men have traveled the world, serving and studying in Mexico, El Salvador, Italy, Colombia and Bolivia.
Jesuit Father Thomas H. Smolich, president of the Jesuit Conference, said, “This is a joyful time for both the Society of Jesus and the Catholic Church as we welcome 16 new brothers being ordained this month. Their call to priestly ministry is as varied as their hometowns and former occupations, but they have one thing in common: a desire to dedicate themselves to the Jesuit mission of serving the Church where the need is greatest.”
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Radmar Jao is officially one month away from being ordained a priest, and if there is one thing he wants this vlog edition to communicate, it is his excitement at this next stage of his life as a Jesuit.
“I’m feeling excited that the time is coming…This is not the end of a journey. No, if anything the excitement is really in the knowing that a new stage of my life is beginning,” says Radmar.
As we follow Jao on his journey to ordination in June, leave a comment or ask a question here on the National Jesuit News blog, comment on YouTube or on Twitter via @AskAJesuit and he will respond in an upcoming future video diary. Check back weekly for more video diaries from Jao.
In this video, five newly ordained Jesuits of the Chicago and Detroit Provinces reflect on what it means to heed the call put out by St. Ignatius of Loyola to “go forth and set the world on fire”. Jesuit Fathers James Ackerman, Michael Christiana, Mark Luedtke, Paul O’Connor and Richard Ross each represent over a decade or more of formation and a wealth of experience—from gang ministry to nursing. They discuss their unique callings in the video piece below.
Tom Neitzke was like a lot of other children when he made a bold prediction about his future, but he was far different than most young people when he chose a path in life that has led him from the quiet confines of his home in Wisconsin, to leper colonies in China, to schools in Africa and to a calling few men are willing to answer.
“When I was in kindergarten, I told my mom I wanted to either be the milkman or the pope,” Neitzke said. “It certainly doesn’t look like I’m going to be a milkman.”
Neitzke’s journey, a challenging 11-year immersion in the Catholic faith and Jesuit teachings that has taken him to the far ends of the earth and put him in the company of people ranging from Pope John Paul II to the destitute, has led him down the road less traveled.
Read more about Neitzke’s calling in the Ozaukee Press here.