Posts Tagged ‘Ordinations’

Society of Jesus in the United States Ordains Sixteen New Priests

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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Four New Orleans Jesuits Offer Reflections Leading Up to Ordination Day

“Go forth and set the world on fire.”

Spoken centuries ago by St. Ignatius Loyola to his brother Jesuits, these words – part mission statement, part marching orders – are deeply emblematic of the Society of Jesus and never more so than during the sacrament of Ordination.

On June 9, 2012, four men from the New Orleans Province –  James Hooks, S.J., Bao Nguyen, S.J., Brian Reedy, S.J. and Daniel Tesvich, S.J. —  will be ordained at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala.

A diverse group, the Ordinandi hail from New Orleans, Florida, Texas and Vietnam.  Before entering the Society of Jesus, they worked in academics and accounting and earned a number of advanced degrees.

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 Roman Catholic Church wherever the need may be greatest.

Following are reflections written by each of the four New Orleans Province Jesuits awaiting Ordination.  For nearly a dozen years, these men have been preparing for this moment, and their thoughts about the journey and the challenges and blessings ahead make for a thought-provoking read.

James Hooks, SJ As the date of my ordination grows closer, more and more people say something like, “The day is finally here!” It is true that priestly formation in the Jesuits does not happen overnight. Still, I do not see my ordination as a goal as much as a turn in the road, a turn that brings me closer to Jesus and a new way of serving the Church and the world. I am immensely grateful to God and to my fellow travelers on this road who, in ways large and small, have brought me to this point in my journey. I also look forward to seeing where this road leads us.
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Bao Nguyen, SJ Today, we experience brokenness, sinfulness, and chaos in society. Many people feel lonely, desperate, and alien within themselves and the Church. As a priest, I have a desire to console people who have struggled to find God in their lives. I wish that I could be an instrument to assist people to feel relief and to restore their good human nature as children of God. The image of a bridge to connect over gaps among rich, poor, ideologies, faith, religions, cultures, nationalities and many more has inspired and motivated me continually to work for the universal Church as a vineyard of God.
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Brian Reedy, SJ This past Easter I was very blessed to be able to sing the Easter Exsultet Proclamation at the vigil Mass during which my parents received their first Holy Communion. One of the lines of the Proclamation says, “dazzling is this night for me, and full of gladness.” As I looked out at my parent’s faces, lit only by candlelight, it was truly a dazzling night full of deep gladness. I realized that this is a constitutive dynamic of my priesthood.
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Daniel Tesvich, SJ As I have grown during my priestly formation, especially during the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius, I have experienced the great truth that the main issue is not the virtue and wisdom of the minister. Instead the issue is being called to share Christ’s love for humanity with others. Of all the many joys in my life so far, the best joy has been precisely that: sharing with others the healing love that Christ has given to me.
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2011 Ordinations

In 2011, the Society of Jesus in the United States ordained 11 men to the priesthood. Coming from all walks of life, the ordinandi class of 2011 includes an actor and a registered nurse. They will go on to serve around the country in various forms of ministry.

In the months leading up to the July ordinations of these Jesuits, National Jesuit News followed one man, Jesuit Radmar Jao, on his “Path to the Priesthood”. You can watch Jao’s ordination on our YouTube page here.

For more information about becoming a Jesuit, please contact one of our vocation directors.

Brown_Johnathan_hdFr. Johnathan L. Brown, S.J., 36, is originally from Eunice, La. Before entering the Society of Jesus in 2002, he studied visual communications at the Art Institute of Houston and worked as a graphics and web design artist. As a Jesuit novice, he worked at Hope House in the New Orleans St. Thomas housing project as well as a variety of communities in both Tampa, Fla. and Belize. While in philosophy studies at Saint Louis University, he was active in campus ministry and participated in service trips with students. These experiences prepared him for his next assignment at San José Parish in Villahermosa, Mexico, where he worked with youth groups at 52 satellite chapels. He returned to Tampa to teach at Jesuit High School and coached junior varsity football, served as linebacker trainer for the varsity team and was moderator of the hunting and fishing club. John completed both his Master of Divinity and Master of Theology at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. While in Boston, he also spent time working within St. Columbkille Parish in Brighton, Mass. This summer, John will work at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in San Antonio, Texas before joining the pastoral staff at Sacred Heart Church in El Paso this fall. (New Orleans Province)
Fusco_Mark_hdFr. Mark P. Fusco, S.J., 46, was born in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. Upon graduation from Monsignor Paul Dwyer High School, he attended St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto, earning an honors Bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies and English Literature in 1989. He proceeded to earn a Master’s degree in Philosophical Theology from Yale University in 1991. Mark then worked on international health issues at the Vatican and as Director of Programs at the Joel Nafuma Refugee Center in Rome. Later he received his Licentiate in Sacred Theology in Moral Theology from the Pontifical Lateran University and worked for a number of years in the private sector and in secondary education. In 2005, he entered the Society of Jesus at the Novitiate of St. Andrews in Syracuse, N.Y. He studied philosophy at Loyola University in Chicago before beginning doctoral work at the University of Toronto in systematic theology. Ordained to the deaconate in April 2010, Mark served as a deacon at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Toronto, Canada. After working at a parish for the summer, Mark will be returning to Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. to finish his dissertation. (Maryland Province)
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First Midwest Tri-Province Days for Jesuits a Success

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The more than 440 Jesuits who attended the first Midwest Tri-Province Days of the Chicago, Detroit and Wisconsin provinces deemed the event a success for getting to know each other and for sharing thoughts and goals for the future. The gathering was hosted on the Marquette University campus in Milwaukee, Wis. on June 11 and 12 and reflected the future reconfiguration of the three provinces which will eventually result in one combined province for the entire Great Lakes/Midwestern region of the Society of Jesus.

Jesuit Father Tom Smolich, president of the Jesuit Conference of the United States, opened Friday’s session with a vibrant address reminding the Jesuits that the future of the combined three provinces was a response to “the call of Christ” and not a business or administrative decision. Men of the three provinces then had two small-group discussions. The first session gathered men from all three provinces in groups by their entry to the Society of Jesus. The second small-group session grouped the men by their ministry in order to share ideas.

“All of us who gathered at Province Days enjoyed a wonderful and encouraging experience,” said Jesuit Father Tom Krettek, provincial for the Wisconsin province of the Society of Jesus. “I believe the days have created the foundation for future cooperation.”

“The men whom I encountered toward the end of the days said they had a very good, consoling and hope filled time,” said Jesuit Father Walter Deye, socius for the Detroit-Chicago province of the Society of Jesus. “I heard this from Chicago, Detroit and Wisconsin men.”

The Friday evening ordination had more than 200 concelebrants as six Jesuits from the Midwest were ordained by the Most Rev. Blase J. Cupich, bishop of Rapid City, S.D. The new priests are Jesuit Fathers Tom Neitzke of Port Washington, Wis., James C. Ackerman of Cincinnati, Ohio, Mark W. Luedtke of Hinsdale, Ill., Paul C. O’Connor of Cleveland, Ohio, Richard E. Ross of Ann Arbor, Mich. and Michael S. Christiana of Rochester, Minn.

Social events including golf and bowling Wednesday set the friendly tone for the official opening and Jubilarian Mass where men celebrating 50 years in the priesthood were concelebrants and each was presented with a stole to commemorate his anniversary.