“Thanks, in the first place, are owed to God – who made me, called me, and, above all, sustained me with his faithful love through the various stages of our lengthy formation,” said Fr. Hlabse. “God has been utterly faithful to the trust I have placed in him walking this path on which he called me.”
Photos by Yevhen Gulenko
Fr. Hlabse, a member of the Midwest Province Jesuits, grew up in the Cleveland area, where his family attended St. Josaphat in Parma and St. Basil the Great, a Latin Rite parish in their hometown, Brecksville.“My heartfelt thanks go to my family, my first teachers in the faith, and to my Jesuit formators who helped me to learn the Jesuit way of life,” said Fr. Hlabse. “I also give thanks to our benefactors who made possible the various studies and experiences that will enable me to live my priesthood in a truly Jesuit way.”
Fr. Hlabse graduated from Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland, where he first began to discern a vocation to the Society of Jesus. He earned a bachelor’s degree in music performance as a jazz saxophonist and in romance languages and literature at the University of Notre Dame. During college, Fr. Hlabse performed regularly as a professional musician, was involved in liturgical ministries at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on campus, and assisted with liturgical music at Notre Dame’s Log Chapel.
|Viewer note: Large video file; two hours, thirty minutes in length. Video courtesy Eastern Christian Media.
In 2006, Fr. Hlabse returned to Saint Ignatius as part of the Alumni Discernment and Volunteer Program, working in Christian service, campus ministry, and the jazz and liturgical music programs. He entered the Jesuit novitiate at Loyola House in Berkley, Michigan, in 2007.Fr. Hlabse earned a master’s degree in philosophical resources at Fordham University in the Bronx, New York, in 2012 and was next missioned to Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago. During his time there he taught Spanish and religion and served for two years as a liturgist in campus ministry.
Missioned to Rome in 2015 to study for a Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Fr. Hlabse served as director of the choir of the International College of the Gesù at the Church of the Gesù and ministered as a deacon at Sts. Sergius and Bacchus, a Ukrainian Catholic parish in Rome.
Fr. Hlabse will next begin a licentiate in patristic theology at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome.
“Among the chief blessings of the Jesuit vocation is that I will spend my life helping others to recognize and live God’s call through sacramental ministry, intellectual research, and spiritual direction,” said Fr. Hlabse. “Thanks be to God that I am blessed not only to live this call myself but to help others do the same.” (Photos by Yevhen Gulenko)