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August 28, 2023 — Here’s the latest news from the Jesuits in Canada and the United States.

Ordinations

Fr. Erik Sorensen, SJ, was ordained to the priesthood on August 4 at Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel in Montreal by Cardinal Michael Czerny, SJ. Next, he will pursue doctoral studies in liturgy and interreligious dialogue with Indigenous peoples.

Fr. Robenson Siquitte, SJ (below right), was ordained to the priesthood in August 5 in Haiti. At the same Mass, Ketler Lysius, SJ (below left), was ordained to the diaconate. Fr. Siquitte will continue working on his Licentiate in Sacred Theology at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.

Meet all of this year’s ordinands.

First Vows

Across the U.S., Canada and Haiti, 24 Jesuit novices pronounced first vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in August. A novice spends two years at the novitiate for the first stage of Jesuit formation, culminating in the profession of first vows in the Society of Jesus.

Nine Jesuits pronounced first vows on August 12 at Saint Thomas More Catholic Church in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Following the profession of first vows, Jesuits preparing to be priests usually begin three years of studies. Those men who take vows as a Jesuit brother will usually take several theology courses.

Jesuits at the Synod on Synodality

Fr. James Martin, SJ, with Pope Francis

Fr. James Martin, SJ, editor-at-large at America magazine, was appointed a voting member of the Synod on Synodality by Pope Francis. In addition to bishops who serve at Vatican departments and bishops’ conferences around the world, plus representatives of men’s and women’s religious communities and selected participants from the continental stage of the Synod, Pope Francis personally invited 50 women and men to take part. It is this last group that includes Fr. Martin. Read his reflection here.

Fr. Alan Fogarty, SJ, a Canadian Jesuit and CEO of Salt and Light Media, was appointed by Cardinal Mario Grech as a collaborator for the Synod of Bishops during the first session of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly, which will take place October 4-29.

Fr. David McCallum, SJ, a U.S. Jesuit who directs the Discerning Leadership Program headquartered at the Jesuit Curia in Rome, will be a non-voting expert at the Synod.

 

Milestones and Honors and Awards

Br. Karl Swift, SJ, celebrated his 90th birthday on July 26. He did not want a party that evening, preferring not to miss even one night of the novena to St. Ignatius. He’s pictured here at his birthday lunch. He serves as a pastoral minister in his hometown of Belize City, Belize.

In 2016, Br. Swift was named a “National Hero” for all the exemplary work he has done over the years to help his brother and sister Belizeans.

Fr. Kevin Quinn, SJ, was honored with the Carlesimo Award from the University of Scranton on June 26. The award is presented to someone who has made special contributions to athletics and Catholic education. Fr. Quinn served as the 25th president of the university from 2011-2017.

Fr. Chris Kellerman, SJ, Secretary of the Office of Justice and Ecology at the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, received two awards from the Catholic Media Association for his book “All Oppression Shall Cease: A History of Slavery, Abolitionism, and the Catholic Church.” He won second place in the categories “First Time Author of a Book” and “History.”

MAGIS 2023: Creating a Hope-Filled Future

More than 200 Jesuit priests, brothers and scholastics attended Magis 2023, a Jesuit event in July for over 2,000 young people from the Ignatian family around the world in Lisbon, Portugal, prior to World Youth Day. Pictured here are a few of the U.S. Jesuits who attended: Br. Matt Wooters and Frs. Paul Shelton, Eric Immel, Michael Rossmann and Tho Vu.

On the Border

Fr. Louis Hotop, SJ, marked the end of two years of ministering on the U.S.-Mexico border with a Mass at the migrant camp in Matamoros, Mexico. He is now serving as assistant principal for mission at Arrupe Jesuit High School in Denver.

Fr. Louie Hotop, SJ (front row, in black) with some of the migrants following his last Mass at the migrant camp

Advocating for Eco-Justice in Africa

Bryan Galligan, SJ, has served for two years at the Jesuit Justice and Ecology Network Africa. His work and research into climate issues in Kenya has led to new relationships and a deepening understanding of the global church. A new video chronicles his advocacy in this part of the world.

Corpus Christi Tradition Renewed in New Orleans

Under the guidance of Fr. Jon Polce, SJ, and Fr. Joseph Hill, SJ, Jesuit High School brought back a time-honored tradition in New Orleans this past June: the Corpus Christi procession. Fr. Hill told participants: “We gather together to support one another in living a Christ-like life and in being formed for the mission of evangelization.” Read more.

Fr. Jon Polce, SJ, with students during the Corpus Christi procession

Final Vows

Fr. Luis Jiménez, SJ, pronounced final vows in the Society of Jesus on June 24 in in San Juan, Puerto Rico, with his parents in attendance. Fr. Jimenez is a theology professor, splitting his time between the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico and the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Colombia.

Fr. Thomas Simisky, SJ, pronounced final vows in the Society of Jesus on July 31, the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, in Raleigh, North Carolina. Fr. Simisky is pastor of St. Raphael the Archangel Church in Raleigh.

Fr. Sylvester Tan, SJ, pronounced final vows in the Society of Jesus on August 12 at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Grand Coteau, Louisiana. Fr. Tan is in doctoral studies at Southern Methodist University.

Fr. Vincent Giacabazi, SJ, pronounced final vows in the Society on August 22 at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, Missouri, where he serves as principal.

Fr. Michael Rozier, SJ, professed final vows in the Society during Saint Louis University’s Mass of the Holy Spirit at St. Francis Xavier College Church in St. Louis on August 24. Fr. Rozier is associate professor and dept. chair for health management at SLU.

New Books

Fr. David J. Collins, SJ’s new book “The Jesuits in the United States” offers a panoramic overview of the Jesuit order in the United States from the colonial era to the present. He describes the development of the Jesuit order in the U.S. against the background of American religious, cultural and social history.

Fr. Aaron Pidel, SJ, has published “The Inspiration and Truth of Scripture: Testing the Ratzinger Paradigm,” a look at Joseph Ratzinger’s place in the broader Catholic quest for a theology of inspiration.

Patrick Saint-Jean, SJ, offers a blend of Black history, African spirituality and personal memory in his new book “Home-Going: The Journey from Racism and Death to Community and Hope.” He invites the reader to participate in the pain and trauma as well as the creative resilience of the Black experience.

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