The Midwest Jesuits represent the Chicago-Detroit and Wisconsin Provinces of the Society of Jesus; the provinces will join to form the USA Midwest Province in 2017.
Father Brian G. Paulson, SJ, is the provincial of the Chicago-Detroit Province; Fr. Thomas A. Lawler, SJ, is the provincial of the Wisconsin Province. Until 2017, Frs. Paulson and Lawler will lead their respective provinces. In 2017, Fr. Paulson will become the provincial of the new USA Midwest Province when the existing Chicago-Detroit and Wisconsin Provinces come together as part of an ongoing national realignment of Jesuit provinces.
Father Brian G. Paulson, SJ, was appointed provincial of the Chicago-Detroit Province by Jesuit Superior Father Adolfo Nicolás, effective June 19, 2014. Father Paulson succeeded Fr. Timothy Kesicki, SJ, who became the president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States in Washington, DC.
Father 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
pronounced final vows on March 25, 2001. A native of Waukegan, Ill., he attended
Campion Jesuit High School in Prairie du Chien, Wis. When the school
closed in 1975, he finished his high school education at Loyola Academy in
Wilmette, Ill. He 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 in political philosophy from Loyola University Chicago, a bachelor’s degree of Sacred Theology from Centre Sevres in Paris, a master’s in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Massachusetts.
Father Paulson served as
vocations director for the Chicago Province from 1993-1998. He was then president of Saint Ignatius
College Prep in Chicago for 11 years before he became the rector of the Loyola
University Chicago Jesuit Community in 2010.
Father Thomas A. Lawler,
SJ, was appointed provincial of the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus by Jesuit
Superior General Father Adolfo Nicolás, effective June 10, 2011. Father Lawler succeeded Fr. Thomas Krettek, SJ, who became director of the
Jesuit First Studies Program at Fordham University in New York.
Father Lawler entered the Society of Jesus at the Jesuit Novitiate in St. Paul, Minn., on August 8, 1987. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 11, 1999, and pronounced final vows on January 6, 2007. A native of Wauwatosa, Wis., he attended Marquette University High School in Milwaukee and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas.
Since joining the Jesuits Fr. Lawler has studied at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., and earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from St. Michael's Institute in Spokane, Wash., a Master’s of Divinity degree from Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Mass., and a master’s in social work from Loyola University Chicago.
Father Lawler served as assistant director at the Sioux Spirituality Center, a Jesuit retreat center and ministry training program for Native American Catholics in South Dakota, from 2000-2005. He then worked in the Wisconsin Province Office as the provincial assistant for pastoral and retreat ministries and lay formation for a year before serving as the vocations director for the Wisconsin Province beginning in 2006 and until he became provincial in 2011.