Father Timothy Lannon, SJ, has followed a unique path over the years. This exceptional man has combined his love of God with an expertise in education to thoroughly express his vocation as a “Man for Others.” Quite a transformation, considering the fact he once believed he’d be a doctor, get married, and have children.
Currently the assistant to the provincial for formation, Fr. Lannon deals with men from first vows to their ordination.
“The Jesuits have given me so much, I want to give back to them,” he said. An interesting insight from a man who never planned on being a Jesuit.
“In high school, I was asked in passing if I might be interested in being a priest,” he said.
But he didn’t give the question much more thought.
When he started college at Creighton University, something shifted. He met the Jesuits on campus — and they immediately intrigued him.
He remembered thinking “they do remarkable things.” Father Lannon was amazed by not only the Jesuits’ intellectual gifts, but the sincere interest they took in students.
“They struck me as men of joy and enthusiasm. What I didn’t grasp was that their passion came from a love for Christ. But eventually, I got that as well.”
Father Lannon entered the novitiate in August of 1974. Immersed in the Jesuit experience and a spiritual life, he began to develop a relationship with Christ.
Still, he was unsure whether “this was the life for him.” So, the young novice left for a year.
|Fr. Timothy Lannon, SJ, with Creighton University students and alumni|
“Being a Jesuit is just integral to who I am.”
He realized his departure was a mistake. Father Lannon reapplied, was reaccepted, and continued his commitment to serve Christ. In true form, he discovered the will of God regarding his future through his Jesuit studies — and followed that will.
Father Lannon was ordained a Catholic priest of the Society of Jesus in 1986. His educational and administrative skills shaped his career in the Church, and from 2003-11, he served as president of Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia.
In 2011, Fr. Lannon’s ministry led him back to Creighton as its president. “It was an honor for me to return to my alma mater,” he said.
“I’ve been asked what I would like my legacy to be. I’ve always said that I wish for people I come in contact with, especially students, to leave with a love of themselves and God.”
The freedom that comes with that love is what inspires Fr. Lannon to share his depth of experience with others. His genuine interest in those around him energizes his focus on sending loving souls out into the world.
“It’s how I embrace Christ’s spirit. It’s about how I can serve God and what I can do for God,” he said. This is the precious knowledge that he continues to share with others.
We hope you will continue to support Jesuits like Fr. Timothy Lannon in their works. Your generosity allows the Jesuits to continue to spread the Gospel through their ministries.
Saint Ignatius and a small group of his companions founded the Society of Jesus — the Jesuits — in 1540 to serve ad maiorem Dei gloriam, “for the greater glory of God.”
From the beginning, this “company of Jesus” has worked together with lay women and men. The root of the word company refers to people who shared bread — an ancient symbol of life and essential part of the Eucharist.
Company encompasses ministry, mission, and community. The Jesuit company includes students and alumni, parishioners and retreatants, and people like you.
With your prayerful support, our Circle of Companions in Christ finds God in all things and serves where the need is greatest.