Anthony R. Lusvardi, SJ, 37, hails from St. Anthony, Minnesota, where he served as an altar boy at the Church of St. Charles Borromeo. At the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana, he earned a bachelor’s degree in English and philosophy. He first thought about a vocation to the priesthood in high school and, again, during a college semester in Jerusalem, where he met several Jesuits. Putting his discernment on hold after his 2002 graduation, Lusvardi joined the Peace Corps and taught English in a small town in Kazakhstan for two years. It was a powerful and rewarding experience, but Lusvardi wanted God to be at the center of his life’s work. Heading back to Minnesota, he joined the staff of Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota, where he worked in campus ministry, lived in a dorm and led volunteer trips to Uganda. Lusvardi answered God’s call and entered the Society of Jesus in 2006. As a novice, he worked at Marquette University High School in Milwaukee and with the Missionaries of Charity in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Missioned next to Loyola University Chicago, Lusvardi earned a master’s degree in philosophy in 2011 while teaching confirmation classes at St. Procopius Catholic Church in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago and teaching middle schoolers for a summer in Kohima, India. For the next three years, he worked as the administrator of three parishes at the Jesuits’ St. Francis Mission on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. At the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, Lusvardi earned a master’s degree in theological studies and then was missioned to Rome where he’s currently studying for a Licentiate in Sacred Theology at Pontifical Atheneum of St. Anselm. Ordained a deacon last fall, he served at several Masses for the Jesuits’ recent General Congregation. After ordination, Lusvardi will spend the summer at St. Isaac Jogues Parish in Rapid City, South Dakota, before returning to Rome to complete his degree. He looks forward to celebrating Mass this fall at his home parish of St. Charles Borromeo.
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The Sioux Spiritual Center, nestled amid the hills of western South Dakota, is the heart of the Diocese of Rapid City’s efforts to develop native clergy and leadership on the reservations.