2018 Ordination
The Ordination Mass was recorded live on June 9th, 2018

The call to become a Jesuit priest beckoned five men from around the nation to join the Midwest Province Society of Jesus nearly a decade ago. This summer, after years of studying, ministering, and praying, these Jesuits will be ordained Catholic priests. 

Most Reverend David L. Ricken, Bishop of Green Bay

Four of the Jesuits, Kevin Embach, SJ, Kyle Shinseki, SJ, Nathaniel Romano, SJ, and Tho Vu, SJ, will be ordained on June 9, 2018, at the Church of the Gesu in Milwaukee at 10:00 a.m. Andrij Hlabse, SJ, will be ordained in the Byzantine Rite on July 15 at St. Josaphat Ukranian Catholic Cathedral in Parma, Ohio at 2:30 p.m. The presider at the June 9 ordination will the Most Rev. David L. Ricken, bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay, Wis. 

The five Midwest Jesuits are part of 27 Jesuits who will be ordained in the United States, Canada, and Haiti this summer.

Ordination, for those called to be Jesuit priests, is the culmination of a long and sometimes arduous journey in formation. The Jesuit formation process is famously rigorous. A Jesuit first spends two years as a novice, living in community and learning about Ignatian spirituality, the distinct collection of spiritual practices and prayers developed by St. Ignatius and his companions, while also experiencing work in Jesuit ministries and making a 30-day silent retreat.

After pronouncing vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, Jesuits begin studies as a brother or scholastic, taking courses in philosophy and theology for three years before entering another two-to-three-year period called regency, during which they work full-time in a Jesuit ministry, usually as a teacher in a high school or university. Jesuits who are called to priestly ministry spend another three years in formal theology studies before being ordained. Priests and brothers later spend a year in tertianship, a time during which they review their formation, make another 30-day retreat, and profess final vows in the Society of Jesus.

Following ordination, the five Jesuits will be missioned to their next assignment by the provincial of the Midwest Province, Fr. Brian Paulson, SJ. 

About the Ordinands 

Kevin Embach, SJ     

Kevin J. Embach, SJ, grew up in Dearborn, Michigan. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame, a master’s degree in public health in epidemiology from the University of Michigan, and his medical degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Kevin practiced and taught internal medicine at Bon Secours-Beaumont Hospital in Grosse Pointe, Mich., for 18 years before entering the Jesuit novitiate in Berkley, Mich. in 2009.  Kevin, who serves on the board of John Carroll University, has participated in medical missions to Honduras, Bolivia, and Haiti. He has served as a deacon at St. Ignatius Parish in Chestnut Hill, Mass. and at the South Bay House of Correction in Boston.

Andrij Hlabse, SJ   

Andrij M. Hlabse, SJ, a Ukrainian Greek Catholic, grew up in the Cleveland area, where his family attended St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in Parma and St. Basil the Great, a Latin Rite parish in their hometown, Brecksville. Andrij graduated from Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland, where he first began to discern a vocation to the Society. At the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Ind. he earned a bachelor’s degree in music performance as a jazz saxophonist and in romance languages and literature. In 2006, Andrij 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, Mich., in 2007 and was sent to work at a Fe y Alegría school in Lima, Peru. He returned once more to Saint Ignatius, where he taught Spanish and religion and served for two years as a liturgist in campus ministry. Andrij has also 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.

Nathaniel Romano, SJ.jpg     

Nathaniel V. Romano, SJ, grew up in Southern California. After graduating in 1999 from Temecula Valley High School, Nate headed to the Jesuits’ Marquette University in Milwaukee. After earning a bachelor’s degree in history and political science in 2003, Nate put his vocational discernment on hold to earn a law degree at the University of Wisconsin Law School in Madison. As a young lawyer, he accepted cases from the Wisconsin State Public Defender, as well as private clients in the areas of criminal and family defense. Accepted as a novice in 2008, Nate worked in an immigrant and refugee services program with Catholic Charities in Milwaukee and did a language and cultural immersion summer trip to Peru. At Fordham University in the Bronx, New York, he earned a master’s degree in philosophical resources while serving as a volunteer with the Bronx Defenders, a nonprofit that provides services to low-income people, and teaching and tutoring at St. Ignatius School, a tuition-free middle school serving the South Bronx. Missioned next to Omaha, Neb., Nate worked at the Creighton University School of Law’s Milton R. Abrahams Legal Clinic, representing low-income clients. 

Kyle Shinseki, SJ   

Kyle K. F. Shinseki, SJ, grew up in Kauai, Hawaii. He earned a bachelor’s degree in urban studies and planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1995; as a junior, he went through RCIA and became Catholic. He next received his master’s degree in urban planning from the University of California, Los Angeles, and then worked for the National Council of La Raza for six years in community development and fundraising. While working for the Council in Washington, D.C., Kyle first connected with the Jesuits when he joined the Agrupación Católica Universitaria, a primarily Spanish-speaking Christian Life Community (CLC). He next went to Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., earning an MBA in 2005, after which he worked for Procter & Gamble in marketing for two years in Puerto Rico and two years in Cincinnati, where he began attending the Jesuits’ St. Francis Xavier Church and discerning his vocation. Kyle entered the Society of Jesus in 2009 and, as a novice, worked at Sacred Heart Parish in El Paso and helped with retreats and the soccer team at Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, Neb. Missioned next to Loyola University Chicago, he studied philosophy, founded a bilingual, bicultural CLC there and worked with an Archdiocese of Chicago leadership formation program that enabled immigrants to minister to the immigrant community. Kyle then went to Creighton University in Omaha for two years, coordinating Asian/Pacific Islander initiatives in the Office of Multicultural Affairs and teaching in the business school. 

Tho Vu, SJ     

Tho Vu, SJ, was born in Bien Hoa, Vietnam. At the age of 6, he and his family immigrated to Omaha, Neb., where they were members of Holy Name Parish, and Tho later enrolled at Creighton University. While earning a bachelor’s degree in emergency medicine as a paramedic, he worked in the medical school library and was a lab technician at Creighton University Medical Center. He entered the novitiate in St. Paul, Minn., in 2007 and was sent to the Dominican Republic, where the Institute for Latin American Concern reignited his passion for health care and medicine. In 2009, Tho completed studies in philosophy and theology at Saint Louis University. He then taught Scripture at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School-Twin Cities in Minneapolis while coaching soccer and working with the school nurse and with campus ministry. In 2014, Tho became an associate pastoral intern at Saint Thomas More Catholic Community in St. Paul, where he worked in marriage prep, served as the RCIA director and helped create a young adults group at the parish. In the summers, Tho has completed medical immersion trips to Honduras, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Haiti. He accompanied a medical student group to Guatemala as a chaplain and spent three months in a rural village in northeast India ministering in a dispensary.


Jesuits Spring 2018

Jesuits Fall/Winter 2017

Jesuits Summer 2017

Manresa Jesuit Retreat House
Manresa Jesuit Retreat House, located north of Detroit in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., offers retreatants a respite from the city on its 37–acre campus with almost 50,000 trees.