January 1, 2019 — As 2018 comes to an end, we invite you to view some of the news stories that captivated and engaged our readers. These past 12 months brought us Jesuit anniversaries, the canonization of new saints, and a number of men continuing their Jesuit formation. We invite you to join us in reflecting on just some of the events that made this year so remarkable.
Frs. Kevin Embach, Kyle Shinseki, Nathaniel Romano, and Tho Vu were ordained to the priesthood on June 9, 2018.
In January, Fr. Timothy Howe, SJ, was named the next president of Colegio San Ignacio de Loyola, the Jesuit secondary school in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He began serving in the role in July.
March 9, 2018, marked the 450th anniversary of the birth of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, a Jesuit who gave up a privileged life to enter the Society of Jesus and died young — at age 23 — from the plague, which he contracted during his selfless care for the sick. To mark the anniversary, the Holy See has announced the celebration of a Jubilee Year of St. Aloysius from March 9, 2018, to March 9, 2019.
March 13 marked five years since white smoke wafted from a tiny chimney atop the Sistine Chapel, signaling that the papal conclave had chosen a new successor of St. Peter, first Bishop of Rome. Just over an hour later, a little-known Argentine cardinal named Jorge Mario Bergoglio appeared on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica — the first Jesuit pope, the first pope to hail from the Americas, and the first to take the name “Francis.”
In April there was lots of new from Midwest Jesuit schools. Fr. Kevin FitzGerald, SJ, was named to the John A. Creighton University Professor Endowed Chair at Creighton University, and Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago received a $1.5 million gift from the Chicago-based Robert R. McCormick Foundation in support of diversity and student success programming. Additionally, Marquette University High School in Milwaukee was rated as the highest performing high school in the state of Wisconsin.
A student at Arrupe College in Chicago.
In May, the Midwest Jesuits shared the unique vocation story of brothers Trevor Rainwater, SJ, and Conan Rainwater, SJ. In addition to being brothers and Creighton University graduates, both share a religious vocation and are in formation to become priests as spiritual “brothers” in the Jesuits.
On June 9, 2018, four Midwest Jesuits, Frs. Kevin Embach, Kyle Shinseki, Nathaniel Romano, and Tho Vu, were ordained to the priesthood at the Church of the Gesu in Milwaukee, which was presided over by Most Rev. David L. Ricken, Bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay, Wis. Fr. Andrij Hlabse, SJ, was ordained in the Byzantine Rite on July 15 at St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in Parma, Ohio. Their priestly ordinations came after extensive formation experiences that are deeply rooted to the traditions and the vision of our Jesuit founder, St. Ignatius Loyola. Their ordination symbolized life and hope for the Church, the ongoing proclamation of the Gospel, and humble and loving service of God’s people.
Fr. Andrij Hlabse, SJ
During 2018, the Society of Jesus began the first steps toward the process of beatification for Jesuit Father Pedro Arrupe, 28th Superior General of the Society of Jesus. Jesuit Father Arturo Sosa, current Superior General, announced the opening of the process at the meeting of the International Association of Jesuit Universities in Bilbao, Spain, on July 11.
Twenty-six Jesuit novices in Canada and the United States, including seven men from the Midwest Jesuits, professed 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 first vows — a public profession of commitment to the Society of Jesus.
In the fall, the Midwest Jesuits welcomed 12 new novices at the Jesuit Novitiate of St. Alberto Hurtado in St. Paul, Minn. They have taken the initial step on their journey toward Jesuit priesthood or brotherhood, known as “Jesuit formation,” which can take a total of eight to 12 years.
On October 14, 2018, Pope Francis canonized a pope and a martyr: Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador, El Salvador. Carrying Pope Paul VI’s pastoral staff and wearing the blood-stained belt of Archbishop Romero, Pope Francis formally recognized them, and five others, as saints of the Catholic Church.