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Fr. Karl Kiser, SJ
Fr. Karl Kiser, SJ

November 27, 2020 — Fr. Karl Kiser, SJ, has been appointed by Fr. General Arturo Sosa, SJ, as the next provincial of the USA Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits). Fr. Kiser will assume his leadership role in 2021. He succeeds Fr. Brian G. Paulson, SJ, who was named provincial of the Chicago-Detroit Province in 2014 and became provincial of the new USA Midwest Province when the existing Chicago-Detroit and Wisconsin Provinces came together in June 2017.

Fr. Kiser has served in a variety of leadership positions as a Jesuit, including extensive board experience. He was superior of the Jesuit novitiate in Berkley, MI, then briefly taught at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy in Detroit, MI, before being named its president in 2002, a position he held for 14 years. Since 2016, Fr. Kiser has been the pastor of Gesu Parish in University Heights, OH.

“As I finish my term as provincial of the Midwest Province, I am pleased that Fr. General has named Fr. Kiser to be the next provincial,” says outgoing provincial Fr. Paulson. “He is a proven leader, with the capacity and the gifts to care for the Jesuits and the ministries of our province.  Like all who know Fr. Kiser, I am deeply appreciative of his considerable pastoral and administrative gifts, along with his international experience, and am equally grateful for his deep and abiding love for the Society and its service to the Church. Our staff looks forward to assisting Fr. Kiser in his new mission, and I look forward to working with him to assure a smooth transition.”

“I am deeply humbled to accept this appointment of Fr. General to lead and serve my brother Jesuits as provincial of the Midwest Province,” says Fr. Kiser. “The spirituality of St. Ignatius has called me to be a companion of Jesus and to help others to do the same; it has been a deep and profound joy for me in my ministry for the last 34 years. I look forward to discovering how to be a companion of Jesus in a new way as I contemplate this ministry with my brother Jesuits and our sponsored works. Over the years, I have been richly blessed with so many friends, Jesuit and lay, and with tremendous opportunities to serve in ministry, all of which I treasure and carry in my heart. I look forward to continuing the good work of Fr. Paulson, and in identifying new frontiers where we can continue to be effective leaders in spreading the Gospel.”

Fr. Karl Kiser, SJ, was born May 29, 1962, and raised in Menominee, MI. He attended Marinette Catholic Central High School in nearby Marinette, WI. After earning a B.A. in Political Science from Michigan State University (1986), he entered the Detroit Province of the Society of Jesus on August 30, 1986 at Loyola House in Berkley, MI.

During his Regency, Fr. Kiser taught at Colegio Cristo Rey, in Tacna, Peru and worked with Fe y Alegria in Lima (1990-1993) where he learned to speak Spanish. He studied Theology at Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, MA (1993-1997), at Comillas University in Madrid, Spain, and also at University of Saint Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, IL.  He was ordained to the priesthood on June 14, 1997, at Gesu Parish in University Heights, OH.

After ordination, Fr. Kiser was superior of Loyola House, the Jesuit novitiate in Berkley, MI (1998-2002), and served at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy (UDJHS&A). He worked in Campus Ministry for one year (2001-2002) before becoming the president of the school (2002-2016). Over his 14 years as president, Fr. Kiser was known as an excellent fundraiser, including $16 million for a STEM center addition to the high school (completed after he began his next mission). While at UDJHS&A, he accompanied several groups of students and medical professionals to Sociedad Amigo de los Niños in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. He regularly presided and preached at local parishes including Holy Name Catholic Church in Birmingham, MI, and the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica in Royal Oak, MI.

Since 2016, Fr. Kiser has been the pastor of Gesu Parish in University Heights, OH.

Fr. Kiser has extensive board experience including service at UDJHS, John Carroll University in Cleveland, OH, St. John’s Jesuit High School in Toledo, OH, and Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois. He has also served on the boards of St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, OH, University of Detroit Mercy in Detroit, MI, Marian High School in Bloomfield Hills, MI, Boys Hope Girls Hope in Detroit, MI, and the Honduran Children Rescue Fund in University Heights, OH.


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