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June 12, 2024 — Here’s the latest news from the Jesuits in Canada and the United States.

Fr. Boyle Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom

Fr. Greg Boyle, SJ, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, at the White House on May 3, 2024.

Fr. Greg Boyle, SJ, receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

President Biden said this about Fr. Boyle, who is the founder of Homeboy Industries, the world’s largest gang-intervention and rehabilitation program:

“Your service as a Jesuit priest over four decades reminds us of the power of redemption, rehabilitation, and our obligation to those who have been condemned or counted out. Thank you, Fr. Greg, for your amazing grace.”

Listen to the AMDG podcast with Fr. Boyle.

Jesuit Physicist Aids NASA Research

Fr. Cyril Opeil, SJ, associate professor of physics at a Boston College, is among a select few scientists taking part in an international research effort to shed light on the nature of asteroids, how the planets formed and how life might have emerged on Earth.

Fr. Cyril Opeil, SJ (Boston College)

Fr. Opeil is a researcher with experience studying the low-temperature thermophysical properties of meteorites and asteroid formation. He has been tasked with conducting experiments on specific heat capacity and determining how a material from the asteroid 101955 Bennu expands and contracts at low temperatures.

“I think it is a tremendous time for a Boston College physicist, a Jesuit, to be asked to participate in this space mission,” he said. “This is the first NASA program, similar in scope to the lunar Apollo missions of the 1970s, where an American spacecraft has traveled to a near-Earth asteroid to retrieve sample material. So, it’s a historic moment.”

Pope Francis Writes Preface to Fr. James Martin’s Book in Italian

Pope Francis has written the preface to the Italian-language version of Fr. James Martin, SJ‘s book on Lazarus, “Come Forth,” published June 3, 2024, by Libreria Editrice Vaticana, called “Lazzaro, Vieni Fuori.”

“I’m very grateful for the Holy Father’s beautiful words,” wrote Fr. Martin. Read the English version or the original Italian version.

Fr. Fred Kammer, SJ, Receives Ignatian Solidarity Network Award

Fr. Fred Kammer, SJ, received the Robert M. Holstein Faith Doing Justice Award from the Ignatian Solidarity Network on May 1, 2024. The award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated a significant commitment to leadership for social justice grounded in the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

ISN Executive Director Chris Kerr; Fr. Fred Kammer, SJ; Provincial Assistant Mary Baudouin; and ISN Board of Directors member Dr. Dave Johnson. (Ignatian Solidarity Network)

From 2009 to 2021, Fr, Kammer addressed social justice issues as director of the Jesuit Social Research Institute (JSRI) at Loyola University New Orleans. JSRI addresses issues of poverty, race and immigration in the Gulf South through research, education and advocacy. He founded JSRI while he was provincial of the former New Orleans Jesuit Province. Fr. Kammer previously served as president/CEO of Catholic Charities USA, the nation’s largest voluntary human service network.

Jesuit Offers Prayer at Congress

Fr. Chris Kellerman, SJ, Secretary of the Jesuit Conference Office of Justice and Ecology, offered the invocation on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on May 28, 2024.

Diaconate Ordinations

On April 20, 2024, 17 Jesuits were ordained to the diaconate in Paris, including six Jesuits of the U.S. and Canada: Ulises Covarrubias, David Inczauskis, Matthew Ippel, Joseph Lorenz, Fernando Saldivar and Rivelt Silneus.

Seventeen Jesuits were ordained to the diaconate in Paris on April 20, 2024.

Ten Jesuits were ordained to the diaconate on May 24, 2024, in Toronto, including four Jesuits of the U.S. and Canada: Peter Berger, Frantz Georges, James Kennedy and Marc-André Veselovsky.

Ten Jesuits were ordained to the diaconate in Toronto on May 24, 2024.

Father General Receives Three U.S. Jesuits’ Final Vows

Fr. General Arturo Sosa, SJ, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, was in the United Staes in April 2024 as part of a listening tour of the works of the Midwest Jesuits, seeking to understand the needs of those served and how the Jesuits are addressing them.

He also received the final vows of three Midwest Jesuits during his visit:

Fr. Paul Shelton, SJ, the Midwest Jesuits provincial assistant for vocations, professed final vows at a Mass in Milwaukee on April 7.

Fr. Paul Shelton, SJ (left), with Father General Sosa

Fr. Daniel Hendrickson, SJ, president of Creighton University, professed final vows at a Mass in Omaha on April 10.

Fr. Daniel Hendrickson, SJ, professes final vows.

Fr. Michael Simone, SJ, associate pastor of Old St Patrick’s Parish in Chicago, professed final vows at a Mass in Chicago on April 13.

Fr. Michael Simone, SJ, professes final vows.

University Honors

Fr. Paul Harman, SJ

At the College of the Holy Cross’ spring commencement, and its 50th anniversary of coeducation, Fr. Paul Harman, SJ, received an honorary degree. Fr. Harman was a key administrator at Holy Cross during the transition to coeducation and later served as the college’s inaugural vice president for mission from 2011 to 2017 and then as director of projects in mission from 2017 to 2019.

On May 13, 2024, Saint Peter’s University President Eugene Corrnacchia presented Fr. Rocco Danzi, SJ, and Fr. Andrew Downing, SJ, a citation to recognize and honor their years of service to the university. They have each been missioned to new assignments.

From left: Fr. Rocco Danzi, SJ, Eugene Corrnacchia and Fr. Andrew Downing, SJ

Meet Our Ordinands

It is with great joy that we introduce the 20 Jesuits from the U.S., Canada and Haiti who will be ordained to the priesthood this year.

Get to know them through candid photos and stories, all told in their own words at jesuits.org/ordination.

Appointments

Fr. David Nazar, SJ, has been named administrative director of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in its new configuration that brings together the Gregorian, the Pontifical Biblical Institute and the Pontifical Oriental Institute. He is the former superior of Jesuits in Ukraine and former Provincial of the Jesuits in the English Canada Province.

Fr. Gilbert Sunghera, SJ, is the new superior of the Della Strada Jesuit community at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. He most recently served as superior and associate professor of architecture at the University of Detroit Mercy.