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November 29, 2023 — Here’s the latest news from the Jesuits in Canada and the United States.

Jesuits Minister to Migrants Waiting in Border Cities

Fr. Brian Strassburger, SJ, Fr. Flavio Bravo, SJ, and Joseph Nolla, SJ, are serving migrants on the U.S.-Mexico border in Matamoros, Mexico, opposite Brownsville, Texas, as migrants attempt to get appointments for entering the U.S.

The priests celebrate Mass for migrants four days a week in Matamoros and Reynosa, 50 miles west, along with celebrations at the Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, Texas, where newly arrived migrants are assisted in reaching their final destinations in the U.S. Read more about their ministry.

Fr. Flavio Bravo, SJ

Game Designer Turned Jesuit Writes about Space Religion

Before joining the Jesuits in 2015, Shane Liesegang, SJ, worked as a video game designer for popular role-playing games. Once he joined the Society, Liesegang thought he was done with video games, until he got a call from an old boss, asking him to write the core texts for a space religion to be featured in Starfield, what would become a blockbuster video game. Read more at Religion News Service.

Awards & Honors

Fr. Tim McCabe, SJ, was honored by the IHM sisters with the 2023 Theresa Maxis award at the Detroit Athletic Club on October 26, in recognition of his service to the poor and marginalized. The award recognizes community leaders who embody the values and vision of the IHM community: deep faith, pioneering spirit, service to the poor and commitment to justice.

Fr. McCabe currently serves as the president and CEO of the Pope Francis Center in Detroit, where guests are offered a safe place to take respite from life on the streets and help unlock their potential to realize a brighter future.

Fr. John Perry, SJ, was named the 2023 Magis Award Recipient for Ingenuity and Innovation from St. Paul’s College in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His career spans education, theology, bioethics and humanitarianism. Fr. Perry started his journey with the Jesuits at the age of 18 in Guelph, Ontario, and later ventured into the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan.

His dedication to education and learning extends throughout his career both as an educator and an author of a diverse array of topics, ranging from genetically modified plants to the dark history of slavery and torture and nuclear weapon production and their impact on the environment.

Fr. Francis X. Clooney, SJ, the Parkman Professor of Divinity at Harvard University, was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Scranton in September. Fr. Clooney has written numerous books on comparative theology and is also scholar in the teachings of Hinduism. He has served as president of the Catholic Theological Society of America and is currently at work on his memoir, set to be titled “Priest and Scholar, Catholic and Hindu: A Love Story.”

Fr. Francis Clooney, SJ (center)

Fr. Walter Deye, SJ, received the 2023 Insignis Award, the highest award St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati can bestow upon an alumnus. The award recognizes graduates who have served God, their family and their community in an outstanding manner. Fr. Deye serves as rector of the Cincinnati Jesuit Community and previously served president of St. Xavier High, as well as Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis.

Diaconate Ordinations

This year, 17 U.S., Canadian and Haitian Jesuits were ordained to the diaconate at several different Masses in the U.S., Canada and Haiti. For a Jesuit in formation, ordination to the diaconate is the final step in preparation for priestly ordination in the Society of Jesus. Read more.

Nine Jesuits were ordained deacons Oct. 21 in Oakland, California.

Appointments

Fr. Tom Smolich, SJ, has been appointed as the next rector of the Jesuit community at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University by Father General Arturo Sosa, SJ. Fr. Smolich, who recently completed an eight-year tenure as international director of the Jesuit Refugee Service, will succeed Fr. Marty Connell, SJ, in summer 2024.

Fr. George Collins, SJ, has been appointed as the next rector of the St. Peter Faber Jesuit community at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry by Father General Arturo Sosa, SJ. Fr. Collins currently serves as superior of Campion Center in Weston, Massachusetts. He will succeed Fr. Michael Boughton, SJ, in summer 2024.

Fr. Frank Herrmann, SJ, professor emeritus at Boston College Law School, has been named faculty director for the BC Companions Yearlong immersive education program at Boston College. The program, which will begin in January 2024, is designed for those looking to renew purpose, explore discernment and deepen their spirituality.

Final Vows

Br. Jonathan Stott, SJ, professed final vows in the Society of Jesus at Fairfield University’s Egan Chapel on October 28. Br. Stott is director and chair of the physics department at Fairfield. Fr. John Mulreany, SJ, superior of the Fairfield Jesuit Community, presided with many fellow Jesuits in attendance.

Fr. Eric Ramirez, SJ, professed final vows in the Society of Jesus on All Saints’ Day at a school Mass at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colorado. Fr. Ramirez is director of pastoral ministries at Regis Jesuit High.