Press Release
Jesuits Celebrate Ordination of 27 New Priests

For Immediate Release

Editor’s Note: Video interviews and photos available at www.jesuits.org/ordinations

(Washington, D.C., June 28, 2018) — This summer, the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits — the largest order of priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic Church — is welcoming 27 new priests in the U.S., Canada and Haiti (a member of the Jesuits’ French Canada Province).

Each Jesuit goes through a formation process lasting from 10 to 12 years before ordination. During that time, ordinands earn multiple degrees, work at Jesuit high schools and colleges, and minister to the poor and marginalized. They study, teach and serve across the U.S., Canada and Haiti, and around the globe.

Following are the 27 Jesuit priests being ordained this summer:

Fr. O. Alejandro Báez, S.J., (Los Angeles) was born in Jalisco, Mexico. During his Jesuit formation, he earned a master’s degree in music education from New York University, studied at The Juilliard School and taught at Jesuit High School in Sacramento and Verbum Dei High School in Los Angeles.

Fr. Fernando Luis Barreto Mercado, S.J., (McAllen, Texas) was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico. He studied Chinese in Taiwan and earned graduate theology degrees as part of his Jesuit formation and currently serves as an associate director of the US-China Catholic Association. After ordination, he will serve at Parroquia San Ignacio in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Fr. Germain Clerveau, S.J., (Port-Salut, Haiti) earned a Master of Divinity degree from Université Laval in Québec before being missioned to the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, California, where he completed advanced studies and worked as a deacon at St. Patrick Parish in Oakland, California.

Fr. W. Penn Dawson, S.J., (Tampa, Florida) was a trial lawyer before entering the Society of Jesus. During his Jesuit formation, he taught at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law and currently serves on the board of trustees at Jesuit High School in Tampa.

Fr. Roberto Carlos Durán, S.J., (San Salvador, El Salvador) worked for El Bohemio News in San Francisco before joining the Jesuits. He served at Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, California, before studying at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry and now serves as the associate pastor at the parish of San Bartolomé in Arcatao, El Salvador.

Fr. Kevin J. Embach, S.J., (Dearborn, Michigan) was a doctor for 18 years before becoming a Jesuit. During his Jesuit formation, he served as an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Loyola University Medical Center and Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago and will serve next at the Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska.

Fr. Amos Estinor, S.J., (Gros-Morne, Haiti) graduated from the Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, worked with migrants in Haiti and studied at Université Laval in Quebec City as part of his Jesuit formation.

Fr. Thomas J. Flowers, S.J., (Morgan Hill, California) attended Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose and the University of California, Santa Barbara, before entering the Jesuits. During his Jesuit formation, he published two books on scripture and meditation. His first assignment as a priest is at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in San Jose.

Fr. Andrij M. Hlabse, S.J., (Cleveland) a Ukrainian Greek Catholic, graduated from the University of Notre Dame before joining the Jesuits. During his Jesuit formation, he earned a master’s degree at Fordham University in the Bronx, New York, and taught at Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago.

Fr. Brian G. Konzman, S.J., (Scranton, Pennsylvania) attended Scranton Preparatory School and immediately joined the Jesuits after graduating from the University of Scranton. His first assignment as a priest will be at the Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola in New York City.

Fr. Jason C. LaLonde, S.J., (Lakeland, Florida) worked for the Santa Fe Opera in New Mexico and the Sarasota Opera in Florida before joining the Jesuits. His first assignment as a priest will be at Immaculate Conception Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Fr. Edmund K-F Lo, S.J., (Vancouver, Canada) earned a bachelor’s and a master’s from the University of British Columbia before joining the Jesuits in 2008. He is on the board of the Martyrs’ Shrine in Midland, Ontario, and of Camp Ekon, a Jesuit-run summer camp in Canada.

Fr. Keith A. Maczkiewicz, S.J., (Ronkonkoma, New York) earned a Master of Divinity degree at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, California, while serving as a deacon and director of faith formation at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Oakland, California. After ordination, he will return to the Jesuit School of Theology for advanced studies.

Fr. Eddy Mondestin, S.J., (Pétion-Ville, Haiti) entered the Society in 2005 and earned a bachelor’s degree in theology in 2015 from Université Laval in Quebec City. After ordination, he will work at the Jesuit novitiate in Dumay, near Port-au-Prince.

Fr. Patrick C. Nolan, S.J., (Massapequa Park, New York) taught in Micronesia as part of his Jesuit formation. After ordination, he will join the pastoral staff at St. Anthony’s Church in Oceanside, New York.

Fr. Timothy W. O’Brien, S.J., (King of Prussia, Pennsylvania) graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, and worked at the U.S. Department of Justice before joining the Jesuits. His first assignment as a priest will be at Holy Trinity Church in Washington, D.C.

Fr. David C. Paternostro, S.J., (League City, Texas) graduated from Strake Jesuit College Preparatory in Houston and attended Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, before entering the Jesuits. His first assignment as a priest is at Immaculate Conception Parish in New Orleans.

Fr. Elías Puentes, S.J., (Los Angeles) was born in Mexico but immigrated to the U.S. with his family as a teenager. For seven years prior to joining the Jesuits, he worked with Proyecto Pastoral, the homeless shelter housed at Dolores Mission Parish in East Los Angeles. He will continue advanced theological studies after ordination.

Fr. Nathaniel V. Romano, S.J., (Temecula, California) was a lawyer before joining the Jesuits. During his Jesuit formation, he worked at the Creighton University School of Law’s Milton R. Abrahams Legal Clinic, representing low-income clients. After ordination, he will serve at the Church of the Gesu in University Heights, Ohio.

Fr. Henry J. Shea, S.J., (St. Louis Park, Minnesota) earned a bachelor’s degree in government at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., before joining the Jesuits.  This summer, he is serving at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Richmond, Virginia, before beginning doctoral studies at the University of Oxford.

Fr. Kyle K. F. Shinseki, S.J., (Kauai, Hawaii) earned a bachelor’s from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a master’s from the University of California, Los Angeles, and an MBA from Northwestern University before joining the Jesuits. He will continue graduate-level theology studies after ordination.

Fr. Jean Bertin St. Louis, S.J., (Port-au-Prince, Haiti) earned a Master of Divinity degree from Regis College at the University of Toronto while working as a deacon at Paroisse du Sacré-Cœur. He will spend the summer in Haiti, helping with spiritual direction and retreats before returning to Toronto this fall for graduate-level theology studies.  

Fr. Eric M. Studt, S.J., (Gardner, Massachusetts) received a Watson Fellowship to study music in Latin America for a year and served as a teacher for another year before joining the Jesuits. After ordination, he will spend the summer working at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Washington, D.C., and then head to the University of St. Andrews in Scotland to begin work on a Ph.D.

Fr. Artur R. Suski, S.J., (Ontario, Canada) was born in Warsaw, Poland. He earned a Master of Divinity degree at Regis College and began work on a License in Sacred Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, which he will continue after ordination.

Fr. John T. Tanner, S.J., (Thousand Oaks, California) taught at Loyola High School of Los Angeles and worked with migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border during his Jesuit formation. He also served as a deacon at San Francisco General Hospital and for the Spanish-speaking community at St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Berkeley.

Fr. Tho Vu, S.J., (Omaha, Nebraska) was born in Bien Hoa, Vietnam. He graduated from Creighton University with a bachelor’s degree in emergency medicine before joining the Jesuits. During his Jesuit formation, he completed several medical immersion trips and served in India ministering in a dispensary.

Fr. Michael J. Wegenka, S.J., (Katy, Texas) entered the Jesuit novitiate directly after graduating from Strake Jesuit College Preparatory in Houston. After ordination, he will be assigned to St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Grand Coteau, Louisiana.

Ordination Masses were held in May in El Salvador at the Catedral Metropolitana de San Salvador and in Toronto at St. Paul’s Basilica, where Fr. Arturo Sosa, S.J., Superior General of the Society of Jesus, was in attendance. In June, ordination Masses were held at the Church of the Gesu in Milwaukee; Fordham University Church in the Bronx, New York; Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in San Ysidro, California; and St. Francis Xavier (College) Church in St. Louis. In July, Andrij Hlabse, S.J., a Ukrainian Greek Catholic, will be ordained at St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in Parma, Ohio, and Fernando Luis Barreto Mercado, S.J., will be ordained at Parroquia San Ignacio de Loyola in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The final ordination Mass will be celebrated in early August at the Chapelle des Frères de l’Instruction Chrétienne in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

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About the Society of Jesus in Canada and the United States

Co-founded in 1540 by Saint Ignatius Loyola, the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) is the largest order of priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic Church. The Society's mission is to put reconciliation into practice each day — with God, with human beings and with the environment. Jesuit priests and brothers are involved in educational, pastoral and spiritual ministries around the world, practicing a faith that promotes justice. In Canada and the United States, there are 30 Jesuit colleges and 80 pre-secondary and secondary schools with a shared goal of developing competent, compassionate and committed leaders in the service of the Church and society. Jesuits minister in parishes and at retreat houses and serve as chaplains at prisons, hospitals, nursing homes and in the military. The Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, headquartered in Washington, D.C., represents all Jesuits in Canada and the U.S. For more information on the Society of Jesus, visit jesuits.org.


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