Fr. Joseph A. Koczera, SJ
Fr. Joseph A. Koczera, SJ

Fr. Joseph A. Koczera, SJ, 35, is from Rochester, Massachusetts. Interested in politics from an early age, he went to Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., to study government. The example of the Jesuits he had as professors at Georgetown led Fr. Koczera to begin to think about a vocation to the Society of Jesus. He graduated in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in government and then went on to study law at the University of Notre Dame. While at Notre Dame, he continued to discern his vocation and began meeting with a Jesuit spiritual director. After receiving his law degree, Fr. Koczera entered the Jesuit novitiate in August 2004. Highlights of his novitiate experience included working in refugee resettlement in California and teaching social studies at Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago. After two years in the novitiate, he was missioned to Fordham University in the Bronx, New York, where he received his master’s degree in philosophy. He then taught philosophy for three years at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, and his understanding of the priesthood deepened, as he had the chance to guide students spiritually as well as academically. Since 2012, Fr. Koczera has been studying at Regis College in Toronto, where he received a Master of Divinity degree and will continue working toward a Licentiate in Sacred Theology after ordination. He appreciates the international dimension of his Jesuit formation, which has included studying German in Austria and Spanish in Peru and Chile, as well as his theology studies in Canada. Fr. Koczera also has an interest in Eastern Christianity, and he helped at Byzantine Catholic parishes during his time in New York and Philadelphia. As a deacon, he served at St. Elias the Prophet Ukrainian Catholic Church outside of Toronto. Fr. Koczera will celebrate his first Mass as a Jesuit priest at Ignatius House at Loyola University Chicago. (Chicago-Detroit Province)

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