In June, the Society of Jesus celebrated the ordination of 20 new priests in the United States, Canada and Haiti, including two Jesuits, Christopher Ryan and Kevin Spinale, who are members of the USA Northeast Province.
The diverse group of Jesuits hails from the U.S., Canada, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Colombia and Costa Rica. Among them are a doctor, a nurse, a Navy serviceman and several teachers. The ordination Mass for Frs. Ryan and Spinale took place Saturday, June 11, at the Fordham University Church and was streamed live online. The Mass was presided by The Most Rev. Terrence Prendergast, SJ, Archbishop of Ottawa.
“This is a joyful time of year because we are celebrating the ordinations of so many fine men to Jesuit priesthood,” said Fr. Timothy Kesicki, SJ, president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States. “During the ordination ceremony, the bishop says, ‘May God, who has begun the good work in you, bring it to completion.’ There’s something special about seeing our newly ordained Jesuits as they begin their priestly work for the people of God.”
Chris Ryan, SJ
Christopher Ryan, SJ, 33, is from Haddon Township, N.J. He first met the Jesuits at St. Joseph’s Preparatory School in Philadelphia and had a Jesuit spiritual director while at Dartmouth College. Ryan began discerning his vocation while spending his sophomore spring semester studying in Prague; he joined the Jesuits immediately after earning his bachelor’s degree in geography in 2004.
He served in Brazil and also accompanied migrants along the Central American migration corridor as part of his Jesuit formation. In 2013, he was missioned to studies at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. Over the course of earning his Master of Divinity degree and finishing his Licentiate in Sacred Theology, he has taken on a number of leadership roles, serving Jesuit Connection and the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Boston. After serving at St. Raphael the Archangel Catholic Church in Raleigh, N.C., this summer, he will complete his S.T.L. degree at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.
Kevin Spinale, SJ
Kevin Spinale, SJ, 37, is from Arlington, Mass. At the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., he played rugby. While there, he had a class with former Holy Cross president Fr. John Brooks, SJ, and Brooks became a major influence on Spinale’s decision to join the Society. After graduating in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in classics, he joined the Peace Corps and served for two years in Romania.
After receiving a master’s degree from Teachers College, Columbia University, in 2005, he joined the Jesuits. During the course of Jesuit studies, he returned to Boston, teaching at B.C. High and coaching rugby. After receiving a Master of Divinity degree from Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, he served parishes in South Boston as a deacon. He currently is on the associate trustee board of Nativity School of Worcester and serves at America magazine as moderator of the Catholic book club and as a writer. Fr. Spinale will work at his alma mater, the College of the Holy Cross, while completing his master’s degree in English from Boston College.
View highlights from the ordination Mass below: