Jan. 4, 2019 - Fr. Wayne P. Tkel, SJ was called to eternal life on Jan. 1, 2019. Fr. Tkel died on the island of Peleliu in Palau. He was born on Sept. 3, 1963, in Koror, Palau, entered the Society of Jesus in 1990 at the Manresa Jesuit Novitiate in Koror, Palau, and was ordained on June 22, 2002, in Koror, Palau. He pronounced his final vows in 2009, also in Koror, Palau.
Fr. Tkel was born and raised in Koror, Palau, the son of Frederick Ngirakesau Tkel and Juana Rudimch. He graduated from Maris Stella School in 1977 and Mindszenty H.S. in 1982. From 1985-1989, he attended the University of Guam, earning a B.A. in Visual Arts in 1989. While at UOG, he resided at St. Ignatius House of Studies.
Wayne Pius Tkel entered the Manresa Jesuit Novitiate on Feb. 1, 1990, and pronounced his first vows as a Jesuit on Feb. 2, 1992. For the next three years he studied philosophy at the Ateneo de Manila and lived at the Arrupe International Residence. He returned to Micronesia from 1995-98 to teach religion at Xavier H.S., Chuuk. Then he went on to earn a Master of Divinity degree from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology, Cambridge, Mass. (1998-2002). He also completed a training program in spiritual direction at St. Ignatius Retreat House in Manhasset, N.Y.
Fr. Tkel was ordained a deacon at St. Peter’s Church in Cambridge, Mass., on Oct. 6, 2001. He was ordained a priest by Most Rev. Amando Samo, Bishop of the Caroline Islands, at Sacred Heart Church in Koror, Palau, on June 22, 2002.
During tertianship at Campion Center, Weston, Mass. (2007-2008), Fr. Tkel served several months as chaplain at Coler-Goldwater Hospital in New York City. He pronounced his final vows as a Jesuit on Feb. 2, 2009, in Koror.
His apostolic assignments included both education and pastoral work. For most of his priestly life, Fr. Tkel served as pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes in Peleliu and Our Lady of the Rosary in Angaur. From 2004-2007, he also conducted leadership training in Koror. From 2009-2012, he served as Vicar of Catholic Schools for Palau. Since 2012, he worked as a campus minister and teacher of religion at Mindszenty H.S. He served as superior of the Jesuits in Palau from 2009-2011 and as a regional and community consultor for the Jesuits of Micronesia from 2009-2019.