Dec. 12, 2023 – As 2023 comes to a close, we have gathered together some of our top stories from the last twelve months. Over the past year, one of our colleges became a university, a Jesuit from the province had a guest role on an HBO drama, Saint Joseph’s University inaugurated its first lay woman as president and we celebrated more men answering the call to join the Society of Jesus. Read about these stories and more below.
Fr. Mario Powell, SJ, Named New Provincial Assistant for Secondary and Pre-Secondary Education
Earlier this year, Fr. Mario Powell, SJ, (left) was named as the next Provincial Assistant for Secondary and Pre-Secondary Education. Fr. Powell was previously the President of Brooklyn Jesuit Prep and has also served as director of the REACH Program at Regis High School in New York City. Special thanks to Fr. Joe Parkes, SJ, (right) the outgoing Provincial Assistant for Pre-Secondary and Secondary Education for his dedicated five years of service.
On May 11, 2023, the USA East Province celebrated the 2023 Jesuit Dinner at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore, Md. The dinner was an opportunity to honor the nurses and staff of our Jesuit healthcare communities. We are grateful for the selfless commitment of these men and women who have provided dedicated care to the nearly 200 Jesuits living in our healthcare and retirement communities in the USA East Province.
In 2023, Canisius College was able to successfully petition the New York State Education Department Board of Regents for university designation. The transition took place during summer 2023 alongside the rollout of the first strategic plan for the university. In August, ahead of the start of the fall semester, Canisius unveiled a refreshed branding initiative to introduce the school’s new identity.
This fall, Fairfield Bellarmine welcomed its inaugural class of 44 students. Bellarmine is a two-year associate’s degree program grounded in the Jesuit tradition, serving the needs of students in the greater Bridgeport, Connecticut area. No student attending Fairfield Bellarmine will pay more than $1,000 a year.
Celebrating Newly Ordained Jesuit Priests
On June 10, 2023, three Jesuits were ordained to the priesthood at the Fordham University Church. Pictured left to right are Fr. Antonio Virgílio Oliveira e Costa, SJ, Socius of the Southern Africa Province; The Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano, Bishop of Bridgeport, CT; Fr. Alcidio Tembe, SJ, of the Southern Africa Province; Fr. Josué Salguero, SJ, of the Central America Province; Fr. Justin Grosnick, SJ, of the USA East Province; and Fr. Joseph O’Keefe, SJ, Provincial of Jesuits USA East.
Dr. Anthony Fauci Joins Georgetown Faculty as Distinguished University Professor
On July 1, Dr. Anthony Fauci joined the faculty of his alma mater, Georgetown University. Dr. Fauci is now serving as a Distinguished University Professor in the School of Medicine’s Department of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases, an academic division that provides clinical care, conducts research and trains future physicians in infectious diseases. Dr. Fauci and his wife, Dr. Christine Grady were recipients of the province’s Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam Award in 2021.
This past summer, Niko Lignore, SJ, Fr. Nick Colalella, SJ, and Luke Olsen, SJ, professed their First Vows in the Society of Jesus on August 12, 2023, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse, N.Y. They are pictured with Father Provincial Joseph O’Keefe, SJ (far left), and Fr. George Witt, SJ, director of novices (far right).
On Sept. 8, 2023, Saint Joseph’s University inaugurated Cheryl A. McConnell, PhD, as the 29th — and first female — president in the University’s 172-year history. Dr. McConnell had been serving as interim president since the departure of Mark Reed last summer. She came to SJU in 2019 as provost and chief academic officer and is a 35-year veteran of Jesuit higher education.
On Sept. 19, 2023, the USA East Province held the 15th Annual Friends of the Jesuits Golf Outing at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, N.Y. Over the last decade and a half, this outing has raised more than $3 million to support our ministries, in particular our men in formation and our senior and infirm Jesuits. This would be the final Friends of the Jesuits Golf Outing. Next year the USA East Province will instead be holding the inaugural James F. Keenan, SJ, Memorial Golf Outing to commemorate the life and work of its namesake who passed away on Aug. 13, 2023.
Earlier this year, the HBO TV series Succession filmed an episode at St. Ignatius Loyola Church in New York City. Fr. Dennis Yesalonia, SJ, pastor of St. Ignatius, wrote a reflection for America magazine about the process and how he was cast in the episode.