Jesuits welcome new priest into the fold

The Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus sends 166 members to campus for the weekend to attend ordination | June 16, 2004

Xavier’s campus hosted 166 Jesuits who came to welcome a new priest into their ranks. Members of the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus arrived on Friday, June 11, to celebrate the ordination of Eric J. Knapp, S.J., in a ceremony at St. Francis Xavier Church in downtown Cincinnati. The weekend began with a Mass at Bellarmine chapel to celebrate the Province’s jubilarians.

More than 100 Jesuits stayed on campus in Kuhlman Residence Hall. “It’s an opportunity to get a sense of some of the common works of the Province,” said Joe Wagner, S.J., assistant professor of education and mathematics. “It’s a chance to see friends that you’ve spent a lot of time with on other occasions, but haven’t seen for a while.”

Province members attended a Saturday morning meeting before the ordination that afternoon. The Most Rev. Bishop Gordon Bennett presided over the ordination at St. Francis Xavier Church where Knapp will spend next summer as an associate pastor. A banquet at the Cintas Center followed later in the evening. The priests left on Sunday.

The Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus includes 235 Jesuits who serve in apostolates throughout Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, as well as in international ministries in Peru, India and Nepal. The Province operates Xavier University and Loyola University, and five high schools, two retreat houses—including the Milford Spiritual Center in Milford, Ohio—and Loyola Press, a not-for-profit publishing house.

The Province meets every year to discuss official business, ordain new priests and reconnect with fellow Jesuits. Xavier hosts these meetings every two years.