Jesuit priests, brothers, celebrate milestone anniversaries

By Clarion Herald Staff

Twelve Jesuit priests and two Jesuit brothers with ties to New Orleans are among the 43 Jesuits in the USA Central and Southern Province who this year are celebrating 25, 50, 60, 70 or 75 years from entrance or ordination.

The 12 Jesuit priests are Fathers James Bradley, Richard Buhler, Edward Buvens, Robert Gerlich, Rodney Kissinger, Albert Louapre, Anthony McGinn, Jerome Neyrey, Norman O’Neal, John Paul, John Payne and Nicholas Schiro. Jesuit Brothers Anthony Coco and Lawrence Lundin also are marking anniversaries of profession.

Father Bradley, a native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, entered the Society of Jesus in 1955 at St. Charles College in Grand Coteau, Louisiana, and was ordained a priest on May 27, 1967, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Denver. He currently serves as the director of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez Pavilion, the retirement community for Jesuits, in Grand Coteau. His previous assignments in the Archdiocese of New Orleans included teaching at Jesuit High School (1961-62) and Loyola University New Orleans (1987-88), provincial of the New Orleans Province (1996-2002), rector of Loyola University New Orleans (2003-09) and superior and director of Ignatius Residence (2009-13).

Father Buhler, a native of New Orleans, is celebrating 60 years as a Jesuit. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1957 at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant, Missouri, and was ordained at Jesuit High School on June 5, 1970. He served for many years in Belize and was a retreat director at White House Retreat Center in St. Louis from 1999-2008. Since 2011, he has been rector of Jesuit Hall in St. Louis. He will begin a sabbatical in the fall.

Father Buvens, a native of Montreal, grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana, and entered the Jesuits in 1957 at Grand Coteau. He was ordained a priest on June 7, 1969, at St. John Church in Shreveport. He currently serves in pastoral ministry in Denver. In the archdiocese, he served on the Conflict Resolution Team for the Orleans Parish School Board, was consultation and education coordinator for Pontchartrain Mental Health Center, was a member of the New Orleans Province staff (1985-93), rector and counselor at Jesuit High School (1993-97), Catholic Charities and needs assessment for immigration and refugee services, and spiritual director at Loyola University New Orleans (1997-99) and adult education and chaplain (2000-05).

Father Gerlich, a native of Houston, has taught European history at Loyola University New Orleans since 1989, becoming a full professor in 2003. Prior to Loyola, he was a member of the editorial and research staff of the Encyclopedia of Jesuit History project of the Jesuit Historical Institute in Rome. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1967 and was ordained a priest on Nov. 1, 1980, in Praha, Texas. He is a member and second vice-president of the Loyola Corporation and serves on the Faculty Senate and the Board of Trustees.

Father Kissinger, a native of New Orleans, is 102 years old and still blogs on a regular basis. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1942 and was ordained on June 17, 1953, in the chapel on the campus of Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama. He currently resides at the Jesuit retirement community at St. Charles College in Grand Coteau, where he is considered a “writer in residence.” His thoughts on spirituality can be found at www.frksj.org. Much of his priestly life has been spent as a retreat director.

Father Louapre, a native of New Orleans, graduated from Jesuit High School in 1947 and entered the Society of Jesus. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 15, 1960, in the Spring Hill College Chapel. Much of his ministry has been in administration, including serving as socius (executive assistant) to five provincials, as principal of three Jesuit high schools (in Detroit, Houston and Tampa) and president of Jesuit High in Tampa. From 1995 until his retirement in 2012, he served as a retreat director in Grand Coteau, Montserrat in Lake Dallas, Texas, and Ignatius House in Atlanta.

Father McGinn, a native of New Orleans, has the distinction of the longest tenure of a president at Jesuit High School. He began there as a history teacher in 1981 and served as principal from 1982-85, when he left to finish a master’s degree in education. After serving as principal at Jesuit High School in Tampa for four years, he returned to Jesuit in New Orleans and served as president from 1992-2011 and then again from 2014-16. He currently serves in the advancement office of De Smet Jesuit High School in St. Louis. He graduated from Jesuit High School in 1966 and entered the Society of Jesus in Grand Coteau in 1967. He was ordained in the Jesuit High School Student Chapel in New Orleans on July 29, 1979.

Father Neyrey, a native of New Orleans, is a scholar and prolific author, with more than a dozen books and scores of articles. He graduated from Jesuit High School in 1957 and entered the society that summer. He was ordained on June 5, 1970, at the Jesuit High Chapel in New Orleans. He taught at Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for 14 years before becoming a professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame (1992-2007). He served from 2007-13 as retreat director at Our Lady of the Oaks Retreat Center in Grand Coteau. He currently lives in St. Louis in pastoral ministry to senior Jesuits.

Father O’Neal, a native of Shreveport, is celebrating his 70th anniversary as a Jesuit. He entered the society in Grand Coteau in 1947 and was ordained a priest on June 17, 1959, at Spring Hill College in Mobile. He spent nearly his entire active ministry at Jesuit High School in New Orleans, first arriving there in 1960 as a science and religion teacher. He continued to teach science and later served as alumni chaplain until earlier this year, when he returned to Grand Coteau to pray for the church and the society.

Father Paul, a native of Albuquerque, is celebrating his 25th anniversary as a priest. He entered the Jesuits in Grand Coteau in 1978 and was ordained a priest on June 6, 1992, in the Spring Hill College chapel in Mobile. In the archdiocese, he was a pastoral minister and adjunct professor of theology at the University of Holy Cross from 2006-13, and he was in prison ministry in Jefferson Parish from 2010-13.

Father Payne, a native of Galveston, Texas, entered the Jesuits in Grand Coteau in 1957 and was ordained on June 7, 1970, at St. Patrick’s Church in Galveston. He did social work and was a chaplain at Loyola University New Orleans law school from 1976-88. From 1999-2012, he served as director of faith community formation at a secondary school in Austin, Texas, while helping with the foundation of another school based on the Christo Rey model. Then-Austin Bishop Gregory Aymond appointed him as minister to priests in 2005, providing spiritual guidance, to priests in Austin until his assignment to Montserrat Retreat House in Dallas in 2012.

Father Schiro, a native of New Orleans, is celebrating 60 years as a priest. He graduated from Jesuit High School in 1944 and entered the society. He was ordained a priest on June 12, 1957, in the chapel at Spring Hill College. Now in pastoral ministry in Grand Coteau, Father Schiro taught theology at Jesuit High School New Orleans for more than 35 years. He also served as rector of the Jesuit community there from 1987-93.

Brother Coco, a native of Helena, Arkansas, has spent most of his active ministry in service to the poor. He entered the society in Grand Coteau in 1957 and made first vows two years later. He professed final vows on June 13, 1969, at Immaculate Conception Church in New Orleans. Brother Coco currently helps with building maintenance at St. Charles College in Grand Coteau. He also provided maintenance for the Jesuit House of Studies in Mobile and the Ignatius residence in New Orleans. He was a missionary in Brazil from 1966-2002 and again from 2003-05.

Brother Lundin, a native of Dallas, entered the society in 1967 at Grand Coteau. For more than 40 years, Brother Lundin has made financial decisions on behalf of his brother Jesuits. He served as province treasurer for the former New Orleans Province from 1990-2012. Since 2012, he has served as associate director of administration and finance at the Resource Center for Religious Institutes in Washington, D.C. He also serves on the finance committee for the Maryland Province.

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