Six new priests for soon-to-consolidate Jesuit province

Courtesy of the Jesuits

Five new Jesuit priests of the Missouri and New Orleans provinces were ordained June 14 at St. Francis Xavier (College) Church in Midtown St. Louis. Archbishop Robert J. Carlson was the ordaining bishop.

A sixth new Jesuit priest of the New Orleans Province, Eric Ramirez, is to be ordained July 19 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in San Antonio by Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller. In addition, 13 Jesuit priests are being ordained in other provinces in June elsewhere around the U.S.

The Society of Jesus, also known as Jesuits, is the largest order of priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic Church. The Missouri and New Orleans provinces' joint ordination of men is one of many shared ventures in recent years as they gradually have moved toward their consolidation on July 31.

The six ordinands have diverse backgrounds and hail from Missouri, Louisiana, New Mexico, Texas and Vietnam. Before entering the Society of Jesus, these men studied or worked in physical therapy, pre-med, computer science, farming and missionary work.

Their call to the priesthood required them to undergo extensive training, a process that can take from eight to 12 years.

In the formation process, the ordinands earned degrees from Jesuit universities and served at Jesuit high schools and colleges. They also traveled abroad for a variety of experiences, from learning Spanish in El Salvador to studying in Rome and Geneva, Switzerland.

The six Jesuits from Missouri and New Orleans provinces include two men from the Archdiocese of St. Louis:

Father Michael D. Rozier, 32, grew up in Ste. Genevieve. In his Jesuit formation, Father Rozier completed a fellowship at the World Health Organization in Geneva and taught global health at St. Louis University. As an undergraduate student at St. Louis University studying pre-med, he contributed to public health research projects, played French horn in the pep band and served in student government.

Father Christopher J. Schroeder, 32, is the nephew of a Jesuit Brother Gerard Schroeder of St. Louis and two diocesan priests, Father John Reiker, pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Parish in St. Charles, and Father Robert Reiker, pastor of Mary Queen of Peace Parish in Webster Groves. He was born and raised in St. Louis, where he attended De Smet Jesuit High School. His Jesuit formation has included work for Fe y Alegría, a Jesuit network offering education, training programs and development services primarily in Latin America, and work as a deacon at San Quentin State Prison in California.

The others are: Father Dong "Derek" Vo, 49, who grew up in Vietnam. At 21, seeking to flee his war-battered homeland, he left in search of economic opportunity; Father Robert E. Murphy, 37, of New Orleans. He is a former physical therapist; Father Nathan W. O'Halloran, 32, who grew up on The Lord's Ranch, a Catholic lay community founded in 1975 in a small New Mexico border town; and Eric Ramirez, 34, who grew up in the small west Texas town of San Angelo.

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