The Society of Jesus, an order of priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic Church, ordained eight new Jesuit priests of the Central and Southern Province on June 13 in New Orleans. 


Society of Jesus Ordains 8 New Jesuit Priests of Central and Southern Province

The Society of Jesus, an order of priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic Church, ordained eight new Jesuit priests of the Central and Southern Province on June 13 in New Orleans.

The Most Rev. Gregory Michael Aymond, archbishop of New Orleans, presided at the liturgy at Saint Joseph Church.

The ordination was the first of the nearly 1-year-old province, created last July with the consolidation of the former Missouri and New Orleans provinces. The former Puerto Rico region of Jesuits joined the Central and Southern Province in December 2014.

The eight newly ordained men are from Texas, Illinois, Louisiana, Arizona, Colorado, Mexico and England, and studied or worked in such areas as defense, the classroom or construction before entering the Society of Jesus.

Their call to Jesuit priesthood required them to undergo extensive training — from the moment they entered the Society as novices to ordination — a process that can take anywhere from eight to 12 years.

During the formation process, they earned degrees from Jesuit universities and served at Jesuit high schools and colleges.  Several also traveled abroad for language study or ministry.

The eight from the Central and Southern Province are among 28 new Jesuit priests who were ordained in May and June into the Society of Jesus in the United States and Canada.

The new priests now will embark on a number of ministries, including pastoral work in the U.S. and overseas; teaching at Jesuit schools; continuing their studies; and working at Jesuit parishes.


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The eight men ordained in New Orleans are:

Carlos D. Esparza, 35, from Richardson, Texas, who graduated from Harvard University and worked for the Department of Defense before entering the Society in 2004, ministering in El Salvador, Belize and Houston. He will serve at St. Ignatius Loyola Parish in Denver. 



Vincent A. Giacabazi, 33, from just outside Peoria, Ill., who met Jesuit mentors and became involved in campus ministry while attending Saint Louis University. He served as an Alum Service Corps volunteer teaching at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, Mo., before entering the Jesuits in 2005. He will work in Belize for the summer and start again at Rockhurst High in the fall.



Randall S. Gibbens, 37, of Metairie, La., who graduated from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, with a degree in agronomy and worked for a construction business with operations in Houston and the Dominican Republic. He entered the Society in 2004, worked in Mexico and as a Catholic chaplain at San Quentin Prison during formation. He will work in parish ministry in Honduras.



Joseph M. Hill, 32, who grew up in Phoenix and Ascot, England, and attended a Jesuit boarding school, the University of Oxford in England and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome before entering the Jesuits in 2004. During formation, he served in Tijuana, the Bronx and Jesuit High in New Orleans and studied in Brazil. He will serve as associate pastor of San Ignacio de Loyola Church in San Juan, Puerto Rico.



John R. Nugent, 33, a Houston native who graduated from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, before entering the Society in 2004, working in New Orleans, Tijuana, St. Louis and Dallas, where he was recognized as an Ignatian educator. He will pursue a master’s degree in education at Boston College.

 



Ronald R. O’Dwyer, 32, who grew up in New Orleans and Denver, and graduated from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., before entering the Jesuits in 2005 and teaching in St. Louis and ministering in Boston. In the fall, he will return to Boston College to continue studies for his Licentiate in Sacred Theology, with a focus on American Catholic history.



José A. “Pepe” Ruiz-Andujo, 32, from Juarez, Mexico, who learned about Jesuit spirituality at a young age, studied business and industrial engineering and volunteered before entering the Society in 2004, serving in Mobile, Ala., Houston and Dorchester, Mass. He will serve as a campus minister at St. Louis University High School.



Quang D. Tran, 30, from a Vietnamese Catholic area of New Orleans, whose family had a devotion to St. Francis Xavier. He worked with disabled people in Mobile, Ala., and the poor in Tijuana, Mexico; studied and taught in China; taught and helped with campus ministry retreats in Dallas; and preached in English, Spanish and Vietnamese at a parish in California. He will serve at St. Francis Xavier “College” Church in St. Louis.


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