2019 Jubilarians
Fr. John Apel, SJ

My ministries in classroom, pulpit, altar, city and in Indian country have been a total blessing.
Fr. John Apel, SJ

50 Years in the Priesthood

I have enjoyed my calling to be an educator and minister for more than 60 years as a Jesuit, the past 50 as a priest. As an educator I taught chemistry, mathematics, theology and Latin, beginning at De Smet Jesuit High School in St. Louis, and then at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City and Regis Jesuit High School (Girls Division) in Denver.

As a priest, I lived among the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshoni Tribes on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming where I served as pastor. Some of the Native people encouraged me to participate in various Indian ceremonies, leading to my learning to dance in Native American powwows in Indian Country. After my mother died, an Arapaho Elder, Vicki SunRodes adopted me as her son; Arapaho Elder Vincent Redman gave me his Indian name – “Eagle Chief” – and friend Eliot Mountain Sheep, a Crow Indian from Montana, adopted me as brother. 

My ministries in classroom, pulpit, altar, city and in Indian country have been a total blessing. I recall with joy and smiles the many people who have been and still are in my life. Each day I pray for my family and friends near and far, and I cherish your friendships even though I am getting forgetful. God bless and keep you always!

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Apel, John A.
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Located on the shores of Lewisville Lake in Lake Dallas, Texas, Montserrat Jesuit Retreat House is situated on an inviting 37-acre campus less than an hour north of Dallas.