Fr. Timothy P. Kesicki, S.J., has been named the next president of the Jesuit Conference of the Society of Jesus. Fr. Kesicki, who was appointed by Father Adolfo Nicolás, S.J., Superior General of the Society of Jesus, will assume his new position August 1, 2014. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Jesuit Conference is the liaison office that coordinates the national work of the Society of Jesus, the largest order of priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic Church.
“This assignment comes at a very exciting time for the Church and the Society of Jesus here in the U.S. and around the world,” said Fr. Kesicki, currently serving as Provincial of the Chicago-Detroit Province. “Clearly, the election of Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pope in history, has highlighted the Jesuit vocation. Going back to St. Ignatius himself, we Jesuits have always put ourselves in service of the Church to minister where the needs are the greatest. I look forward to helping the Society continue its mission with a renewed zeal, strategic use of our resources, and commitment to serving in Christ’s name here and around the world.”
Fr. Kesicki will succeed Fr. Thomas H. Smolich, S.J., who has served as president of the Jesuit Conference since 2006. “Fr. Kesicki is a dynamic leader whose wide range of experience—with Jesuit Refugee Service in Africa, as a high school president, and as a provincial—will serve him well,” said Fr. Smolich. “I’m grateful to Fr. Kesicki for his generosity in making himself available to serve the Society of Jesus in this important capacity.”
Fr. Kesicki adds, “When Fr. Smolich became president of the Jesuit Conference, the Jesuits in the U.S. were beginning a process of strategic planning. He has done a tremendous job in helping not only to redraw our geographic boundaries, but to ensure the effectiveness of our mission. I look forward to continuing this work as we leverage and maximize the expertise, resources, and talent of the provinces to find common apostolic approaches to the challenges of the world today.”
Fr. Kesicki first met the Jesuits when he was an undergraduate at John Carroll University in Ohio, where he studied political science. During his Jesuit formation, he studied at Loyola University Chicago and the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley. After being ordained in 1994, his first mission was with Jesuit Refugee Service in Adjumani, Uganda.
Most of his apostolic work has been in secondary education, including teaching theology at Loyola High School in Detroit (1988–1991) and serving as president of Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland (2000–2008). In 2008, he was appointed Provincial of the Detroit Province and a year later Provincial of the Chicago Province; the two provinces came together under his leadership in 2010. A native of Erie, Pa., he enjoys skiing, cycling, and playing the piano.
Founded in 1540 by Saint Ignatius Loyola, the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) is the largest order of priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic Church. Jesuit priests and brothers are involved in educational, pastoral, and spiritual ministries on six continents and in 127 nations, practicing a faith that promotes justice. For nearly 500 years, Jesuit education has made its mark on the world. In the United States, there are 28 Jesuit colleges and universities, 59 Jesuit high schools, and 16 middle schools with a shared goal of developing competent, compassionate and committed leaders in the service of the Church and society. Jesuits minister in parishes and at retreat houses and serve as chaplains at prisons, hospitals, nursing homes, and in the military. For more information on the Society of Jesus, visit http://www.jesuit.org.