Ordination 2006

Christopher Collins
Fr. Christopher Collins, 34, from Phoenix, has a bachelor’s in philosophy from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul and a master’s in history from Saint Louis University. He taught English and theology at Marquette High in Milwaukee and has led priests and seminarians in 30-day retreats during summers. He will be working on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota after ordination. (Wisconsin Province)

James Duffy
Fr. James Duffy, 40, from Phillipsburg, New Jersey, has a BA in biochemistry from the University of Scranton and an MD from Georgetown. He did an internship in internal medicine at the naval hospital in San Diego and was a medical officer in the navy. He has also worked with the homeless at clinics in Chicago and Oakland. After ordination he will work with the Spanish Catholic Center in Washington, D.C. (Maryland Province)

Charles Frederico
Fr. Charles Frederico, 34, from Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, studied at the Culinary Institute of America and earned a BS in food marketing from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. He taught algebra and world cultures at Scranton Prep, where he also coached swimming and led service trips to Mexico. He has directed retreats and taught English to Jesuits in Poland. After ordination he will work in campus ministry at Loyola College in Baltimore. (Maryland Province)

Dick VandeVelde, SJ

Richard VandeVelde, SJ
Company Magazine
Business Manager

Jean-Baptiste Lacordaire, a nineteenth-century Dominican priest, wrote a prayer called "Thou Art a Priest Forever." The last line of that prayer ends with the phrase "O God, what a life!" There is little to add to that. All I can say, Jean-Baptiste, is Amen!

Working for Company magazine, as I do, results in being in frequent contact with its editor. The editor is not a bad person, but he can catch you in one of your weaker moments and ask something as innocent as "Why don’t you write about what it has meant for you to be a priest?" His request was genuine; my task is impossible.

I can only echo the words of Lacordaire as I pen these words as an introduction to Company’s annual article introducing the newly ordained Jesuits. Having been in the Jesuits for over 50 years and having been ordained for more than 35, I can only say "O God, my brothers, what a life awaits you if you accept it!"

My own training in the Jesuits was clearly aimed at academic ends—higher studies in the abstruse discipline of mathematics. Ordination was followed by an assignment to a university to teach mathematics. There and then the expected ended and the unanticipated began. Friends and strangers alike approach you, groups and individuals seek you out, asking you to stretch yourself to do things for which you feel totally unprepared—all because you are a priest. If history is any predictor of the future, I am sure that this group of new priests will experience the same sorts of shiftings, turnings, and unexpected ways in which they are asked to serve the Lord and his people. As the Portuguese proverb goes, "God writes straight with crooked lines."

As a person whose duties these days include the editorial process of getting the word out about these men, I wish them well and urge them to be to ready to have the Lord work in their lives in unexpected ways. My hope and prayer for them is that when they approach anniversaries such as 25, 40, or 50 years of service, that they, with me, will be able to say "O God, what a life!" I hope, too, that they can add to that the words "Amen and Thank You!"

Ian Gibbons
Fr. Ian Gibbons, 37, from Edwardsville, Illinois, has an MBA from Southern Illinois University and an MA in American Studies from Saint Louis University. He taught economics and social sciences at Regis Jesuit High in Colorado where he assisted with many retreats and liturgies. He has worked at a L’Arche community in Spokane and at the Catholic Worker House in Montreal. He will teach at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City this fall. (Missouri Province)

Daniel Hendrickson
Fr. Daniel Hendrickson, 35, from Fremont, Nebraska, has a BA in psychology and theology from Marquette University in Milwaukee. He taught philosophy at Creighton University in Omaha and worked with the Service Learning Program in the Dominican Republic. He has also served at St. Agnes in San Francisco and St. Martin of Tours in the Bronx. He will teach philosophy and theology in Tanzania and then start on a doctorate in the fall of ’07. (Wisconsin Province)

Patrick McGrath
Fr. Patrick McGrath, 39, from Chicago, has a BA in American Government from Notre Dame and an MS in organizational change from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He directed the Jesuit Identity program at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois, and did counseling at Covenant House in New Orleans and at the AIDS Pastoral Care Network in Chicago. He will serve as province assistant for secondary education after ordination. (Chicago Province)

Sean Michaelson
Fr. Sean Michaelson, 37, from New York, has a PhD in English from Arizona State and taught the subject at Boston College and the University of San Francisco. He coached debate at Fordham Prep, worked with refugees in Toronto, and was deacon of the Newman Centre at the University of Toronto. He will teach English at the Colegio del Sagrado Corazón and Universidad Católica in Montevideo, Uruguay, this September. (California Province)

Kevin O'Brien
Fr. Kevin O’Brien, 39, from North Palm Beach, Florida, has a BA in government from Georgetown University and a law degree from the University of Florida. He worked at a leprosy hospital in India, immigration centers in Los Angeles, and a law center in Camden, New Jersey. He was a campus minister at Fordham University and taught philosophy at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. In July he will serve at Holy Trinity in Washington, D.C. (Maryland Province)

Hung Pham
Fr. Hung Pham, 36, from Biên Hòa, Vietnam, has a bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, and mathematics from Regis University in Denver. He taught chemistry and biology at Saint Louis University High and trained teachers with the Jesuit Refugee Service in Thailand. His interests include playing tennis and leading youth retreats. After ordination he will continue theology studies at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology. (Missouri Province)

George Witt
Fr. George Witt, 41, from Queens , New York , has degrees in English, theology, and philosophy from Fordham University. He worked at St. Ignatius Retreat House in Manhasset, N.Y., and spent summers teaching English to Jesuits in Poland. Fluent in sign language, he is deacon and spir itual director at St. Benedict Parish for the Deaf in San Francisco and will continue working there after ordination. (New York Province)

Alan Yost
Fr. Alan Yost, 46, from Clinton, Pennsylvania, has an MA in publishing and writing from Emerson College in Boston and studied Spanish at Stonehill College in Northeaston, Mass. He worked in retreat and young adult ministry and at the Vatican Observatory Summer School in Italy. He taught English in El Salvador, Mexico, and Madrid and will be teaching the subject at Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma, Washington, this fall. (Oregon Province)

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