Fr. Thomas Lawler, SJ

Fr. Thomas Lawler, SJ
Wisconsin Province

Fr. Timothy P. Kesicki, SJ

Fr. Timothy P. Kesicki, SJ
Chicago-Detroit Province

June 2013

A Message from the Provincials 

Celebrating Ordinations, Jubilarians, and Community

Our [Jesuit] life together testifies to our friendship in the Lord, a sharing of faith and life together, above all in the celebration of the Eucharist… Jesuit identity and Jesuit mission are linked by community; indeed, identity, community, and mission are a kind of triptych shedding light on how our companionship is best understood.”  [from Society of Jesus, General Congregation 35: Decree 2, 19]

Jesuits commit themselves to live out their Christian vocation in an “apostolic religious community”, that is, we serve the mission of the Society of Jesus and the Church in companionship, as friends of the Lord and one another. We serve in common having professed vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, and promising to live these vows as friends in the Lord.  We serve the people of God alongside very talented and generous colleagues upon whom much of our success depends.  For Jesuits, service is supported and enhanced by companionship.

Friendship is at the core of the Jesuit character. Ignatius met his dear friends, Francis Xavier and Peter Favre, in Paris where they lived and studied together, sharing their deep devotion to the Lord.  Their faith and friendship with the Lord became the basis of their friendship with one another.  As companions of Jesus (the name they chose for their association), they discovered common desires to serve the greatest needs of the Church under the leadership of the Roman Pontiff. This rich friendship quickly expanded to include others. Their service was rooted and grounded in a sharing of life and faith for the sake of a mission. By forming a community, they could live more simply supporting one another in daily prayer and interaction.  Even in their missionary travels across the globe, they maintained strong bonds through regular written correspondence.

Some might imagine present-day Jesuit community to be like that of a family.  In some ways it is, and in some ways it isn’t.  If you visit one of our university communities, you might find twenty or more Jesuits from various nations and cultures residing in a single house! Yet, despite our differences, we share a common vocation and common values. We work side by side; we celebrate special occasions together, like holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries.  We open our doors for visitors, relatives, friends, and colleagues. We share responsibilities for our life together and we set a priority on things like gathering for meals, prayer, regular reflection and conversation, and recreation. For Jesuits, “community is a place where we are called to live the Gospel together . . .” as our Superior General, Fr. Adolfo Nicolás, SJ, says.  

In a few weeks in Chicago, the Jesuit “family” of the Midwest region will unite, as we do each summer, to celebrate special anniversaries of those who have reached milestones of service (we call them Jubilarians, having served 25 or 50 years or more). We will also celebrate and pray together at the ordination of two of our men, Jayme Stayer and Patrick Gilger.  These are joy-filled days of renewal for us. They re-kindle the flame of faith and friendship for the sake of better serving the mission we have received. Thank you for your continued prayers and support for the Jesuits, our communities, and the ministries we sponsor.



Patrick Gilger, SJ and Jayme Stayer, SJ

With joy and gratitude
the Jesuits of the
Chicago-Detroit Province and
the Wisconsin Province

announce the ordination of

Patrick Gilger, SJ
Jayme Stayer, SJ

on June 15, 2013 in the

Madonna della Strada Chapel 
Loyola University of Chicago