Province News

Two New England Province Jesuits Ordained to the Priesthood

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Celebrating the priesthood of Fr. Michael Rogers, SJ, and Fr. Bret Stockdale, SJ

Two New England Province Ordinands for 2013: Michael Rogers, SJ, and Bret Stockdale, SJ.

Two New England Province Ordinands for 2013: Michael Rogers, SJ, and Bret Stockdale, SJ.

The Society of Jesus of New England celebrates the ordination of two Jesuits, Michael Rogers, SJ, and Bret Stockdale, SJ.  The two men, who will be ordained June 8 at the Fordham University Church in the Bronx, New York, by Bishop Thomas Donato, D.D., auxiliary bishop of Newark, are among sixteen Jesuits being ordained Catholic priests across the country this summer.

Fr. Myles N. Sheehan, SJ, provincial of the New England Province of Jesuits, said, “The ordination of these two men to the priesthood is an especially joyous moment for our Church. As these two talented and dedicated men begin their priestly ministry, I thank them for their commitment and service. I am confident that the spirit, courage and generosity of St. Ignatius will both inspire and guide their service to God and His people.”

Those Jesuits called to Catholic priesthood undergo extensive training – from the moment novices enter the Society until they’re ordained — a process that can take anywhere from eight to 12 years. Following ordination, the new priests will serve in parishes and teach in Jesuit high schools and universities, among other assignments.

President of the Jesuit Conference in the U.S., Fr. Thomas Smolich, SJ, said, “Their call to priestly ministry is as varied as their hometowns and former occupations, but they have one thing in common: a desire to dedicate themselves to the Jesuit mission of serving the Church where the need is greatest.”

Michael Rogers, SJ, 32, is a native of Hartford, Conn. Part of his formation experience included teaching at Fairfield College Preparatory School in Connecticut and at Boston College High School. Following the regency stage of his formation, Michael was missioned to Rome to the International College of the Gesù to complete his studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in preparation for ordination.   This summer, he is serving as the national coordinator for MAGIS 2013 in Brazil, the Jesuit pastoral program that will be held this summer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, preceding World Youth Day.

Bret Stockdale, SJ, 37, was born and raised in Worcester, Mass. Prior to entering the Society of Jesus, Bret worked in the mutual fund industry before accepting a position with the Diocese of Worcester and later serving as a youth minister at St. Luke the Evangelist in Westborough, Mass. For his regency assignment, Bret taught history and theology for two years at Fairfield College Preparatory School in Connecticut and worked with the school’s campus ministry office.  Most recently, he earned a Licentiate in Sacred Theology at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry while serving as a deacon at St. Luke’s Parish, the same church where he worked as a youth minister more than a decade earlier.

Michael Rogers and Bret Stockdale are among the nearly 300 Jesuits in the New England Province serving the Church in educational, pastoral and spiritual ministries.  Jesuits minister in parishes, at retreat houses, and serve as chaplains at prisons, hospitals, nursing homes and in the military.  Educational ministries include two Nativity middle schools, three Jesuit high schools and three higher education institutions: Boston College, College of the Holy Cross and Fairfield University.

Gifts made to the New England Province provide for the expenses of young men studying for the priesthood, for the elderly and infirm Jesuits, and for those in specialized ministries. Learn more on how you can support these important ministries.

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