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Religious communities celebrate spring ordinations, profession of vows

Religious with ties to St. Louis answer God’s vocational call

In addition to the May 25 ordination of seven men for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, several religious communities have or will celebrate ordinations and final, perpetual or solemn vows of men and women who have ties to St. Louis. They include:

Society of Jesus (Jesuits)

Stephen Kramer, SJ
St. Louis native Stephen Kramer, SJ, is among four Jesuits of the St. Louis-based USA Central and Southern Province who will be ordained to the priesthood on Saturday, June 8, in New Orleans. Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans will preside at the sacred liturgy of ordination at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church.

Kramer was born and raised in St. Louis. Tied for the last of six children, he and his twin sister received Catholic education from kindergarten through college. For Stephen, that included Saint Louis University High School and Saint Louis University, both Jesuit schools.

At Saint Louis University High School, Kramer met the Society of Jesus. His affection for the Society deepened after his older brother, Father Mark Kramer, SJ, joined the Jesuits. Eventually, in 2006, Stephen entered the Jesuit novitiate in St. Paul, Minn.

Throughout his formation, Stephen fell in love with teaching after serving in various places, including at a prison in Belize, Central America; Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colo.; De Smet Jesuit High School in St. Louis and Jesuit High School of New Orleans. In addition to teaching, he has become devoted to all work related to the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius, from giving retreats to spiritual direction.

Kramer is completing a master’s degree focusing on Ignatian studies and a master of divinity degree at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. After his June ordination, he looks forward to serving as a parochial vicar at Immaculate Conception Jesuit Church in New Orleans.

Matthew Baugh, SJ
Jesuits Matthew Baugh, Peter Gadalla, Jonathan Harmon and Kramer have undergone extensive formation in the Society of Jesus, training that integrates one’s spiritual, personal and professional development. A Jesuit’s preparation for ordination can take anywhere from eight to 12 years, and profession of final vows is around 5-6 years after ordination. The four are among 22 Jesuits to be ordained in the United States, Canada and Haiti this year.

Baugh will be assigned as associate pastor of St. Francis Xavier (College) Church in St. Louis.

Additionally, two Jesuit priests with ties to St. Louis have made their final vows in the past year. They include native St. Louisans Father Andrew R. Kirschman, SJ, on Aug. 5, 2018, who was born and raised at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish in Crestwood and currently serves as novice director for the USA Central and Southern Province in Grand Coteau, La.; and Father William T. Sheahan, SJ, on Oct. 14, 2018, who is a graduate of Mary Queen of Peace School in Webster Groves, Saint Louis University High School and Saint Louis University. He currently serves as rector of the Jesuit community in Kansas City, Mo.

Three Jesuits who studied at Saint Louis University also have or will be making final vows. They include Fathers Anthony R. Borrow, SJ (Oct. 19, 2018), Johnathan L. Brown, SJ (May 8, 2019), and Hanh D. Pham, SJ (Aug. 25, 2019).

Dominicans

The Dominicans of the Province of St. Albert the Great recently ordained two men to the priesthood and another to the transitional diaconate May 18 at St. Pius V Parish in South St. Louis. Bishop John Noonan of Orlando was the presiding prelate.

Father Brent Anthony Bowen, OP, served this past year at St. Pius V, and Father Brian John Zuelke, OP, was assigned to Little Flower Parish in Richmond Heights. Brother Christopher Johnson, OP, was ordained to the transitional diaconate. He will serve this year at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in south St. Louis.

The Dominicans of the Province of St. Martin de Porres also will ordain one man to the priesthood and one to the transitional diaconate Saturday, June 8, at St. Anthony of Padua Church in New Orleans. Brother Joseph Paul Albin, OP, to be ordained to the transitional diaconate, will be assigned to St. Pius V Parish. Brother Nicholas Reynolds, OP, to be ordained for the priesthood, had his transitional diaconate assignment at St. Margaret of Scotland.

Additionally, four men from the Province of St. Albert the Great will make their solemn profession of vows June 2 at St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in River Forest, Ill. Brothers James Pierce Cavanaugh, OP, ministered at the de Greeff Hospice House; Benjamin Keller, OP, assists at St. Monica Parish in Creve Coeur; Adrian Patrick McCaffery, OP, teaches Latin at Saint Louis University; and John Steilberg, OP, was active with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in St. Louis. A fifth Dominican, Brother James Martin Nobles, OP, who assisted at the Catholic Student Center at Washington University, made his solemn profession May 24 at St. Dominic Parish in New Orleans.

Dominicans from both provinces study at Aquinas Institute of Theology and live in community at St. Dominic Priory, both in St. Louis.

Benedictines

Brother Athanasius Soto, OSB, will be ordained to the priesthood for the Benedictines at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, at St. Louis Abbey Church in Creve Coeur. Archbishop Robert J. Carlson will be the ordaining prelate.

Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet

Sister Clare Bass, CSJ, made her final vows with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet on March 30 at the St. Louis province motherhouse. Originally from Biloxi, Miss., Sister Clare is a graduate of Mississippi State University with both a bachelor’s degree in political science a master’s in public policy and administration. She is currently working on a master’s in social work at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and hopes to be a child and family therapist. Sister Clare also is passionate about social justice and is a member of the province’s Racial and Cultural Justice Committee.

Dominican Sisters of Peace

Sister Beata Tiboldi, OP, made her perpetual profession of vows as a Dominican Sister of Peace on April 28. Sister Beata lived in the Archdiocese of St. Louis when she was a canonical novice participating in the Collaborative Dominican Novitiate. She also studied at Aquinas Institute of Theology.

Sisters of Mercy of the Americas

Sisters Jennifer Barrow, Danielle Gagnon and Marjorie Tapia, RSM, will profess final vows on June 8 in Philadelphia as Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. The three made their canonical novitiate in St. Louis.

Society of the Daughters of the Heart of Mary

Sister Lynda Selaya, DHM, pronounced perpetual vows in the Society in February 2018, and Sisters Renee Dewhurst and Barbara Wentworth, DHM, pronounced perpetual vows in October 2018 with the Society of the Daughters of the Heart of Mary. All three sisters live and minister in the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Alexian Brothers

Brothers Steve Vogt and Patrick McCabe, CFA, will make their final vows as Alexian Brothers July 17 in Milwuakee, Wis. Brother Vogt, acting community director of the St. Louis community, and Brother McCabe, associate vocation minister in Milwaukee, both made their postulancy, novitiate and first vows in St. Louis.

Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Sister Christine Marie Rattini, ASCJ, will profess final vows with the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on July 27 in Hamden, Conn. Sister Christine Marie is from Troy; she attended Sacred Heart School in Troy and St. Dominic High School in O’Fallon.

This information was provided by the religious communities and archdiocesan Office of Consecrated Life.

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