Jesuits Celebrate Jubilee

The Jesuit Jubilee, which honors Jesuits who have served God for 75, 70, 60, 50 or 25 years, is Sunday, October 24. The Jubilee Mass begins at 2:00 p.m. at St. Francis Xavier College Church. Among the Jesuits who will be honored are alumni and other members of the SLUH community, past and present. Due to COVID-19, Jubilarians include those from 2020 and 2021.

Celebrating 70 years: James Blumeyer '49, Gene Martins '50, Louis Oldani '51 and R.J. Vogt '50.

Fr. Louis Oldani, SJ has been a member of the Society of Jesus for 70 years. During that time, he has served God and the Church through teaching and academia.

Born in St. Louis in 1933, he attended St. Louis University High School. Upon his graduation in 1951, he entered the Jesuit novitiate.

From 1971-2016, Fr. Oldani was a member of the faculty at Rockhurst College (now Rockhurst University). He started out as a teacher of English and American Literature, then was a professor of English for 26 years before becoming a professor emeritus of English. Since 2016, he has been a pastoral minster in the Jesuit Hall Community at Saint Louis University.

Father Oldani holds four degrees from Saint Louis University: a bachelor’s degree in philosophy (1957), a licentiate in philosophy (1959), a master’s in English (1962) and a Bachelor of Sacred Theology (1966). He also received a Ph.D. in English/American Literature from the University of Pennsylvania in 1972.

Fr. Gene Martens, SJ reflects: 

Jesus told us: “Everyone who has given up home, brothers or sisters, father or mother, wife or children or property for my sake will receive many times as much and inherit everlasting life.” The blessings of my Jesuit vocation began in the novitiate, with its rich spiritual training, particularly making the 30-day retreat for the first of three times. Over these 70 years I have also had the blessing of Jesus, in his Eucharistic Presence, living in my house. The Society of Jesus gave me an outstanding academic education: a BA in Philosophy & Letters, MA in Latin, licentiate in Philosophy & Theology and a Certificate in Higher Religious Education from the University of Strasbourg, in France.

I have been blessed with traveling to or living in over 36 cities including Paris, Lourdes, Rome and Jerusalem, and in the countries of the United States, Belize, Honduras, Canada, France, England & Wales, Ireland, Luxembourg, Belgium, Holland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Greece.

My Jesuit ministries include thirteen years of teaching at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, MO, seven years in spiritual ministry to the bishop and clergy of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau in southern Missouri and being pastor of Holy Trinity Parish in Marshfield, MO and Mount Carmel Church in Pueblo, CO. I was in charge of our pavilion’s Jesuit infirmary for three years and was the associate director of the development office of the former Missouri Province for twenty years. Between 1966 and 2009, I gave over 70 retreats and many days of recollection to priests, women religious and lay persons.

In all of this, God has blessed me with many wonderful and dear friends. Truly, I have experienced the “hundredfold” which Jesus promised to those who join Him in spreading His kingdom on Earth.

Celebrating 60 years: Vernon Heinsz '60, Thomas Melancon '60, Glenn Mueller '59, Eugene Renard '47 and Gary Seibert '60.

Fr. Thomas Melancon, SJ, was born in St. Louis in 1942 and graduated from SLUH. He attended the St. Louis College of Pharmacy for a year before discerning a call to the Society of Jesus. He is now celebrating 60 years as a Jesuit.

He spent most of the early years of his active ministry as an educator and most of the later years in pastoral ministry, in addition to helping others as an addiction therapist.

For roughly two decades, he alternated between assignments at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, MO, and his alma mater, SLUH, teaching the subjects of French, Latin and religion, while, for a period of time, directing the province’s pre-novice program.

He has served as associate pastor at several parishes in Colorado, including Most Holy Trinity Parish in Trinidad, CO, St. Joseph Church in Pueblo, CO, Holy Family Parish in Security, CO. and Corpus Christi Parish. He also served as associate pastor at St. Francis Xavier College Church in St. Louis.

He served as director of the Jesuits’ senior care facility in St. Louis from 2007-2014. Since that time, he has been involved in pastoral ministry in the Jesuit Hall Community at Saint Louis University. Father Melancon has worked as an addiction therapist at Chestnut Health System in Alton, IL since 1997.

Father Melancon earned a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy, Master of Arts in Latin, Master of Divinity and Master of Social Work, all from Saint Louis University.

Fr. Glenn Mueller, SJ, entered the Society of Jesus on Sept. 1, 1961; this year marks 60 years as a Jesuit.

Born in St. Louis in 1941, he attended St. Louis University High School and then Rockhurst University for two years before deciding to pursue a Jesuit vocation.

Following his priestly ordination on May 11, 1973, he has served as associate pastor or pastor in a series of churches: pastor at St. Stephen’s Mission in Wyoming; associate pastor at St. Agnes parish (Springfield, MO); associate pastor, then pastor at St. Joseph Church (Pueblo, CO); pastor at St. Francis Xavier Parish (Kansas City, MO); associate pastor at St. Francis Xavier College Church (St. Louis); Guardian Angels Parish (Kansas City, MO) and St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church (Grand Coteau, LA).

Since 2014, Fr. Mueller has been assigned to pastoral ministry in the Jesuit Hall Community at Saint Louis University.

He studied American/European history, philosophy, American history, humanities and theology, earning a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts and Master of Divinity from Saint Louis University.

Celebrating 50 years: William Huete (Board of Trustees), John Hunthausen '54, Louis McCabe (former faculty) and Frank Reale '69.

Fr. John Hunthausen, SJ reflects: 

One way to sum up the past 50 years as a Jesuit priest is to say that God is the God of surprises. When I entered the novitiate on February 8, 1959, I had no idea where this pilgrimage would lead me. A number of outstanding Jesuit companions fostered my vocation, and many lay colleagues have been sources of inspiration on this road. My main ministries have been teaching, administration and spiritual direction. Through all these years I have received more blessings than I have been a channel of. Seeing God working in and through others has been an amazing gift. Now that I am pretty much retired, my union in Christ and His church still reaches out through prayer to others, many of whom I will never meet personally in this life.

I have a profound sense of gratitude for being called to the priesthood in the Society of Jesus and also for being a witness to God’s love, mercy, compassion and fidelity in my own life and the lives of others.

Fr. Louis McCabe, SJ is celebrating five decades as a Catholic priest.

Born in Chicago in 1940, his family moved to Denver when he was 10 years old. After graduating from Regis Jesuit High School in 1958, he entered the Jesuit novitiate that fall.

His formation process took him to the West Coast, where he studied at Gonzaga University and Mt. St. Michael’s. He also earned a master’s degree from McGill University in Montreal.

Following his priestly ordination, he was assigned to St. Louis University High School. In total, he served the SLUH community for 20 years, teaching French, Latin and religion and serving as rector.

Father McCabe also spent two non-consecutive periods in administrative service for the former Missouri Province, first as socius from 1991-97 and again as an assistant for vocations and planning from 2007-2012.

Between these assignments, he served as faculty chaplain at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, CO, and as director and superior of Sacred Heart Retreat House in Sedalia, CO.

He served a four-year assignment as pastor of St. Peter Claver Parish in Punta Gorda, Belize, from 2012 to 2016. Since then, he has been a retreat director at Our Lady of the Oaks Retreat House in Grand Coteau, LA.

Fr. Frank Reale, SJ has been a Jesuit for 50 years.

A St. Louis native, he attended SLUH and then Saint Louis University for two years before deciding to enter the Jesuit novitiate.

He began his Jesuit ministry teaching religion and directing the pastoral program at his alma mater, SLUH.

From 1988-2003, he helped in the administration of the former Missouri Province, first as a vocation director and then as a provincial assistant for formation and secondary education. From 1997-2003, he served as provincial.

In 2004, he was assigned to Saint Louis University as chaplain of the law school. Beginning in 2006, he became vice president for mission and ministry, a role he filled until 2011. From 2008 to 2011, he also served as rector of the school’s Madrid campus in Madrid, Spain.

In 2011, Fr. Reale began teaching theology at Jesuit High School New Orleans. He then was named associate pastor and pastor of Immaculate Conception Church while serving as superior of the Immaculate Conception Jesuit community. He returned to Jesuit High as an assistant to the president for mission and planning and a theology teacher.

Since 2020, he has served as a retreat and spiritual director at White House Retreat in his hometown of St. Louis.

Celebrating 25 years: Ian Gibbons (SLUH Principal) and David Suwalsky (SLUH Board of Trustees).

Fr. Ian Gibbons, SJ has been a Jesuit for 25 years.

Fr. Gibbons joined SLUH on July 1, 2017 following his role as the Academic Assistant Principal at Regis High School in New York City. He is a native of the St. Louis metropolitan area and a Jesuit of our Province, the United States Central and Southern Province of the Society of Jesus.

He holds a degree in Economics from Southern Illinois University (SIU), as well as a Masters in Business Administration from SIU. He also holds a Masters Degree in American Studies from Saint Louis University, a Masters Degree in Divinity from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology at Boston College, and a Masters Degree in Catholic School Leadership from the Institute for Catholic School Leadership from the Jesuit University of San Francisco.

Prior to his service at Regis High School in New York, Fr. Gibbons was an Economics teacher at Regis Jesuit High School in Denver, Colorado; Director of Campus Ministry at Rockhurst Jesuit High School in Kansas City, Missouri; and Assistant to the President of Strake Jesuit High School in Houston, Texas.

Fr. David Suwalsky, SJ is celebrating 25 years as a Catholic priest.

Fr. Suwalsky is the Vice President for Mission and Identity at Saint Louis University. He serves as the Jesuit Superior for the Brebeuf Jesuit community and is a member of the Board of Trustees for St. Louis University High School. He is also a former SLUH faculty member. 

Fr. Suwalsky received an M.A. in History from Saint Louis University in 1989. He earned a M.Div. from Boston College in 1994; a Th.M. in American Religious Experience from Harvard University in 1995; and a Ph.D. in American Studies from Saint Louis University in 2010.

>>> Learn more about the 2020 Jubilarians.

>>> Learn more about the 2021 Jubilarians.

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