Louie Hotop, SJ ’09 was among five members of the USA Central and Southern Province who were ordained to the priesthood on Saturday, June 12. Hotop was ordained with fellow Jesuits James Page, SJ and Chris Kellerman, SJ, who served at SLUH during their formation.
Hotop came to know the Jesuits while a student at SLUH. In his teens, he was active in a local youth group, in Boy Scouts through his parish and in campus ministry at school. These activities helped to form and solidify his desire to dedicate his life to the good of others. His twin sister, two brothers and parents were supportive of his decision to enter religious life right after high school, at the age of 18.
As a Jesuit novice, Hotop served at L’Arche in Kansas City, Mo., Regis Jesuit High School in Denver and St. Peter Claver Parish in Punta Gorda, Belize. After completing two years at the novitiate and pronouncing first vows in the Society of Jesus, he was sent to earn his bachelor’s degree in philosophy and Russian studies at Saint Louis University. In order to enhance his Russian skills, he spent a summer with the Jesuits and the Catholic communities in Siberia, where he taught English at various summer camps and lived with the Missionaries of Charity in a home for the destitute and alcoholics.
During his regency – or ministerial experience – Hotop served at St. John’s College in Belize City, Belize, and then at Arrupe Jesuit High School in Denver, where he was the director of campus ministry and a theology teacher. After three years, he was sent to the Jesuit School of Theology (JST) of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, Calif., where he earned a Master of Divinity degree.
While at JST, he worked closely with the homeless on the streets of San Francisco through an outreach program called the Gubbio Project, which opens empty churches to provide people with a place to sleep during the day. After ordination, Hotop will head to the Diocese of Brownsville, Texas, where he will minister to migrant communities on the U.S.–Mexico border and help with sacramental supply in diocesan parishes.