July 12, 2017

Recently ordained, Fr. Chris Staab SJ shares about how serving at the margins influenced his vocation

 

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Nearly 12 years after entering the Society of Jesus, Christopher Staab, SJ, was ordained a Jesuit priest by Cardinal Blase Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, on June 3, 2017, at Church of the Gesu in Milwaukee. Eleven other Jesuits were ordained with Fr. Staab at the Mass.

“As I embrace this call to serve God and His Church as a priest in the Society of Jesus, I am moved to profound gratitude,” said Fr. Staab. “I am grateful to God for continuing to call me, walk with me, and show me great joy in being a friend and companion to so many.”

A native of Cleveland, Fr. Staab, 40, grew up in a traditional Irish-German Catholic family. At Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland, Fr. Staab first met the Jesuits and later connected with them at John Carroll University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in English in 1998.

After graduation, Fr. Staab worked for one year in Ireland with L’Arche, an organization in which volunteers and men and women with disabilities live together in community. He then returned to the United States and earned a master’s degree in English at the University of Pittsburgh. Father Staab served as an editor at West Group, a publishing company in Cleveland, before working for the Detroit Province of the Society of Jesus while discerning his vocation to the priesthood.

In 2005, Fr. Staab entered the Jesuits. As a novice, he taught English at Loyola High School in Detroit and learned Spanish in Cochabamba, Bolivia. In 2010, he studied philosophy for two years in Lima, Perú, at Universidad Antonio Ruiz de Montoya. For one year, he lived in the small city of Jaén, Perú, working in campus ministry at a Fe y Alegría school. Father Staab then spent two years at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago, teaching English and Spanish and helping with the soccer and cross country teams.

Missioned next to Belo Horizonte, Brazil, for studies at the Jesuit Faculty for Theology, he earned a bachelor’s degree while working with confirmation and youth groups at São Francisco Xavier parish and serving as a deacon at a Jesuit retreat house near São Paulo.

“I am deeply grateful to my friends in Perú and Brazil, who have shown me the face of Jesus and whose lives of faith have inspired me in my own life,” said Fr. Staab.

Father Staab will spend the summer working at Church of the Gesu in University Heights, Ohio. He will then attend Universidad Pontificia Comillas in Madrid to earn a master’s degree in Ignatian spirituality and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology. Father Staab celebrated his first Mass as a priest at St. Procopius Catholic Parish in Chicago.

Source: Midwest Jesuits