For Immediate Release
Contact: Brian Harper, Communications Specialist
Phone: 773-975-6921 / Email: email@example.com
June 16, 2017
Chicago, Ill. — Nearly 12 years after entering the Society of Jesus, Luke Hansen, 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. Hansen at the Mass.
Father Hansen thanked his parents and family, his friends, the women with whom he has collaborated in ministry, the prisoners he has served, the Society of Jesus’ benefactors, and, most of all, God.
“Encounter is a favorite word of Pope Francis,” said Fr. Hansen. “It is also the defining gift of my Jesuit life. This vowed life has offered an abundance of opportunities for encounters with the love and mercy of God and the beauty and generosity of God’s people. And these encounters have often happened in the most surprising places, beyond my imagination.”
Father Hansen, 35, is from Kaukauna, Wis., a small city near Green Bay. His family belongs to St. Katharine Drexel Parish, where he attended grade school. He graduated from Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Ind., with bachelor’s degrees in political science and religion/philosophy in 2004. During college, Fr. Hansen played golf, was a resident assistant, was involved in campus ministry, and participated in mock trial. After graduation, he joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC) and spent one year in San Jose, Calif., working in legal services for mental health patients in the local county jail.
Father Hansen had thought about priesthood and religious life during college, but it was in JVC — when he got to know Jesuits while living near Santa Clara University — that he began to really imagine living as a Jesuit and serving as a priest. He entered the Society in 2005. As a novice, Fr. Hansen went on a pilgrimage to the US-Mexican border so he could listen and learn from migrants. Next, he went to Loyola University Chicago and received a master’s degree in social philosophy in 2010. Father Hansen then spent two years on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota as the volunteer coordinator at Red Cloud Indian School. Missioned next to New York City, he worked as an associate editor at America magazine for two years, where he filed reports from Honduras, El Salvador, the Vatican, and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. At the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, Calif., Fr. Hansen received Master of Divinity and Bachelor of Sacred Theology degrees. He also served as a deacon and taught a class at a federal prison for women in Dublin, Calif.
During his Jesuit formation, Fr. Hansen spent a summer doing an internship with the Jesuits’ Legal Cell for Human Rights in Northeast India, and he has been very involved in promoting and supporting the leadership and ministry of women in the Church. After his ordination, he will serve at Church of the Gesu in Milwaukee for six weeks and then begin studies for a Licentiate in Sacred Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
Father Hansen celebrated his first Mass as a priest at Church of the Gesu and a Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Katharine Drexel.
The Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits, is a religious order of priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic Church. For more than 470 years, the Jesuits have served in the spirit of St. Ignatius Loyola, who founded the order in 1540. Jesuits serve throughout the United States and the world, in educational institutions, parishes, retreat centers, social justice ministries, international ministries, and intellectual apostolates. The Midwest Jesuits serve in a wide range of ministries from the Great Lakes to the Great Plains, based in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
To learn more, please visit www.jesuitsmidwest.org.
Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam
“For the Greater Glory of God”