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Jesuit Jubilee Celebration honors service of three at Loyola

August 1, 2008

The lives and works of several Jesuits of the New Orleans Province were recently honored at the Immaculate Conception Church during its Jesuit Jubilee Celebration. Among them were Loyola professors the Rev. Theodore Dziak, S.J., the Rev. James Carter, S.J., and the Rev. Leo Nicoll, S.J.

Dziak, director of the Jesuit Center at Loyola, was recognized for serving 25 years in the priesthood. Carter, Loyola president emeritus and professor of science and religion, celebrated 50 years in the priesthood. Nicoll, a professor of history at Loyola, has served 60 years as a Jesuit. The Jesuit Jubilarians of the New Orleans Province honored during the Sunday mass represented about 900 years of service and commitment to God and God’s people, according to the Rev. Fred Kammer, S.J., Provincial of the New Orleans Province.

“I am always struck by the world-wide and local impact that these Jesuits have made – they are a microcosm of the Society of Jesus,” said Kammer, who is concluding his term in office as Provincial. “As I conclude my service as Provincial, I am eternally grateful for the support of my brother Jesuits, lay colleagues, our loyal companions, and the selfless ministry of our Jubilarians.”

Rev. Leo A. Nicoll, S.J., Professor of History

My basic feeling as I look back on six decades in the Jesuits is one of gratitude. I am grateful to my mother and family who accepted my departure from the family. I am grateful to the Society for accepting me in spite of my limitations. I am grateful for the many who contributed to my spiritual formation, and the many who gave me a first-class liberal education from languages and history to philosophy and theology. I am grateful for the chance to pursue degrees which allowed me to teach for forty years at Spring Hill College and Loyola University. I am grateful to the many students who allowed me to be a part of their educational growth. I am grateful to the members of various communities who have given me a home and support over these many years. Most of all I am grateful to the Lord Jesus Who has been the patient Forgiver of my many failures and the source of any good that I may have accomplished.

Rev. James C. Carter, S.J., Professor of Science and Religion and President Emeritus

When I was a student at St. Stanislaus High School in Bay St. Louis, I felt to a call to the work of healing. I come from a family of healers - my father was a physician. I had watched him treat many patients with great skill, but eventually, his patients succumbed and left this world. I wanted to be involved in healing which would last, hence my vocation to the religious life and the priesthood. I felt a call to teach, and my superiors gave me the opportunity to prepare myself as a physics teacher. I never dreamed that my vocation would take me down so many different paths, even if my entire apostolate has been in the context of one institution. Being a Jesuit teacher, administrator, and pastor

has brought many satisfactions. One of them is the privilege of becoming a part of many wonderful families. Another was to be ordained before Vatican II and to witness, as a priest, the marvelous transforming Spirit of the Council. The Council inspired many wonderful lay people to become aware of their call to ministry and answer it with devotion, energy, and love. I am most grateful for the support of my fellow Jesuits, my fellow faculty members, my students, and the many friends who have made work for the kingdom such a joy.

Rev. Theodore A. Dziak, S.J., Vice President for Mission and Ministry

Fr. Dziak is the vice president for Loyola University New Orleans’ Office of Mission and Ministry. He also serves as director of the university’s Jesuit Center. Before coming to New Orleans, he was the director of the Jesuit Retreat House at Trinidad Farm and pastor of San Antonio Church in Punta Gorda, Belize. Fr. Dziak served as associate director for Georgetown University’s Center for Immigration Policy and Refugee Assistance and was director for Jesuit International Volunteers in Washington DC, an organization that pairs recent graduates with international volunteer opportunities. He later served as a campus minister and director of the Neighbor Resource Center at Boston College.

Fr. Dziak received his degree in English from Michigan State University, followed by a Master of Arts in teaching from the University of Illinois. Afterwards, he completed both Master of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees at Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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