Like all of Fordham’s Jesuits, first and foremost they are Catholic priests. They are ordained to celebrate Mass in any parish in the New York Archdiocese and to administer sacraments that go with the title: marriages, penance, last rites, Holy Eucharist and more.
That is why, when calls for assistance come from surrounding Bronx neighborhoods and beyond, Fordham’s Jesuits are answering them.
Some 20 of Fordham’s Jesuit priests regularly celebrate Masses in parish churches and other religious communities off campus. The jobs are rarely assigned tasks; they are, many of them say, tasks of the heart, and a privilege that keeps them connected to the world beyond the leafy confines of academia.
“We are priests first of all, and this is what our mission is,” said Father Joseph Koterski,S.J., who celebrates Mass on Tuesday mornings at the Sisters of Life convent in Throgs Neck and on Sunday mornings at the Missionaries of Charity convent on East 145th Street in the Tremont section of the Bronx. “We can be of great support to our fellow priests and to our dioceses. And people in the pews like a little variety in their sermons. The learning and spirituality that the Jesuits bring can be valuable.”
Photo is of Fr. Joseph Koterski, S.J.