Society of Jesus appoints new pastor of Gesu Parish

The Rev. John Schlegel
The Rev. John Schlegel

The Rev. John Schlegel, chaplain of the College of Health Sciences, was appointed pastor of the Church of the Gesu Sunday and is awaiting approval from Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki.

A letter from the Rev. Thomas Lawler, provincial of the Society of Jesus’ Wisconsin Province, informed the Gesu Parish community of the decision. The letter also announced the Rev. Robert (Roc) O’Connor, rector of Creighton University’s Jesuit Community and published liturgical music composer,  will become an associate Gesu pastor.

Schlegel and O’Connor are scheduled to begin working in their new roles this summer, beginning June 22.

“(Schlegel) is energetic, creative and has a great love for parish ministry,” Lawler said in the letter. “He has enjoyed his time so far at Gesu and looks forward to continuing to serve in the role of pastor.”

The announcement came after months were spent on a new pastor search, which included parishioner listening sessions to discuss what Gesu parishioners wanted  from their new pastor. The feedback was compiled and sent to Lawler for review in December.

 “I am confident that you will welcome your new pastor and associate pastor this coming summer,” Lawler said in the letter. “I am also confident that they, along with the entire parish staff, will provide the kind of pastoral care and leadership which is desired by the parish at this time.”