New Orleans – Sometimes we hear by turning a listening ear, but some people speak directly to our hearts. According to the Most Reverend Gregory M. Aymond, Archbishop of New Orleans, God spoke directly to the hearts of Jesuits José R. Dueño Gorbea, William A. McCormick, W. Tucker Redding and Aric M. Serrano. They heard his message – “Come, follow me. I need you to lead and serve my people.” – and they said yes.
On Saturday, June 10, 2023, several hundred people celebrated their generous responses as they were ordained priests at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in New Orleans. They promised to care for the people of the Church, preach the Gospel, teach the Catholic faith and pray without ceasing.
In his homily, Archbishop Aymond called on the four to make present Jesus as teacher, priest and Good Shepherd.
“In times of darkness, remind people they are not alone,” he said. “We ask you to never give up. Jesus was patient and merciful; we ask you to be the same.”
Fathers Dueño, McCormick, Redding and Serrano are among 17 Jesuits to be ordained in the United States, Canada and Haiti this year. Each has undergone training in accord with the pattern established by St. Ignatius of Loyola more than 400 years ago, tailored to the needs of today’s world.
The new priests are:
Father José R. Dueño Gorbea, SJ, was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He met the Jesuits while a student at Colegio San Ignacio, the Jesuit secondary school in San Juan. After college, he entered the Society of Jesus at the novitiate at Santiago de los Caballeros in the Dominican Republic. Highlights of his formation include two years working as a videographer at America Media in New York City and teaching Puerto Rican history and French at Colegio San Ignacio for a year. His novitiate pilgrimage was in the northwestern part of the Dominican Republic, near the Haitian border. He stayed and worked with a different family, in a different village, each of the five weeks of his novitiate pilgrimage. This experience, he says, was valuable in learning to trust God’s actions in the people he met along the way.
Father Dueño’s first assignment as a priest is at Colegio San Ignacio and at Parroquia San Ignacio, both in San Juan.
Father William McCormick, SJ, was born in south Texas, where his faith was nourished by the unique Catholicism of the border region. While he heard the call to the priesthood from a young age, it was only after meeting Jesuits that he recognized the form of priesthood that resonated with him. In college he was introduced to a heady, cerebral faith that nourished his intellect, and in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest he recognized the joys of service.
His novitiate experiences took him to Guatemala, Nicaragua, Denver, Kansas City, Mo., Michigan and Mobile, Ala., among other places. Living at L’Arche Mobile, he learned profound lessons about community and discipleship. Teaching political science and philosophy at Saint Louis University and becoming a contributing editor for America Magazine, are two of the greatest gifts of his Jesuit formation.
Father McCormick will serve in mission and ministry at St. John’s College in Belize City, Belize.
Father W. Tucker Redding, SJ, was born and raised in Boerne, Texas. During college, he began to grow in his faith through his involvement at St. Mary’s Catholic Center on the campus of Texas A&M University, where he was a member of several student groups, including a retreat team that planned and staffed retreats for parishes.
After graduating, Fr. Redding served as the coordinator of youth ministry at St. Justin Martyr Parish in Houston for four years before entering the Jesuit novitiate. As a novice, he did apostolic work in Kansas City, Mo., St. Louis, Baton Rouge, La., Nicaragua and Jamaica. His ministerial assignments included teaching theology and producing videos for the advancement department at Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas and work in the audio/video department at America Media. He also wrote for and produced videos for The Jesuit Post, including as editor-in-chief for two years.
Father Redding will serve as an associate pastor of St. Francis Xavier College Church in St. Louis and work part time in the province’s communications department.
Father Aric M. Serrano, SJ, was born in Mankato, Minnesota, but his family eventually settled in Pecos, Texas. He learned about the Jesuits from reading about the lives of Sts. Ignatius Loyola and Francis Xavier and through his aunt, Sr. Teresa of the Eternal Father, OCD.
He entered the novitiate in 2012 after graduating from college. As a novice, he did apostolic work in Kansas City, Mo., New Orleans, Tampa, Fla. and Guyana. His apostolic work included teaching elementary music to the students of St. John Chrysostom School in the Bronx and teaching theology, guitar and band, and directing the freshman girls retreat at Regis Jesuit High School in Denver.
Father Serrano will serve at St. Peter Claver Parish in Punta Gorda, Belize, where he will help provide sacraments to the Catholics in more than 30 Mayan villages.