For The Catholic Messenger
Jesuit priests Michael Rossmann, Jacob Boddicker and Brian Taber, all natives of the Davenport Diocese, were ordained to the priesthood June 3 at the Church of the Gesu in Milwaukee. They are among 31 new Jesuit priests ordained this year in the United States, Canada and Haiti.
Michael Rossmann, S.J., 32, was born and raised in Iowa City, where he graduated from Regina High School. A parishioner at St. Mary of the Visitation Catholic Church, he knew of the Society of Jesus while growing up, since his mother had worked at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., and his brother attended Boston College. Having developed a passion for social justice and education early on, Rossmann chose Ignatius as his confirmation name. He double majored in economics and theology at the University of Notre Dame, graduating in 2007. While in school, Rossmann was involved in campus ministry and the Center for Social Concerns; studied abroad in Uganda and Tanzania; and got to know a Jesuit professor there, who became influential in his discernment of the priesthood. He joined the Society of Jesus in the fall of 2007. As a novice, he was sent to Ecuador to learn Spanish and help in various Jesuit ministries. Rossmann then attended Loyola University Chicago, earning a master’s degree in applied philosophy. He worked briefly at Creighton University’s Center for Service and Justice and then was missioned to Loyola High School in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Rossmann began writing for The Jesuit Post, a website dedicated to faith-based commentary targeting young adults, and eventually became its editor-in-chief. In 2013, he was missioned to the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree while serving as a deacon at a parish in Massachusetts. In the fall, he will return to Boston College to finish a Licentiate in Sacred Theology and will work in vocation promotion for the Jesuits starting in January. He celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Mary’s in Iowa City on June 11.
Jacob Boddicker, S.J., 33, grew up in Tipton, where his family attended St. Mary’s Catholic Church. He spent two years at the University of Wyoming in Laramie studying archeology before transferring to the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls to study history. Boddicker participated in activities at Catholic student centers at both schools. As a college junior, he had a sudden realization that only God knew what he should do, and he began to develop a prayer life. As he read about the Society of Jesus, especially the stories of St. Ignatius and the North American Martyrs, he had a growing sense that God was asking him to pursue life as a Jesuit; he entered the Jesuit novitiate in 2006 after his senior year. As a novice, Boddicker worked on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming and immersed himself in studies about the Catholic faith, falling in love with the church. He then went to Saint Louis University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 2011. Boddicker spent a year working at the Jesuits’ St. Camillus health care facility in Wauwatosa, Wis., followed by two years of teaching at Marquette University High School in Milwaukee, where he also was chaplain to the trap shooting team. For the last three years, he studied at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, Calif., where he earned a Master of Divinity degree while serving as a deacon at a California parish. Boddicker attended World Youth Day in 2013 in Brazil and serves on the board of The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network. After ordination, he will spend the summer working at St. John’s Parish on Creighton University’s campus and then work on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
Brian Taber, S.J., 34, is a native of Davenport, where his family attended St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church. After graduating from Assumption High School, Davenport, Taber earned a bachelor’s degree in classical/ Near Eastern civilizations at Creighton University in Omaha, where he first met the Jesuits. Taber worked for a year while continuing to discern his vocation, entering the Society of Jesus in 2006. As a novice, he taught at St. Louis University High School and then earned a master’s degree in philosophy at Saint Louis University in 2011. Next, Taber was missioned to Marquette University High School in Milwaukee, where he taught history, was an assistant coach for the freshman football team and was moderator of the student newspaper. In 2014, he was missioned to Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree while serving as chaplain of the Boston College men’s basketball team. Ordained a deacon in 2016, Taber served at parishes in Massachusetts. Highlights of his Jesuit formation include summers traveling, studying and working in India, Rome and Spain and homeless outreach through Saint Louis University. He was also involved in the Hearts on Fire mission band for the Apostleship of Prayer. After ordination, Taber will be teaching, serving as sports chaplain and coaching at Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago, as well as helping at Saint Giles Catholic Parish in Oak Park, Ill.
(This story is excerpted from the Jesuit.org website.)