Rev. Mark Lewis, S.J., named new provincial of New Orleans Province

Thu, 03/06/2008 (All day)

MOBILE – The Rev. Mark Lewis, S.J., professor of history at Spring Hill College, has been selected as the new provincial of the New Orleans Province of the Society of Jesus. He will lead more than 230 Jesuit priests serving a 10-state region, ranging from South Carolina to New Mexico.

Lewis was chosen from a list of three men who were recommended to the Rev. General Adolfo Nicolás, S.J., the newly elected superior general of the worldwide Society of Jesus. Lewis, 48, will begin serving his six-year term as provincial on July 31, 2008. He will succeed the Rev. Alfred C. Kammer, S.J., who has served as provincial since 2002.

“Father Lewis has been a great addition to the College during his time here and will be a real loss to us,” said the Rev. Gregory F. Lucey, S.J., president of Spring Hill College. “But in his role as provincial, he will have the opportunity to provide leadership for all of the Jesuit ministries of this region.”

A native of Lake Placid, Fla., Lewis entered the New Orleans Province on Aug. 14, 1980, at St. Charles College in Grand Coteau, La., after receiving a bachelor’s degree in history and philosophy at Spring Hill College. He went on to receive a master’s degree in philosophy at Saint Louis University in 1984; an M.Div. at Regis College, Toronto, in 1990; and a Ph.D. in history at the University of Toronto in 1995. Lewis was ordained to the Catholic priesthood on June 8, 1991, at Spring Hill College.

Lewis spent his regency period as a young Jesuit teaching at Tampa Jesuit High School in Tampa, Fla., from 1984 to 1987. In 1996, after completion of his academic studies, Lewis was assigned to the Jesuit Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome where he served from 1996 to 1998 as a writer and professor of Church history. In 1998, he took on the additional responsibility of director of the Jesuit Historical Institute, a post he held until 2004. From 2004 to 2005, while on sabbatical, Lewis acted as interim director of the Institute of Catholic Studies at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. In 2005, he moved to Spring Hill College to teach and serve as province archivist, taking on the additional responsibility of assistant to the president in 2005. In the latter role, Lewis had duties of special concern for mission and identity of the College. Lewis currently serves as chair of the Division of Social Sciences.

Lewis is presently in Rome, serving as an elector to the General Congregation, only the 35th in the Society of Jesus’ more than 450-year history. The Congregation will continue through March, with Jesuits from around the world discussing questions of Jesuit identity and governance, vocations, mission, and collaborations with the laity.