New Jesuits in the Saint Peter’s Community

As the academic year begins, Saint Peter’s College welcomes new Jesuits into the College community. Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D., president of Saint Peter’s College, notes, “I am grateful to the Very Rev. David S. Ciancimino, S.J., provincial of the New York Province of the Society of Jesus, for his commitment to upholding the Jesuit identity of Saint Peter’s. Our entire community will be strengthened by the diverse talents and experiences of these Jesuits.”

Saint Peter’s College Campus Ministry will have a new face this fall with Rev. Rocco Danzi, S.J., who will assume the role of chaplain. A New Jersey native, Fr. Danzi’s ministry has led him to develop a special interest in working with urban youth. He has spent much time in Haiti, learning the culture and language and also developing a new school modeled on a Jesuit tradition. He was recently awarded the Medgar Evers College Ecumenical Leadership Award for his many years of dedication to ecumenical work in the Crown Heights area of Brooklyn, New York. His experience also includes an appointment to the New York Province Vocations Office, which led him to travel throughout the province meeting young people to share his experience in ministry. This year, he celebrates the tenth anniversary of his ordination.

Rev. Vincent Sullivan, S.J., who is a native of New York, was recently appointed to be the rector of the Saint Peter’s College Jesuit Community. Fr. Sullivan’s career includes significant parish and pastoral experience at parishes and communities mainly concentrated in New York and New Jersey. He was pastor of Saint Peter’s Church in Jersey City for eight years, and during that time was also appointed rector of the Saint Peter’s Prep Jesuit Community. For the past six years, he has served as rector at Ciszek Hall, the Community for Jesuit Scholastics in First Studies at Fordham University. Spiritual, administrative and pastoral concerns have been the primary focus of Fr. Sullivan’s ministry.

Mr. Brent H. Otto, S.J., also new to Saint Peter’s, is a Jesuit scholastic in the regency stage of formation, preparing for eventual ordination to the priesthood. He will teach in the Department of History. He recently completed a double master’s degree program in international and global history from Columbia University and the London School of Economics. His research interests include hybrid ethnicities in colonial and post-colonial contexts. Mr. Otto has significant experience teaching at several high schools, prior to which, he was awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship in India (2001-2002) to study how Catholic education operates in a primarily Hindu culture. His ministerial experience includes teaching catechism to children and young adults, as well as retreat planning, tutoring, hospice care, and jail ministry.

Rev. Joseph Papaj, S.J., is moving from Campus Ministry to become the new alumni chaplain for Saint Peter’s College. His position will allow him to continue the relationships he has developed over the past several years as the chaplain for the College. His talent for pastoral activities, deep understanding of Ignatian spirituality, and expertise with the Jesuit mission of Saint Peter’s College will be greatly appreciated as a guiding force for alumni. Originally from New York, Fr. Papaj’s background includes many years of experience in education administration. He has held positions such as school principal, assistant for education for the New York Province, and president and headmaster of Loyola School. His experience with campus ministry includes not only Saint Peter’s College, but Saint Joseph’s University as well.

Rev. Jose-Luis Salazar, S.J., has taught at Saint Peter’s for the past year as an adjunct, and is now becoming a full-time member of the Department of Theology. Fr. Salazar has taught at several educational institutions, including at Saint Peter’s Prep, earned different academic degrees on three continents, and he speaks or reads six different languages. He is a native of the Philippines, but a member of the New York Province of the Society of Jesus. Fr. Salazar completed his doctorate studies at Radboud (Katholieke) Universiteit-Nijmegen in the Netherlands. His book, Conspiring unto the Good: Bernard Lonergan’s Critical Contribution to Theology of Religions, was published in July 2010, by Lambert Academic Publishing. Outside of the classroom, Fr. Salazar assists with marriage preparation and officiating at weddings of former students from Fordham and Saint Peter’s Prep. He also offers spiritual direction for individuals and assists with parish groups in Jersey City as well.

Saint Peter’s College is pleased to introduce these five Jesuits and their new positions to the College community.