Fairfield University's Rev. Thomas J. Regan, S.J., named Provincial Superior for New England Province


Image: Rev. Thomas J. Regan, S.J.Rev. Thomas J. Regan, S.J., associate professor of philosophy at Fairfield University, has been appointed Provincial Superior of the New England Province by Very Reverend Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., Superior General of the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits. New England is one of 10 provinces in the United States and 93 worldwide, each with a Provincial Superior who in authority is next to the Superior General who resides in Rome.

Fr. Regan, 49, succeeds Very Rev. Robert J. Levens, S.J., who is a 1966 graduate of Fairfield and earned a master's degree there 1968. Father Regan's six-year term of office will begin on July 31, 2003, the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit Order.

Among Father Regan's responsibilities will be the governance of some 400 Jesuit priests, brothers and seminarians of the New England Province. The Jesuits of New England sponsor, in addition to Fairfield University, Boston College and College of the Holy Cross, as well as Boston College High School, Cheverus High School in Maine, Nativity Prep School in Jamaica Plain, Mass., and Fairfield Preparatory School. They also conduct Gonzaga-Eastern Point Retreat House in Gloucester, Mass., and Campion Renewal Center in Weston, Mass.

In addition the Jesuits staff five parishes, St. Ignatius in Chestnut Hill, Mass., Sts. Peter & Paul in Norwich, Conn., St. Thomas Aquinas in Storrs, Conn., and in Maine, St. Edmund's in Westbrook and St. Joseph in Eastport. They also conduct the Jesuit Urban Center/Church of the Immaculate Conception in Boston. Beyond the six-state regions, they are involved in education and parish work in Jamaica, West Indies, and Amman, Jordan.

In responding to Rev. Kolvenbach's announcement, Rev. Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J., university president, said, "Father Regan has served Fairfield University and its community for more than 15 years. His service as both a faculty member and an administrator have been exemplary, surpassed only by his commitment to students, which reaches well beyond their years at Fairfield. His contribution to the success of the Ignatian Residential College is typical of the passion with which he approaches his ministry. While we will miss him, his strengths make him an excellent choice for this position."

Father Regan has been an important presence on the Fairfield campus since 1980 when he arrived on campus as an adjunct/instructor while pursuing his master's degree and doctorate in philosophy at Fordham University. So great was his impact on the students that he was elected Alpha Sigma Nu "Teacher of the Year" in 1984.

After serving as a visiting instructor at Boston College for two years and being ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1987, he returned to Fairfield in 1988 as assistant professor of philosophy, becoming involved in all facets of university life. He has served on numerous committees, including the university rank and tenure committee, which he also chaired, and the Blue Ribbon Committee for Core Review.

In 1993 he was promoted to associate professor and named chair of the Department of Philosophy. From 2000 to 2002 he served as associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He was selected one of Fairfield's five most influential educators for five years in a row and in 2002 was presented with the Distinguished Faculty Award at the Alumni Association's Fairfield Awards Dinner. That same year he was named co-director of Fairfield's new Ignatian Residential College.

Father Regan is a member and former president of the Jesuit Philosophical Association, and was recently elected to a three-year term on the Executive Council of the American Catholic Philosophical Association. He served a six-year term as National President and Chair of the Board of Directors of Alpha Sigma Nu, the National Jesuit Honor Society, and since 1998 has been a member of the board of Consultors to the New England Provincial.

A native of Waltham, Mass., Father Regan earned a bachelor's degree in history and philosophy from Boston College. After graduation he entered the Society of Jesus in 1976. Following his master's and doctorate at Fordham, he did his theological studies for the priesthood at Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, receiving his master's of divinity degree with distinction in 1987, and at Heythrop College, University of London, where in 1988 he received a post graduate diploma in pastoral theology.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on May 12, 2003

Vol. 35, No. 291