Prep's Rev. Hanwell to become "Socius" of the new Jesuit Northeast Province
Rev. John Hanwell, S.J., president of Fairfield Prep, announced earlier this month that he would be leaving his post at the end of the academic year to become the "Socius" of the newly formed Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus.
The Northeast province will be an amalgamation of the New York and New England Provinces. The "Socius," Fr. Hanwell explained in a letter to the Prep community, is the equivalent of "the chief operating officer in a business model."
In his letter, dated Oct. 6, Fr. Hanwell wrote:
"I write today to inform you that the New England Province of the Society of Jesus and the New York Province of the Society of Jesus will become one province on December 3 of this year, the Feast of St. Francis Xavier, S.J. This new province will be called the Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus. This is indeed an important moment for both provinces as well as for the various academic institutions, parishes, retreat houses, and Jesuit communities of both provinces. The new province has been the fruit of much prayer, discernment, and fine planning these past few years by the Provincials of both provinces.
As I am currently serving in my ninth year as president of our great school, I informed the Fairfield University Board of Trustees on Friday and the Prep Board of Governors on Saturday that this will be my last year as president of Fairfield Prep.
The Superior General of the Society of Jesus in Rome, the Very Rev. Adolfo Nicolas, S.J., has appointed me the Socius to the Provincial of the new Northeast Province in late summer of 2015. What is a Socius? The Latin term translates as “partner or companion.” In essence, the Socius is the second in command to the Provincial and would be the equivalent of the chief operating officer in a business model.
Quite honestly, this transition will be quite significant for me. Most of my priestly ministry has been in Jesuit secondary education; thus, my heart will not be far from this important ministry, from you and our young men. Yet I have heard clearly through my own prayer that God is now calling me to take care of my Jesuit brothers and our apostolates by assisting the new Northeast Provincial, the Very Rev. John Cecero, S.J., in our New York City headquarters.
I would like to acknowledge and thank our very talented faculty and staff, our conscientious and loyal administrative team, and especially the Fairfield University Board of Trustees and the Fairfield Prep Board of Governors with whom I have worked so closely over the years. The Board members are dedicated and sage custodians of our important mission who will soon form a search committee. Prep is indeed well-poised for its next leader and I am quite confident the search committee, who are grounded in their long experience with the mission of our school as alumni, parents and friends, will work diligently to identify the next President.
I am most grateful for all that God has given me through Fairfield Prep and through you these nine years. It has been and continues to be one of my life’s greatest joys and privileges to serve as president of this remarkable Fairfield Prep community. I look forward to continuing to do so in the remaining year ahead.
May God bless you and Fairfield Prep."