COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Pontifical College Josephinum celebrated the installation of Father Steven P. Beseau as the 17th president/rector on Oct. 1, the feast of St. Thérèse of Lisieux.
The apostolic nuncio to the United States and chancellor of the Josephinum, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, presided at the installation, which took place during solemn vespers in St. Turibius Chapel in the presence of seminarians, faculty, staff, visiting bishops, priests and guests.
“As chancellor of the Pontifical College Josephinum, I am happy to be here with you for the celebration of solemn vespers,” said Archbishop Pierre. “As the apostolic nuncio, I bring you the warm greetings of the Holy Father, expressing his spiritual closeness and heartfelt congratulations not only to Father Beseau but to the seminary on this occasion.”
During the rite of installation, Father Beseau made a profession of faith and took the oath of fidelity, in accord with the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s 1989 directive to Catholic colleges and universities, requiring those directly connected with teaching Catholic doctrine to profess their adherence to the teaching authority of the church.
The presentation of the rector’s medallion, a symbol of leadership of the Josephinum, concluded the rite. Father Beseau received the medal from Archbishop Pierre, who then presented the new president/rector to the congregation.
“I offer you my congratulations and the apostolic blessing of the Holy Father as you begin your ministry as rector and president of the Pontifical College Josephinum,” he said.
In his homily, Archbishop Pierre encouraged Father Beseau to lead the seminarians by example, to dedicate himself to prayer in “the little way” of St. Thérèse.
“The fruitfulness of your ministry here at the Josephinum will not be measured by the number of seminarians or the financial status of this institution,” he said. “Rather, the fruitfulness will be measured by that which is not always seen — the quality of the love and the faith that accompanies your good work. Only in this way will you and those around you truly experience the joy of the priesthood.”
Ordained in 1995, Father Beseau is a priest of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. He holds an Master of Divinity and a Sacred Theology Bachelor degree from the University of Saint Mary of the Lake (Mundelein, Illinois), and a Sacred Theology Doctorate (summa cum laude) from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (Rome). Prior to his March 2019 appointment as rector of the Josephinum, Father Beseau served as a parish pastor, high school chaplain, chaplain/director of the St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center at the University of Kansas, and assistant professor of moral theology at The Athenaeum of Ohio (Cincinnati).
In his remarks concluding the installation, Father Beseau expressed gratitude to Archbishop Pierre for his kindness, hopefulness and witness to the Good Shepherd.
“As our chancellor, we have a special bond with you and, through you, with our Holy Father,” said Father Beseau.
“This is a unique and precious gift for all who are part of this seminary,” he added. “Tonight marks a great beginning, and I am excited to begin my work here at the Josephinum.”