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Fr. Thomas Knoebel named interim president-rector at SHSST

Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology (SHSST) has named Fr. Tom Knoebel, Ph.D., interim president-rector, effective July 1. He replaces Msgr. Ross Shecterle, whose five-year term ends June 30.

Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, provincial superior of the U.S. Province of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, which sponsors the seminary as one of its major apostolates, said the global search for a permanent president-rector has identified a number of strong possibilities. However, the order is not yet in a position to name a permanent leader in time to prepare for the 2017-2018 school year.

Knoebel, a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, is an SHSST emeritus professor of systematic theology and a member of its Board of Directors. He served for many years as vice rector, and was interim president-rector in 1992-1993, and in the fall of 2007. Knoebel served with SHSST from 1981 to 2013. He holds a Ph.D. in theology from Fordham University, and has published Isidore of Seville, De Ecclesiasticis Officiis (Paulist Press), the first complete English translation of this important Seventh Century Latin text. He has translated a second work of Isidore, Sententiae, to be published by Paulist in 2018.

“The Priests of the Sacred Heart, both in our province and globally, envisions a vibrant future for SHSST in service to the Church, and we are committed to moving forward in a way that will ensure that our seminary’s many strengths are positioned to serve God’s plan,” Kilianski said. “We are very grateful to Fr. Knoebel for accepting this responsibility while we take time to ensure the best possible leadership arrangement for the future,” he added.

“Bishops and religious superiors across the United States and Canada rely on SHSST for the formation of their priests, and for English language instruction for priests and seminarians. These are relationships built on trust, and we feel that the best way to honor that trust for the coming year is to place the seminary in the hands of a well-known leader with a pastoral heart who is very familiar with SHSST’s many strengths,” Kilianski said.

Sacred Heart, in Franklin, Wis., is North America’s largest seminary specializing in the formation of men of all ages, with 30 U.S. and Canadian dioceses and religious orders using it for the formation of their future priests.

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