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Creighton Alumnus to be Ordained Jesuit Priest

Creighton Alumnus to be Ordained Jesuit Priest

Phillip T. Cooke, S.J., will be ordained a priest on Friday, June 6, at 7:30 p.m. at St. Johnís Church on the Creighton University campus. The Most Rev. Terrence Prendergast, SJ, Archdiocese of Ottawa, Canada, will be the ordaining prelate. Cooke will celebrate his first Mass as a priest on Saturday, June 7, at 10 a.m. at St. Johnís. Both events are part of an annual gathering of the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus. Nearly 300 Jesuit priests, brothers and their lay colleagues will meet at Creighton University for discussions, seminars and celebrations. 

Cookeís first priestly assignment will be at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, serving at-risk youth and helping two nearby parishes.

Cooke, 40, was born in Kansas City, Mo., and graduated from Rockhurst High School. He received a bachelor of arts in philosophy from Creighton University in 1989. He continued his graduate studies and received a masterís in religious education from Loyola University of Chicago in 1994 and a masterís in American studies from St. Louis University in 2002. He recently completed a masterís in divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley. Calif.

He entered the Society of Jesus in August, 1996 and pronounced perpetual vows in August, 1998. During his training to be a priest, Cooke served at the Pine Ridge Reservation for three years, teaching high school and coaching basketball. A teacher for most of his life, he has also worked with at-risk youth and gang members in Chicago and Los Angeles. He plans to continue to minister to such youth on the reservation.

The son of Jerry and Helen of Kansas City, Cooke has two sisters and a brother.

The Society of Jesus, whose members are commonly called Jesuits, is a religious order of the Roman Catholic Church founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola in 1540. Today, Jesuits number almost 20,000 worldwide and comprise the largest single religious order in the Catholic Church. Jesuit priests and brothers are engaged in ministries in 112 nations on six continents. Their work is focused on education and intellectual contributions (primarily at colleges, universities and high schools, and more recently at the grade-school level), as well as missionary work and ministry in human rights and social justice.