Providence Catholic High School Names President
(NEW LENOX) The Very Reverend Bernard C. Scianna O.S.A., Ph.D., Prior Provincial of the Province of Our Mother of Good Counselof the Order of Saint Augustine, and the Most Reverend R. Daniel Conlon, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet in Illinois, are pleased to announce the appointment of Reverend John Merkelis, O.S.A., as President of Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox, Illinois, effective April 20, 2018.
Fr. Merkelis has been a presence in the Providence community for many years. His first assignment at the school came in 1988 as the Director of Pastoral Ministry. He was named Principal in 1994 where he served for five years. He left the school in 1999 to serve as Director of Vocations for the Midwest Augustinians. He returned to Providence Catholic in 2004 as Pastoral Director, a position he has held since.
“Fr. John Merkelis has been a very pastoral person in all of his ministries, most especially at Providence Catholic High School over these many years. His work with the Kairos Retreat Program has been a wonderful way for him to communicate with the young people to help them realize more fully, God’s endless and unconditional love!” said Fr. Bernard Scianna, O.S.A.
“I am blessed by the opportunity to serve as the President of Providence, and am humbled by the love and support I have felt from the Providence family over the years,” said Fr. Merkelis. “I am grateful to God to continue such a beautiful ministry; I am now meeting current students who are the children of students I taught 25 years ago. Together with their families, we will proudly celebrate our 100th anniversary next year.”
Fr. Merkelis’s goal is to work with all members of the Providence Catholic Community, its faculty, students, staff, administrators, parents, alums, benefactors and friends, to advance strong relationships that will help the school move forward and to truly reflect the Gospel values shared by the Diocese of Joliet and the Augustinians.
“We are overjoyed that Fr. Merkelis has been named President of Providence Catholic,” said Dr. John Harper, Principal of the school. “He has been the school’s spiritual leader for many years and he stepped up to fill the leadership position of acting President for the past few months and has done a wonderful job in that role.”
From Press Release.