U.S. Crosiers elect national superior
22-AUG-18 (Phoenix, Arizona) – The U.S. Crosier Fathers and Brothers have elected Fr. Tom Enneking, osc, as their national superior under the new title of conventual prior. From the perspective of canon law, Fr. Tom will continue serving as the major superior of the Crosiers in the U.S. as he did while serving as prior provincial. The election took place at the 2018 Conventual Priory Chapter in Onamia, Minnesota. The formal installation will take place Aug. 23, at Holy Cross Priory Church in Onamia. The Crosier Order's master general, Laurentius Tarpin, osc, will preside over the ceremony. Fr. Tom’s term ends in 2024.
““I am grateful for my confreres’ faith and trust in me to serve in the role of conventual prior. Crosiers continue to ask the question of what God is calling us to do, at this time, with our gifts and the critical unmet needs in our Church and world. We have a great opportunity to respond with creativity and zeal by keeping the Gospel alive and proclaimed in the Church and world as we carry on our mission to touch suffering with hope,” said Fr. Tom.
As national superior, Fr. Enneking will oversee the entire membership in the United States and represent the priory during international Crosier meetings. He will also be responsible for exercising creative leadership in the priory community and helping his fellow Crosiers live and work together in an atmosphere of love, friendship and unity, giving them support through his leadership and advice. His responsibility extends to both the spiritual and temporal welfare of all members of the Crosier priory with locations in Phoenix and Onamia.
The process of a superior’s election involves months of discernment, dialogue and prayer, culminating with the Crosier members gathering to discuss the qualifications, aptitudes and merits of possible candidates. The election itself is held in the priory chapel because it is to take place in a context of prayer and trust in God’s lead.
During the chapter, Crosier members also changed their structure from province to conventual priory. The master general promulgated the change as he established the Conventual Priory of the Holy Cross.
The restructuring was in response to a directive from the 2015 General Chapter where all areas of the Order were asked to discern which structure (province, conventual priory or delegation) they will adopt to foster the growth and vitality of Crosier Religious Life. The Crosiers will spend the years leading up to the 2021 General Chapter living in this new configuration ad experimentum (on an experimental basis). No formal changes will be made to the Crosiers’ general statutes or Constitutions until the next general chapter to allow for changes and adjustments to how the structure functions and provide flexibility and creativity during the experimental phase.
Fr. Tom works as a chaplain in the Maricopa County jails as part of the Crosiers’ ministry. He also serves as a chaplain for the Order of Malta and the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. He serves as the Phoenix Crosiers’ liturgist and musician, leading the music during prayer and Eucharist and at special events. He plays the piano, bass guitar, guitar and flute.
A Minnesota native, Fr. Tom has shared his community, liturgical, musical and pastoral gifts as a Crosier for 40 years. He has lived with the Phoenix Crosiers since November 2006. In addition to parish ministry, he has served as a vocations director; immersed himself in Hispanic, multicultural and prison ministry and led formation programs for Crosiers in the United States and Brazil.
He graduated from Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne with a degree in music and psychology in 1980. Fr. Tom went on to earn a master’s degree in theology and a Master of Divinity degree from the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. He made his first profession of vows as a Crosier on Aug. 4, 1978, and was ordained a priest on June 9, 1984.
Fr. Tom was elected prior provincial in 2011 and served in that position until today. He also served as prior, or local superior, of the Crosier Community of Phoenix from 2014–2018.
The Crosier Fathers and Brothers provide ministry and service to many different groups, including seniors on fixed incomes; those who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and their families as they face the many challenges of this condition; the incarcerated as they seek a connection to a faith community; veterans as they seek their spiritual healing; immigrants as they work to become citizens and learn English; and young people who seek a spiritual path and purpose in life. They also offer healing, pastoral and sacramental ministries and assistance; pastoral leadership to parishes; spiritual direction and retreats; and mission outreach.
The Crosiers are consecrated men of one the Roman Catholic Church’s oldest religious orders. They are also the only religious community whose national headquarters is located within the Diocese of Phoenix. The Crosiers established a community hub of spiritual outreach and activity to expand their ministries and to accompany and serve those in greatest need. The campus, known as the Crosier Village of Phoenix, serves as a place of light and healing for the greater Phoenix community.
For more information about the Crosiers, visit their website, www.crosier.org, or contact the conventual priory office at 602-443-7100.
About the Crosiers:
The Crosiers, officially known as the Canons Regular of the Order of the Holy Cross, were founded in 1210 in modern-day Belgium. For more than 800 years, the priests and brothers have lived a life of community, prayer and service under the Rule of St. Augustine. The Crosiers have a vibrant conventual priory in the United States—with members in Phoenix, and in Onamia, Minnesota. The Crosiers gather as a community each day to pray the Liturgy of the Hours and celebrate Eucharist. Members are involved in a wide range of ministries serving the Church and those in need, including parish assistance, retreat work, spiritual direction, elder care, immigrant services and jail ministry. There are more than 350 Crosiers today worldwide serving in the United States, Europe, Indonesia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Brazil and Rome.