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Jesuit Jubilation

Fr. Jim Burshek S.J. celebrates 60 years in the Society of Jesus
Will Ortbals
Fr. Jim Burshek S.J. consecrates the host during the Eucharist at the All Saints Mass on Nov. 1.

Fr. Jim Burshek S.J. is celebrating his 60th year in the Society of Jesus. This serves as a milestone that he is incredibly proud of.

“60 years as a Jesuit is testimony to those who loved me and supported me through all these years: God, family, brother Jesuits, fellow workers, and students,” Fr. Burshek said. “This Jesuit life has brought me such joy, even in difficult times. My only real response is gratitude.”

Fr. Burshek started his career in the Jesuits as a teacher at St. Louis University High School teaching theology and as the director of the pastoral program. 

After spending time with our Jesuit brothers, he began his work at Regis Jesuit High School in Denver, Colorado where he got the chance to meet and teach De Smet President Fr. Ronald O’Dwyer S.J.

“I’ve known Fr. Burshek since the time I was a high school student,” O’Dwyer said. “I’ve always been struck with how he ends prayers. It’s with the phrase ‘we ask this in the name of your greatest gift to us, Jesus your son. A man who came not to be served but to serve.’ Fr. Burshek has certainly modeled his life on these words.”

Shortly after his time at Regis, he served as the executive assistant to the provincial of the Jesuits in the Missouri province only to be called right back three years later to serve as the school’s interim president. 

“My heart has always been in secondary education.” Fr. Burshek said. “While I can do and have done different things, I have always been drawn to working with students. I now have the honor of working with children and grandchildren of former students. Watching young men grow into great adults and loving husbands and fathers is an incredible gift.”

He returned to the Missouri province to serve in many roles including treasurer, White House Jesuit Retreat director, and superior of the St. Jean de Brébeuf Jesuit Community.

His journey then took him to his present role at De Smet Jesuit where he serves as a theology teacher and the director of mission. He has touched many lives along the way.

“I just like how he tries to connect with students,” Director of Campus Ministry Kelsey Grimm said. “He lives for being around the students. He really cares about you guys, and I don’t think he would ever be happy in a position with the Jesuits if we weren’t around the students. He gets his life around the students.” 

He also connects with the teachers, but plays the devil’s advocate more often than not. 

“If you ask other faculty members, he does try to pose the other perspective,” Grimm said. “That’s all I ever knew him as before I started working with him. He’s doing it for good reason though because he has a lot of wisdom.”

With all of his wisdom and care he has for people, Fr. Frank Reale S.J. believes he is a man of love. 

“If you really want to capture who Fr. Burshek is, it’s not about his likes, it’s about his loves,” Fr. Reale said. “You need to know he’s a man who loves his family, his friends, the Society of Jesus, and his fellow Jesuits. He’s a man who loves Jesuit secondary education, who loves De Smet Jesuit High School, who loves you, the De Smet students and staff.”

Fr. Burshek has a message for students as they continue on with high school and their future. 

“Probably the thing which has most shaped me, beyond the love of Christ itself, is the quote I was once given,” Fr. Burshek said. “Only one thing is important, whether we are brave or cowardly, is to always be where the Lord would have us – and for the rest, to trust Him.” AMDG





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