On July 31, the feast day of St. Ignatius Loyola, Jesuit Father David Ciancimino will complete his service as provincial of the New York Province.
Fr. Ciancimino provided tremendous foresight and wisdom in planning for the future realignment of national Jesuit provinces, including the unification of the Maryland, New England and New York Provinces.
As a former administrator at Xavier High School and Canisius High School, he maintained a keen interest in education and strengthened the province’s commitment to educational works, including Jesuit ministries in Micronesia. At the request of Bishop Amando Samo, of the Diocese of the Caroline Islands, Yap Catholic High School was established in 2011 as the first Catholic high school to serve the island of Yap. Today, that school exists as a vibrant community staffed by Jesuits and volunteers who have changed the lives of young people on Yap.
In anticipation of the increasing numbers of Jesuits in need of long-term medical care, Fr. Ciancimino improved the operations of Murray-Weigel Hall, the Jesuit health care community in the Bronx, introducing the PACE (Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) model for delivery of long-term home health care. PACE services allow the professional staff at Murray-Weigel to adapt to the changing needs of the Jesuits and enable the facility to operate in a manner that is fiscally responsible and sustainable for the future.
Nearing the end of his term as provincial, Fr. Ciancimino reflected, “In the past weeks, I have had the chance to review prayerfully the past years and the many blessings and experiences of God’s prevailing grace. I am filled with deep gratitude for God’s love, mercy and His unfailing presence that was often made real by my brother Jesuits, our partners in ministry and our supporters and friends.”
Fr. Tom Slon, SJ, who worked closely with Fr. Ciancimino in the last six years as his socius and executive assistant, said, “During his term as provincial, Fr. Ciancimino saw to the province with superb administrative ability. But he also had a marvelous way of drawing out of so many Jesuits in the province our best desires for mission, to leave at times the good work we are already doing and to go where the need is greater. I think Dave was able to gently but directly remind many of us of what the Society is about. And that is ‘mission,’ to go outside the comfort zone and discover that the Lord invites us there too, and labors with us.”
In December 2013, Father Adolfo Nicolás, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, announced that Fr. John J. Cecero, SJ, would serve as the next New York Province provincial and that Fr. Robert Hussey, SJ, would serve as the next Maryland Province provincial. Fr. Cecero will also serve as provincial for the new province that will form when the New England and New York Provinces unite, currently set for 2015.