Text Size

Prior Provincial Tom Enneking, osc

tom-for-web1

Why did you join the Crosiers? I grew up in a very religious family. My parents were very devout Catholics who brought God into our daily life on the family farm as well as practicing their faith by attending Mass on Sundays and cultivating a life of prayer in our home. Though devout and dedicated Catholics, my parents did not make our religious life as a family feel like a burden or obligation. It was simply part of the air that we breathed. Going to church on Sundays was something I looked forward to because my parents encouraged me to be a Mass server when I was young. Once in high school, I joined the church choir so going to Mass had a lot to do with the joy of making music together with praise of God. This spiritual formation fostered in me a call to dedicate my life to God.

What is it about the Crosiers that attracted you to join the community? I attended Crosier Seminary Junior College after graduating from Melrose Senior High School. I noticed immediately the very vibrant way the Crosiers celebrated the Eucharist. I loved the singing and variety of music along with the excellent preaching of the Crosiers. I also was attracted by the down-to-earth quality of the Crosiers I met. They were priests and brothers who were approachable, bright, and caring. Having grown up in a family of eight, their community life fit my own preference to be part of a community.

How do you find life and meaning in living vocation as a Crosier? Being a Crosier has provided me with lots of opportunities for growth and development as a person and man of faith. The community has called upon my gifts and has called forth gifts I did not know I had. I am so appreciative of our common life, having a community of brothers with whom to share my joys and sorrows, my blessings and challenges. Our daily rhythm of prayer mirrors and builds upon the regular practice of prayer that I experienced in my family. I am so grateful for the way we have responded to the Spirit’s invitation to renew the way we pray by chanting the psalms as we celebrate the Liturgy of the Hours as well as fostering the contemplative dimension of our Crosier way of life. Doing the ongoing challenging work of discerning our particular forms of apostolic service keeps us fresh and engaged in responding to the needs of our times with our gifts and talents.

In what ways do you bear your gifts to the Church and world as a Crosier? As Prior Provincial, I have the responsibility to unify, inspire, and lead my confreres in the pursuit of our Order’s ideals. The members of the Province form the principal Christian community to which I minister, encouraging ever deeper faith in God, a living love for the word of God, and generosity of spirit in responding as servants. I focus part of my energies on fostering new membership to our Order, bearing the gift of my love for our charism to men between the ages of 20 and 40 and inviting them to consider joining us in this very special way of living out our baptismal call to holiness.

My ministry: I serve as the Prior Provincial for the U.S. Crosier Province. I was elected on June 13, 2011, for a six-year term. I reside in Phoenix, where our Province Headquarters has been located since July 2007. The Crosier Fathers and Brothers are the only religious community whose national headquarters is located in the Diocese of Phoenix. As part of my ministry as Prior Provincial, I serve as co-director for the Crosier Capital Campaign whose goal is to raise funds for a new Crosier facility on Baseline Road in Phoenix that would establish a Crosier Village, providing housing for seniors (including a hospice for those who are dying), outreach to and advocacy for ethnic communities, and resources for spirituality and prayer. I also serve as a chaplain in the Maricopa County Jails and provide weekend assistance at the parishes of Immaculate Heart of Mary and Saint Anthony celebrating Masses in Spanish. When I am available, I assist with a monthly Mass in Portuguese at the Church of Saint Andrew in Chandler.

Born and raised: Spring Hill, Minnesota

Home parish: St. Michael the Archangel

Hobbies and interests: I enjoy playing the piano, bass guitar, guitar, and flute. My reading interests include human interest stories and novels by Jon Hassier and James Michener. When a good adventure or spy thriller hits the theatre, I am anxious to see it. I also enjoy hiking/walking, which I do every day.

Date of Profession: August 4, 1978

Date of Ordination: June 9, 1984

Crosier Province Headquarters
4423 N. 24th St., Suite 400
Phoenix, AZ 85016-5584
tenneking@crosier.org