Holy Cross History Professor Rev. Thomas W. Worcester, S.J., Named President of Regis College

January 25th, 2017 by 

Fr. Worcester
Rev. Thomas Worcester, S.J. Photo by: Tom Rettig

Rev. Thomas Worcester, S.J., professor of history at the College of the Holy Cross, will become the 11th president of Regis College, the Jesuit Faculty of Theology at the University of Toronto (UofT), and one of North America’s Roman Catholic ecclesiastical faculties.

He will begin his five-year term on August 1, prior to the 2017 – 2018 academic year.
Fr. Worcester joined the history department at Holy Cross in 1994 as a tenure-track faculty member, achieved tenure in 2000, and promotion to full professor in 2010. His expertise includes the Reformation, religion and society in 17th-century France, the history of the Jesuits, and the history of the papacy.

Commenting on Fr. Worcester’s appointment, Rev. Joseph Schner, S.J., interim president at Regis College, said, “Professor Worcester brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the leadership of the Regis community’s programs, teaching, and research.”

“I have been at Holy Cross for almost a quarter century, and there are many things I will miss,” said Fr. Worcester. “The Society of Jesus is now calling me to assume a major role in the education of Jesuits and others preparing for priesthood, or for lay ministry, and/or for teaching and scholarly work in the various theological disciplines. I am excited and energized by what awaits me as president of Regis College in Toronto, an amazingly diverse, world-class city.”

“We will miss having Fr. Worcester on campus, but wish him all the best on this exciting opportunity at another Jesuit institution,” says Margaret N. Freije, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College. “For more than two decades, Fr. Worcester has made countless contributions to the faculty, staff and students at Holy Cross, and to the Worcester and Jesuit communities. Fr. Worcester’s deep knowledge of both papal history and the history of the Jesuits, his skills as a scholar and a teacher, and his dedication to Jesuit education have more than prepared him for this leadership role at Regis College.”

A native of Burlington, Vt., Fr. Worcester entered the Society of Jesus in 1983 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1991. He is the author of “Seventeenth Century Cultural Discourse: France and the Preaching of Bishop Camus” (Mouton de Gruyter, 1997), and has also published articles in journals including “Seventeenth Century French Studies,” “Catholic Historical Review,” and “Sixteenth Century Journal.” Co-editor of “From Rome to Eternity: Catholicism and the Arts in Italy, ca. 1550-1650” (Brill, 2002), he was also one of four curators of “Hope and Healing: Painting in Italy in a Time of Plague, 1500-1800,” an exhibition at the Worcester Art Museum in 2005. Fr. Worcester is the editor of “The Cambridge Companion to the Jesuits” (Cambridge University Press, 2008). He is also the co-editor, with James Corkery, S.J., of “The Papacy since 1500: From Italian Prince to Universal Pastor” (Cambridge University Press, 2010), and is the general editor for “The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Jesuits” (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).

Fr. Worcester has served on the editorial boards of three journals: “Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits,” “Theological Studies,” and “Interfaces: Image Texte Language.”

A frequent contributor to the Huffington Post, Fr. Worcester talks to the media on a wide-range of topics surrounding Catholicism and the papacy. He has also written for or provided expert commentary to numerous media outlets including America Magazine, WBZ TV, Washington Times and Catholic Free Press.

Fr. Worcester received from Holy Cross the 2005-06 Mary Louise Marfuggi Faculty Award for Outstanding Scholarship, which recognizes faculty with an exemplary record of scholarship and outstanding achievement in the creation of an original work in the arts and sciences.

Select media coverage:

Telegram & Gazette, Jan. 29: College Town: HC prof named Regis president 

National Catholic Reporter, Jan. 27: Campus Notebook

Worcester Magazine, Jan. 25: Holy Cross’ Worcester named president of Regis College in Toronto

Worcester Business Journal, Jan. 25: Holy Cross professor named Canadian college president

For additional information, please contact Jessica Kennedy at 508-793-2419.

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