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O’Keefe ’76 Begins Term Leading New East Coast Jesuits Province

The longtime teacher and mentor will serve as provincial of the Society of Jesus' new USA East Province
August 14th, 2020 by 
The Very Rev. Joseph M. O’Keefe, S.J., ’76

The Very Rev. Joseph M. O’Keefe, S.J., ’76

The Very Rev. Joseph M. O’Keefe, S.J., ’76 began his term as provincial of the Society of Jesus’ new USA East Province on July 31 — the feast day of St. Ignatius Loyola.

In 2014, the New England and New York provinces unified to establish the USA Northeast Province. The creation of the USA East Province will unite the Maryland and Northeast provinces into one historic East Coast province, the largest in the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States.

Born in Salem, Massachusetts, Fr. O’Keefe was a philosophy major at Holy Cross and entered the Jesuits in 1976. He received a master’s in French from Fordham University and a Master of Divinity and a Licentiate of Sacred Theology from the Weston School of Theology (now the Boston College School of Theology), as well as a master’s and doctorate in education from Harvard University. He was ordained in June 1986.

Fr. O’Keefe spent 25 years teaching education at Boston College. He taught briefly at Georgetown University and most recently served at Fordham, overseeing and mentoring the Jesuit scholastics who live and study on campus.

“I am at heart a teacher,” Fr. O’Keefe told Jesuits magazine. “Good teachers listen as much as they speak, and they are totally dedicated to their students. Now I hope to use some of the lessons I learned over the years in my new role as provincial.”

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