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Duquesne University’s Sawicki Celebrates One Vocation, Many Roles

The Rev. John Sawicki, C.S.Sp., marked the 25th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood on Sept. 4. His life as a Spiritan has included service as a missionary, campus chaplain, provincial administrator and faculty member.

“The priests and brothers who taught me as a boy were wonderful men. I admired their intelligence, patience and kindness,” said Sawicki, an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science and in the Graduate Center for Social and Public Policy at Duquesne University. “I have been happy as a priest and a Spiritan, and would gladly make this commitment again. But most of all, I still remember and admire the dedication of the Spiritans who taught me when I was young, and still try to imitate their balance and reasonableness.”

Sawicki’s Spiritan community extended him hearty congratulations for his years of service to the province, the community and the Duquesne students.

“His students have tremendous respect for his commitment to them, his teaching methods and the time he gives to each individual,” said the Rev. Sean Hogan, C.S.Sp., executive vice president for student life and superior of Trinity Hall.

A Philadelphia native, Sawicki attended Holy Ghost Prep, a Spiritan-run high school in nearby Bensalem, Pa. Following graduation from Heidelberg College in Ohio, where he majored in history and political science, Sawicki renewed his ties to the Spiritans by beginning postgraduate work at Duquesne University. He professed his vows in 1981, and spent the next several years of his formation teaching in Trinidad and Grenada.

Sawicki earned his Master of Divinity degree from Catholic Theological Union in 1986 and was ordained at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Bensalem by the Rev. Anthony Pantin, C.S.Sp., the archbishop of Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, on June 14, 1986. His first assignment was as a parish priest in rural Puerto Rico.

Sawicki, who holds a master’s degree in law and diplomacy and a Ph.D. from Tufts University, is a distinguished scholar with expertise in ethical and moral constraints on the use of force, ethics and national security policy decision-making, and counter-terrorism. He was a visiting professor at the Marshall Center for European Security in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.

Since 2001, Sawicki has been serving God by serving students at Duquesne University.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.