Maryland Province Jesuit Father Christopher Fronk, president of Jesuit High School of New Orleans, is currently in Iraq for two weeks to provide services for the troops during Holy Week.
Before coming to Jesuit High, Fr. Fronk served as a military chaplain in the United States Navy and is now in the Navy reserves. As a chaplain, he served in Afghanistan from 2011-2012 and has previously been to Iraq when he spent Christmas with the troops in 2015.
Fr. Fronk celebrating Mass in the Middle East.
Before heading out for the Middle East, Fr. Fronk left his students at Jesuit High with a challenge: Embrace the holy season. “Allow it to capture your attention and captivate your thoughts. Grasp the beauty of Holy Week. Don’t let this be just another spring break. Be concerned about where you will be going to Mass on Easter Sunday as opposed to being concerned about where you will be on the beach."
Fr. Fronk also shared his thoughts with students as he prepared to leave. “In responding to the desire of the troops to practice their faith during Holy Week and the military’s willingness to send me to Iraq at considerable expense, I was struck by a contrast — the contrast between, on the one hand, the Marine’s desire to have Catholic services while they have so many things other things to focus their attention on while defending our freedom, and, on the other hand, our complacency here about this season.
“Think about this. We have incredible freedom to travel to the parish of our choice at a variety of times. Yet, how many of us will avoid going at all, or complain about going, or whine about being bored and not getting anything out of it?”
On March 19, Fr. Fronk, shared a message with students and faculty before leaving for Iraq.
Fr. Fronk also reminded students that “Christ wants us to live in freedom and the happiness that comes from doing his will. This is the gift of Easter. The season is supposed to draw our attention away from the distractions so we can focus on the most important thing — responding to God in love in the everyday circumstances of life.” [Source: Jesuit High School of New Orleans]