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Changing of the Board

by MOSAIC Editorial Team

Seminary gains three new trustees as two trustees end their praiseworthy service.

Two longtime Sacred Heart Major Seminary Board of Trustees members were saluted for their years of contributions to the seminary's mission at their final board meeting on April 11.

Departing board member Msgr. John Zenz has helped set the direction of Sacred Heart since becoming an ex-officio member in 1990, through his position at the time as moderator of the curia of the Archdiocese of Detroit. Monsignor Zenz has been a faithful and devoted member of the Board for over two decades. He has provided leadership in countless ways and directly impacted program development here, says Msgr. Todd Lajiness, the seminary's rector, about the current pastor of Holy Name Parish in Birmingham, Michigan. He is a blessing to the seminary just as he is to the parish he serves.

The Hon. Michael Talbot, chief judge of the Michigan Court of Appeals, has served on the seminary board since 2008. Judge Talbot has generously given of his valuable time to help the seminary expand and become a true center of the new evangelization, the rector says. The seminary is grateful for his commitment to the mission and the friendship that has developed over the years.

At the same meeting, the Trustee Development Committee presented three new candidates for service on the board, all of whom where approved. The newest members of the board are Bishop Francis Kalabat, who heads the Chaldean Eparchy (Diocese) of St. Thomas the Apostle, located in Southfield, Michigan. The eparchy encompasses the eastern half of the United States with 150,000 Chaldean Catholics residing in Metro Detroit. Seminarians from the eparchy have received their educational formation at Sacred Heart since 1986. Currently, ten Chaldean seminarians attend the seminary. Bishop Kalabat is a seminary alumnus, as well, Class of 1995.

Bishop Kalabat is a passionate advocate for the wellbeing of Chaldean Christians in Iraq, which is the cradle of the worldwide Chaldean Catholic Church. In December, he testified before a U.S. House subcommittee about the genocide being committed by the radical Islamic State, or ISIS, against Christians in the Middle East.

The second candidate is Fr. J.J. Mech, who serves as the rector of the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, which is the episcopal seat of the Archdiocese of Detroit. Before assuming his duties as rector in August 2015, Father Mech was pastor of St. Athanasia Parish in Troy, Michigan. He also serves as pastor of the local chapter of the Patron of the Arts in the Vatican Museum, a worldwide organization dedicated to preserving the artistic treasures housed in the Vatican Museums.

Father Mech has been pastor and associate pastor of three archdiocesan parishes since graduating from Sacred Heart in 1995.

The third candidate is Patrick O'Brien. As president and CEO of FAITH Catholic, Mr. O'Brien heads one of the leading Catholic media companies in the U.S. FAITH Catholic is a non-profit outreach of the Diocese of Lansing. It publishes forty-one print periodicals, thirty-five digital publications, manages twenty-seven websites, produces a weekly television program, and produces almost two hundred products that build up the faith of Catholics nationwide.

Mr. O'Brien is a member of the board of trustees of Catholic TV, a broadcast network that produces Catholic educational, devotional, and news programming for cable television.

We are very blessed to welcome these three new members to the board of trustees. Monsigor Lajiness says. Each one of them will bring a unique set of talents and experience, as well as a deep passion for our mission.

MOSAIC Editorial Team

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Sacred Heart Major Seminary is a Christ-centered Catholic community of faith and higher learning committed to forming leaders who will proclaim the good news of Christ to the people of our time. As a leading center of the New Evangelization, Sacred Heart serves the needs of the Archdiocese of Detroit and contributes to the mission of the universal Church.