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Saint Louis University Community to Celebrate Mass of the Holy Spirit Thursday

by Maggie Rotermund
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Maggie Rotermund
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Michael Rozier, S.J., Ph.D. will profess his final vows as a Jesuit during the Mass

Saint Louis University will mark the beginning of the new academic year with its traditional Mass of the Holy Spirit Thursday, Aug. 24. The Mass of the Holy Spirit is a tradition at Jesuit schools and universities throughout the world. These celebrations date back to 1548, when the initial Mass was celebrated at the first Jesuit school in Messina, Sicily.

Michael Rozier, S.J., Ph.D.

Michael Rozier, S.J., Ph.D. is an associate professor of health policy and management in Saint Louis University's College for Public Health and Social Justice. SLU file photo.

During the Mass, Michael Rozier, S.J., Ph.D., associate professor and department chair for health management and policy in SLU’s College for Public Health and Social Justice, will profess his final vows as a Jesuit.

The profession will occur on Thursday, Aug. 24, as part of the 11 a.m. Mass of the Holy Spirit at St. Francis Xavier College Church. The vows Fr. Rozier will take reaffirm his first vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. After the Mass, less formally, Fr. Rozier will also take five simple vows, which include promises not to relax Jesuit rules on poverty and not to seek higher offices either in the Society or in the Church.

Rozier has been a Jesuit since he entered the Jesuit novitiate in 2003 and made his initial commitment to the Society of Jesus with his first vows in 2005. Before entering the Jesuits, he was an undergraduate student at SLU where he was a resident advisor and served as president of the Student Government Association (SGA). 

Following his first vows, he continued his Jesuit formation for nine more years to prepare for ordination. His formation included graduate degrees in philosophy, international health and moral theology. He also lived and worked throughout Latin America, with stays in El Salvador, the Dominican Republic and Belize.

From 2008-2011, he was missioned to SLU and helped launch the first undergraduate degrees in the College for Public Health and Social Justice. In 2014, Fr. Rozier was ordained a priest in St. Francis Xavier College Church. He then completed his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan while also serving on staff at the university’s Catholic Newman Center.  

In the summers of 2021 and 2022 he completed tertianship, the last stage of Jesuit formation, which included a 30-day silent retreat, study of Jesuit history and the Jesuit constitutions, and ministry in the St. Louis area.

Rozier earned his Ph.D. in health management and policy from the University of Michigan. He also holds an M.Div. from Boston College, an M.H.S. from Johns Hopkins University, and a B.A. in chemistry from Saint Louis University. He previously worked as an ethics fellow with the World Health Organization.

Earlier this summer, Rozier authored a paper examining ethical questions raised during the COVID-19 pandemic and what can be done to address similar ethical questions in the future. 

In 2022, he was named the president of SSM Health Ministries. SSM Health Ministries is the sponsoring body responsible for preserving SSM Health’s Roman Catholic identity and serving as a liaison to the Vatican. 

Rozier also serves SLU’s student-athletes as chaplain of the Athletic Department. In that role, he coordinates the department’s chaplaincy program, where Jesuit scholastics serve as team chaplains.

Attending the Mass

Classes on the north campus will be canceled from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. to allow students and faculty to attend the liturgical celebration.