Joining Fr. Kirch on the provincial council will be Fr. Ken Schnipke, C.PP.S., vice provincial; and Fr. Ben Berinti, C.PP.S.; Fr. Steve Dos Santos, C.PP.S.; Fr. Tim McFarland, C.PP.S.; Br. Juan Acuña, C.PP.S.; and Br. Tom Bohman, C.PP.S.
Fr. Kirch, 41, a native of Greenwood, Ind., is currently serving in Rome as secretary general to the C.PP.S. worldwide. He will now return to the U.S. for his installation as provincial director on July 2.
Completing his second term as provincial director is Fr. Larry Hemmelgarn, C.PP.S. Members who served on his council were Frs. Schnipke and Dos Santos, as well as Br. Joe Fisher, C.PP.S.; and Frs. Antonio Baus, C.PP.S.; Tony Fortman, C.PP.S.; and Tom Hemm, C.PP.S. The assembly expressed its appreciation to the outgoing leadership team on Thursday.
Fr. Kirch is a 1998 graduate of Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Ind., where he first met the Missionaries of the Precious Blood. He entered formation after graduation and was ordained in 2004.
After his ordination, he served as a chaplain at Saint Joseph’s College and taught in the religion department and the college’s Core program. He also served in the administration of the college as the president’s assistant. He later earned a doctoral degree in theology and served a term on the Cincinnati Province’s provincial council from 2010-14.
In 2014, he was appointed secretary general, responsible for maintaining documents and communications to serve the worldwide Congregation.
“I’m humbled by the call to service,” said Fr. Kirch. “I see my role as supporting our members and Companions in their service to the people of God. I’m also looking forward to working with all the members of the province as we move into this new adventure, this new phase of our life, with the Missionaries of the Precious Blood of the Kansas City Province.”
Photo: Clockwise from center left: Fr. Jeff Kirch, Fr. Steve Dos Santos, Br. Tom Bohman, Fr. Ken Schnipke, Br. Juan Acuña, Fr. Tim McFarland. Not pictured: Fr. Ben Berinti.