Meet Father Jonathan Licari, OSB

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Father Jonathan Licari, OSB
Timeline & Information

November 25, 1948 Born Ronald Licari on in Biwabik, MN

St. Francis College in Fort Wayne, Indiana

Master of Divinity from the School of Theology Seminary of St. John’s University

May 15, 1976 Ordained Catholic Priest (Diocese of Duluth)

Entered Saint John’s Abbey in 1981

First Vows Saint John’s Abbey July 11, 1982

Rev. Jonathan Licari, OSB, will join the [Saint John’s School of Theology] as part-time instructor, teaching graduate law classes. – The Record (September 24, 1982)

Jonathan Licari, OSB, Saint John’s University Chair (Theology) – 1984-1986 SJU Catalog

Solemn Vows, Saint John’s Abbey July 11, 1985

Father Jonathan served in the diocese of Duluth as a parish priest and in the Chancery before coming to the monastery. – Abbey Banner (July, 1985)

Father Jonathan Licari completed studies for the doctoral degree in Canon Law at Saint Paul University in Ottawa, Canada, this winter, and recently successfully defended his dissertation on the topic, The Diocese as a Particular Church According to the 1983 Code of Canon Law. Father Jonathan returned to the abbey in December, and almost immediately assumed the position of Liturgy Director. However, Abbot Jerome soon made this job one of short tenure when he announced that Father Jonathan will assume the office of Prior of the monastery in June. He will also teach theology in the university. – Abbey Banner (April, 1989)

1989, Licari received his doctorate in Canon Law from St. Paul’s University, Ottawa, Ontario.

On 1 June 1989, Father Julian Schmiesing completed more than seven years of service as prior and was succeeded by Father Jonathan Licari. – Abbey Banner (July, 1989)

Jonathan Licari, OSB, prior of Saint John’s Abbey and assistant professor of theology in the university and Daniel Ward, OSB, associate professor of civil and canon law, attended the 51st annual convention of the Cannon Law Society of America at the Weslin Hotel in Seattle October 9-12. Ward completed his term as a member of the CLSA’s Board of Governors and as chairman of the society’s liturgy committee. Licari was chosen for a three term as chair of the same committee. – The Record (October 26, 1989)

Fathers Dan Ward and Prior Jonathan Licari at the Canon Law Society meeting in Seattle, Washington; – Abbey Banner (Winter, 1990)

The new vice-president and president-elect of the Canon Law Society of America, Father Daniel Ward, joined with another confrere, Prior Jonathan Licari, at the CSLA’s annual meeting in Cleveland, 15-18 October. – Abbey Banner (Fall, 1990)

Leadership of Saint John’s Abbey has been temporarily assumed by the prior of the abbey, Fr. Jonathan Licari, OSB, assistant professor of theology. The Senior Council of the abbey has begun planning for the election of Abbot Jerome’s successor. The election will likely be held either during the Thanksgiving holiday or after Christmas. – The Record (September 23, 1992)

Prior Jonathan, 45, completing his term in the abbey administrative structure, was born in Biwabik, MN, finished his priesthood studies here, and was ordained for the Diocese of Duluth in 1976. He entered Saint John’s monastic community in 1981- Since then he has held a number of important positions. Upon making his First Vows as a Benedictine monk in 1982, Prior Jonathan worked in the St. Cloud Diocese marriage tribunal, taught theology and canon law and was chair of the department of theology in 1984-85 before leaving for further studies. – Abbey Banner (Winter, 1994)

The following confreres have been elected by the Chapter to serve on the abbey’s Senior Council: Fathers Aloysius Michels; Daniel Durken; James Tingerthal; Robert Pierson; and Brother Linus Ascheman. Appointed by Abbot Timothy are: Prior Geoffrey Fecht; Subprior Alan Reed; Father Gordon Tavis, treasurer; Father Jonathan Licari, corporate secretary; and Father Columba Stewart. – Abbey Banner (Summer, 1995)

Father Jonathan Licari will be the new vice rector of the seminary beginning in the fall term; he replaces Father Columba Stewart who has been vice rector pro-tem this year. Father Jonathan also is appointed new pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish, Collegeville, replacing Father Simeon Thole who is awaiting another assignment. – Abbey Banner (Spring, 1996)

Several recent abbatial appointments include those of Father Jonathan Licari as Vicar for Parishes and Chaplaincies and Father Dominic Ruiz to the St. Cloud Diocesan Presbyteral Council. – Abbey Banner (Summer, 1996)

New Senior Council members were elected by community members and will begin their two-year terms on 1 September 1997. They are: Father Don Talafous, Hilary Thimmesh, Ray Pedrizetti, Thomas Andert and Brother Robin Pierzina. They will be joined in the ten-member council by Abbot Timothy’s appointees: Prior Geoffrey Fecht, Subprior Douglas Mullin, Father Jonathan Licari and Brothers Benedict Leuthner and David Rothstein. – Abbey Banner (Spring, 1997)

For the last twenty-two years its resident pastor has been Father Arnold Weber, OSB, who stepped down from this post on September 1, 2001, at the age of 76. He has assumed his new role as pastor emeritus with his friend and fellow Benedictine, Jonathan Licari, OSB, Holy Name’s new pastor. – Abbey Banner (Spring, 2002)

St. John’s Abbey named eight members of its nine-person External Review Board on Tuesday… Licari, of the Order of St. Benedict, is a monk of St. John’s Abbey. He was ordained for the Diocese of Duluth in 1976. After several years in parish ministry, he entered the monastery and made his first vows in 1982. His obtained his bachelor’s from St. Francis College in Fort Wayne, Ind., and his Master of Divinity from the School of Theology Seminary of St. John’s University. In 1989, Licari received his doctorate in Canon Law from St. Paul’s University, Ottawa, Ontario. He taught theology and Canon Law at St. John’s University and served on the Marriage Tribunal of the Diocese of St. Cloud. From 1989 to 1994, he served as Prior of the monastery. He is pastor of Holy Name Parish in Medina. – St. Cloud Times re External Review Board (June 18, 2003)

Between 1990 and 2001, [Parish of Saint John the Baptist Church of Collegeville] was served by Robert Pierson, OSB, Simeon Thole, OSB, and Jonathan Licari, OSB, each bringing to it his own strengths and gifts. – Abbey Banner (Winter, 2003)

Ordained for the Duluth diocese, Father Jonathan later joined the abbey and taught theology, chaired the undergraduate theology department and served as prior of the monastic community. He was pastor of the Collegeville parish and the last Benedictine pastor of Holy Name Parish, Medina, before its transfer to the Archdiocese of Saint Paul- Minneapolis this past summer. – Abbey Banner (Fall, 2007)

Jonathan Licari, OSB, new pastor of Seven Dolors Church in Albany, Minnesota, has taught in and chaired the university’s undergraduate theology department, served as prior of the monastic community and as pastor of Holy Name Parish, Medina, Minnesota. – Abbey Banner (Winter, 2007)

No such rigors developed during the pastorate of Corwin Collins, OSB, who recently resigned after the longest pastoral term of over twenty-one years (1986-2007). A native of the Bronx with an obvious Irish heritage, Father Corwin worked well with the parish council all those years and speaks proudly of the generous spirit of the 2500 parishioners. His successor, Jonathan Licari, OSB, adds an Iron Range and Italian background to his experience as teacher, monastic superior and pastor of one of the largest Twin Cities’ parishes, Holy Name in Medina. – Abbey Banner (Spring, 2008)

Jonathan Licari, OSB, has been named subprior of the community and chair of the recently formed Mentors Council. Third in the chain of community leadership, the subprior is responsible for the ongoing monastic formation of younger monks following their final profession of vows. The Mentors Council replaces the Personnel Committee and offers counsel to the abbot on specific employment issues, the general direction of work possibilities, and guidance for further education or training. Father Jonathan recently served as pastor of Seven Dolors Parish in Albany and the Church of St. Anthony, St. Anthony, Minnesota. – Abbey Banner (Winter, 2009)

Jonathan Licari, from pastor of Albany and St. Anthony parishes to community subprior. – Abbey Banner (Fall, 2010)

Abbot John Klassen (left) and formation director Father Jonathan Licari (right) with the newly professed monks. – Abbey Banner (Winter, 2012)

Ryan Gerads, search-committee chair, said the committee felt Licari has the talents and enthusiasm necessary for the headmaster position. “Fr. Jonathan has demonstrated strong character and leadership in previous administrative positions,” Gerads said. “I am confident Fr. Jonathan is the best candidate to lead St. John’s Prep into the future. – thenewsleaders.com (May 2, 2013)

Jonathan himself has served as the community’s Prior, Subprior, Formation Director, Chair of the Mentor Council and Chair of the Committee that forged the Coordinate Relationship between Saint John’s and Saint Ben’s. But his most challenging role fell on his shoulders in 1993 when Abbot Jerome Theisen was unexpectedly elected Abbot Primate and moved to Rome. Jonathan, as Prior, became the Administrator who ran the community until Abbot Timothy Kelly was elected as the new abbot. – The Abbey Banner, Fall 2013

Miscellaneous Appointments:

1989-1994  //  Prior (Saint John’s Abbey)
????-2001  //  Pastor at Saint John the Baptist Parish, Collegeville, MN
2001-2007  //  Pastor at Holy Name Parish in Medina
2007-2010  //  Pastor at Seven Dolors Parish in Albany, MN
2009-????   //  Sub-Prior (Saint John’s Abbey)
2012-????  // Formation Director (Saint John’s Abbey)
July 1, 2013 – Present //  Headmaster (Saint John’s Preparatory School)

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