Fr. Herrmann Appointed Jesuit Rector

By Sean Smith
Staff Writer

Asst. Prof. Francis Herrmann, SJ (Law), a Law School alumnus and a faculty member since 1991, has been appointed rector of the Boston College Jesuit Community by Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, SJ, superior general of the Society of Jesus. He will assume leadership of the Jesuit Community on July 31.

Fr. Herrmann will succeed Prof. Joseph Appleyard, SJ (English), who is completing a six-year term.

As rector, Fr. Herrmann will be responsible for the spiritual and physical well-being of the approximately 120 members of the University's Jesuit Community, one of the largest in the world. He also will function as the Jesuit Community's representative in many University-wide events or initiatives.

"I am looking forward to taking on the appointment," said Fr. Herrmann, who was rector of the LeMoyne College Jesuits from 1988-91. "It is a great opportunity to serve the community and meet both individual needs and the needs of the whole. There are a lot of fine people who could do this job, and I feel blessed and honored to have been chosen for it."

Asst. Prof. Francis Herrmann, SJ. (Photo by Gary Gilbert)

Society of Jesus New England Provincial William Barry, SJ, noted that Fr. Herrmann lived in the BC Jesuit Community during his work with the Massachusetts Public Defenders Office's Committee for Public Counsel Services from 1977-88. That experience, along with his years at LeMoyne, make Fr. Herrmann a solid choice for the Boston College rectorship, Fr. Barry said.

"He brings to the job a real love for the Jesuits at Boston College, one which developed even before he joined the faculty," said Fr. Barry, who preceded Fr. Appleyard as the BC Jesuit rector. "Fr. Herrmann, as a student and now as a professor, also has a great understanding of the Jesuit tradition at Boston College, and this will be of great benefit to both the Jesuit Community and the larger University community."

Fr. Herrmann praised Fr. Appleyard for his efforts in encouraging dialogues between Jesuits and other individuals and groups from the University, and said he would continue to support and affirm these ties.

"One of our challenges as a community is to assist in the Catholic and Jesuit mission of the University," Fr. Herrmann said. "Those of us who are teachers do this in the classroom, of course, but the mission extends beyond that. We hope to assist in cultivating further opportunities that foster this interaction."

Fr. Herrmann said a rector's most important quality is "to be able to listen to people carefully, but also to respond. While a rector does not have to depend entirely on himself to make decisions, it's important he know when to consult someone and whom he should consult. I have great confidence in the Boston College Jesuit Community and am eager to work with its members."

During his six-year tenure, Fr. Herrmann will continue teaching law courses, including The Law of Evidence and Advanced Criminal Procedure.

A graduate of Fordham University, Fr. Herrmann received a master of divinity degree from the Woodstock College of Theology in 1974, the same year he was ordained as a Catholic priest. He joined the Committee for Public Counsel Services soon after receiving his juris doctorate from BC Law in 1977, and represented indigent criminal defendants in cases at trial and on appeal.

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