The Redemptorists of the Baltimore Province, U.S.A., elect a new leadership team to serve during the 2023-2026 term. Fr. John Collins, C.Ss.R., is elected Provincial Superior; Fr. John Olenick, C.Ss.R., is elected Provincial Vicar; and Fr. Kevin O’Neil, C.Ss.R., is elected Provincial Consultor. These members of the Ordinary Provincial.
Council (OPC) will guide the missionary activities of the Baltimore Province with five additional Redemptorists who will be elected to the Extraordinary Provincial Council during the Provincial Chapter the weeks of March 13 and March 20. The elected leadership team brings new enthusiasm and assumes leadership under the Redemptorist theme “Missionaries of Hope in the Footsteps of the Redeemer.”
“Coming into Provincial leadership under the theme of Missionaries of Hope in the Footsteps of the Redeemer is a humbling entry point,” Father John Collins, newly elected Provincial Superior, says. “The Message of Capitulars from the 26th General Chapter of the Redemptorists states: ‘We are part of this wounded world, but we are also aware of many signs of hope emerging in the world, in the Church and in our Congregation.’ I look forward to walking in hope with my confreres in this upcoming term with the Redeemer guiding us each step of the way.”
All have served the missionary charism of St. Alphonsus de Liguori, but each brings a different background and a variety of ministerial experience.
Father John Collins, C.Ss.R., was born in Boston and raised in a Redemptorist parish, the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help (“The Mission Church”). Fr. Collins professed his first vows in 1979 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1987. He has most recently served as the Director of San Alfonso Retreat House in Long Branch, New Jersey, while also ministering as a member of the retreat team since July 2015.
He has previously served as Chaplain and Campus Minister at Gwynedd Mercy University from 2001 through 2015. His prior ministerial background also includes parish ministry, retreat programs and workshops, spiritual direction, pastoral counseling, and psychotherapy. Fr. Collins obtained master’s degrees in Religious Education (MRE) and Divinity (M.Div.) during seminary studies and completed a master’s program in Clinical Social Work (MSW) after ordination.
Father John Olenick, C.Ss.R., was born and raised in Winston-Salem, NC. He worked at the Winston-Salem Journal and then for R.J. Reynolds before entering the Redemptorist congregation in 1996. Fr. Olenick studied Philosophy at the Oblate School of Theology in Washington, D.C., for one year. His novitiate was in Glenview, IL, and he made his first profession on September 11, 1999. His theological studies were done at the Washington Theological Union.
After being ordained a deacon, Fr. Olenick spent seven months in Mexico learning the Spanish language and Hispanic culture. He was ordained a priest on May 10, 2003, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Fr. Olenick was the Associate Pastor at Immaculate Conception in the Bronx from 2003 to 2008. He was transferred to Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Philadelphia in 2008 as an Associate Pastor. Fr. Olenick was made Pastor in 2008 and remained at Visitation until 2018. In 2014 he was elected to the Extraordinary Provincial Council. In October 2018, he was transferred to Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in Vieux Fort, St. Lucia, as Pastor.
Father Kevin O’Neil, C.Ss.R., was born in Kingston, NY. After grammar school, he entered the Redemptorist seminary formation program, studying at St. Mary’s Seminary High School, St. Alphonsus College, and Mt. St. Alphonsus Seminary, where he received a Master’s in Religious Education (MRE) and a Master’s of Divinity (M.Div.). He was professed a Redemptorist in 1975 and ordained in 1981. After two years in parochial and Hispanic ministry at Mission Church in Boston, he was sent to study moral theology. He received his Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Instituto Superior de Ciencias Morales in 1986 and his doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Alphonsian Academy in 1989.
From 1990 to 2012, he taught moral theology at the Washington Theological Union. Since 2013 he has been on the preaching staff at San Alfonso Retreat House in Long Branch, New Jersey. He co-authored with Fr. Peter Black, The Essential Moral Handbook and Life, Death, and Catholic Medical Choices.
The Baltimore Province in the eastern United States is historically the oldest province in North America. Its headquarters are located in Washington, DC. It counts more than 150 Redemptorist priests, brothers, and students, who minister in the United States and surrounding Islands.