Fr. Christopher S. Fronk, S.J. Named Jesuit’s Next President
Rev. Christopher Scott Fronk, S.J. — a 50-year-old Jesuit priest with three master’s degrees who is serving as a military chaplain in the United States Navy — has been named the next president of Jesuit High School of New Orleans. The announcement was made today by Jesuit’s Board of Directors, which anticipates that Fr. Fronk will begin his new assignment as the school’s 30th president in November 2016.
Currently serving as a command chaplain in the United States Navy with the rank of commander, Fr. Fronk will succeed Fr. Anthony McGinn, S.J., a 1966 alumnus of the school, who became interim president in the summer of 2014 after Fr. Raymond Fitzgerald, S.J. was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Fr. Fitzgerald, a 1976 alumnus of Jesuit, served as president from 2011-2014.
“I am honored to be chosen as the next president of Jesuit High School,” said Fr. Fronk. “While I am humbled to be following the incredible leadership of both Fr. McGinn and Fr. Fitzgerald, I am very excited to soon be a part of the Jesuit community in New Orleans.”
Fr. Fronk’s selection culminates an 18-month search that gave serious consideration to many qualified candidates — both Jesuit and lay — from across the nation.
“On behalf of our search committee and board of directors, I offer profound thanks to the provincial superiors of the Central and Southern Province and the Maryland Province, Fr. Ron Mercier, S.J. and Fr. Robert Hussey, S.J., for their guidance during this process,” said Tom Kitchen, a 1965 Jesuit alumnus, who chaired the presidential search committee.
Among the many attributes that impressed Kitchen and his fellow committee members are Fr. Fronk’s leadership ability and his strong desire to develop men of faith and men for others. The committee was also impressed with Fr. Fronk’s commitment to keeping the cost of a Jesuit education affordable as a cornerstone of this formation.
“My early experience in different apostolates gave me a great appreciation for the variety of socio-economic situations that exist in our world as well as the absolute need for this diversity to be represented in our schools,” Fr. Fronk recently wrote.
Fr. Fronk, a native of Monaca, Pennsylvania, hails from a large family. The son of Maryjo and the late Perri Fronk, he is the second of seven children (five brothers and a sister). Fr. Fronk graduated from Quigley Catholic High School in Baden, Pennsylvania in 1983.
He received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 1989 from Saint Louis University before earning his master’s degree in theology from Heythrop College of the University of London in 1996. In 2001, he secured a second master’s degree in religious education from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. Fr. Fronk earned a third master’s degree in military studies with an emphasis on leadership, planning, and strategy from the Marine Corps University Command and Staff College in Quantico, Virginia.
Society of Jesus
Fr. Fronk entered the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus in 1985 and was ordained a priest in 1997.
Before starting his military career, Fr. Fronk’s assignments with the Society of Jesus included service as a high school teacher and chaplain (Scranton Preparatory School in Scranton, Pa.), a university campus minister (John Carroll University in Cleveland; St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia; University of Scranton; and Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, West Virginia), and as parochial vicar at St. Bernard Church in Pittsburgh. He also served as rector of the Jesuit community at Wheeling Jesuit University.
Fr. Fronk is currently assigned as command chaplain aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. George H.W. Bush. Prior to that he served at the U.S. Coast Guard Basic Training Center at Cape May, New Jersey.
Before moving to Cape May, Fr. Fronk was the second marine division forward command chaplain, a post which included a year-long deployment to the front lines in Afghanistan. From 2010-2012, he was responsible for the coordination of religious support for more than 12,000 military and civilian personnel in multiple combat situations.
Fr. Fronk also has served in Okinawa, Japan; Norfolk, Va.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Ft. Dix, NJ; and Washington, D.C.