Rev. Neil Wack, C.S.C. Appointed Director of Vocations

fr._wack_website_105501Notre Dame, Ind. Rev. Neil Wack, C.S.C., pastor of Christ the King Parish in South Bend, Ind., has been appointed Director of Vocations for the Congregation of Holy Cross, effective July 1, 2015. Fr. Wack carries on the work of Rev. James Gallagher, C.S.C., who has been appointed Director of Campus Ministry at the University of Portland. “The United States Province is proud and grateful for the work Fr. Jim has done with vocations the last six years, and we are likewise eager for Fr. Wack to help young men discern God’s call in their lives especially as a priest or brother in the Congregation of Holy Cross,” said Rev. Thomas J. O’Hara, C.S.C., Provincial Superior. Fr. Wack will also coordinate vocation promotion efforts in Holy Cross campuses, parishes, and other apostolates across the United States.

Previously named a Distinguished Pastor by the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) for his “outstanding support of Catholic Education,” Fr. Wack will impart to the Office of Vocations the same basic mission Blessed Father Basil Moreau intended of all Catholic schools, ‘Educate the mind and the heart, but never educate the mind at the expense of the heart.’ “I think the same principles can apply to vocations,” said Fr. Wack. “Prospective seminarians most certainly have a need for information and education on the mission of Holy Cross, but I think it’s equally, if not more important, to convey the heart, or charism of Holy Cross, to prospective seminarians. I look forward to helping young men identify and embrace the call of the Holy Spirit, and helping them apply for formation.”

It’s safe to say that Fr. Wack’s focused decision-making, his participation in educating the minds and hearts of schoolchildren, and his zeal for saving souls in his parish are all among the personal and spiritual assets that led the administration to appoint him Director of Vocations. “With Fr. Wack as pastor, Christ the King grew to over 1,400 families and more than 500 students that vitality is phenomenal, and we are equally excited for that spiritual stamina to carry over into our Vocations office,” said Rev. Thomas J. O’Hara, C.S.C.

“When I was approached by the Provincial Superior, Rev. Thomas J. O’Hara, C.S.C. to consider this assignment, I did what many would do,” said Fr. Wack. “I prayed for a while, and asked for advice from people I trust. After that brief time, I concluded that if my community is calling me to take this step, I need to do it to help parishes like Christ the King have great new Holy Cross priests and brothers, and to help young men discern how the Holy Spirit is calling them. I have tried to echo Mary’s ‘yes’ to the angel Gabriel in what I do as a religious and priest.”

After earning a degree in computer science, Fr. Wack entered the seminary at the University of Notre Dame in 1997 and was ordained a priest at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in 2004. He was assigned to a parish in Colorado, and then was transferred to his home parish of Christ the King in South Bend, Ind., in 2005. He was named pastor in 2007. Under his leadership, Christ the King School, from which he graduated in 1984, has continued to be one of the flagship schools in the Diocese of Fort Wayne/South Bend.

More about Holy Cross
The Congregation of Holy Cross was founded in 1837 by Rev. Basil Moreau, C.S.C. and has served the Catholic Church for more than 175 years. Today there are approximately 1,200 Holy Cross religious working to educate both the hearts and minds of believers of Jesus Christ in 16 countries and on five continents.

The United States Province of Priests and Brothers is a community made up of approximately 500 priests, brothers, and seminarians and is headquartered in Notre Dame, Ind. The United States Province fulfills Blessed Moreau’s vision in its education, parish and mission settings around the world.

The priests and brothers are educators in the faith at the Province’s four colleges and universities: the University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, Ind., 1842), University of Portland (Portland, Ore., 1901), King’s College (Wilkes-Barre, Pa, 1946.), and Stonehill College (Easton, Mass., 1948).

There are 13 parishes in the United States, from Vermont to Texas to Oregon to Florida, as well as 10 abroad.

The Province’s ministries/apostolates includes Andre House (Phoenix), which serves the homeless and working poor, and Saint Andre Bessette Catholic Church (Portland, Ore.), a parish which also provides a soup kitchen and other services to the marginalized. Ave Maria Press in Notre Dame, Ind., is one of the oldest Catholic publishing houses. Holy Cross Family Ministries in North Easton, Mass., encompassing Family Theater Productions, Family Rosary and Father Peyton Family Institute, promotes the power of the Rosary and the spiritual well-being of the family. Holy Cross Retreat House, also in North Easton, is a retreat facility run by Holy Cross religious and lay staff.

The Province’s international mission work reaches into Districts of Chile, East Africa (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania), and Peru, as well as the region of Mexico. Globally, the U.S. Province’s Holy Cross Mission Center supports the international mission work of the worldwide efforts of the Congregation of Holy Cross, spanning 16 countries on five continents. But it also directly supports those international locations for which the U.S. Province has direct jurisdiction, and those countries with which the U.S. Province has a special relationship.

To learn more about Holy Cross, visit

To learn more about discerning a call to religious life, please visit

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