Fr. Sigmund Joseph Laschenski SJ

Asian Buddhist-Jesuits First Historic Network Meeting (23-25 Apr 2010)-4Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, Wat Suandok, Chiang Mai-31

July 31, 1924, Feast of St. Ignatius, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Mother: Mary Oldham Laschenski
Father: Sigmund Joseph Laschenski
Sisters: Mary, Theresa (+) Laschenski
Brother: John Patrick Laschenski

1929 Kindergarten: Highland Park Public School, Upper Darby, Pa.
1930 – 38 Grades 1 – 8 St. Laurence Parish School, Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
1938 – 42 St. Joseph’s Prep Jesuit High School, Philadelphia, Pa.

July 1942 Jesuit Vocation
1942 – 44: Jesuit novice, Wernersville, Pa.
1944 – 46: Jesuit Junior (undergraduate), Wernersville, Pa.
1946 – 49: Philosophy, Woodstock College, Maryland; B.A. and Licentiate degrees in Philosophy
1949 – 52: Teacher of Mathematics, and Science, Scranton Prep, Scranton, Pa.
1952 – 56: Theology, Woodstock College, Maryland; B.A. in Theology and M.A. in Teaching degrees

June 19, 1955: Ordination to the Priesthood, Woodstock College, Maryland
1956 – 57 Summer Chaplain St. Joseph’s Hospital, Philadelphia, Pa. and then Tertianship, Auriesville, New York

1958: To The Union of Burma as Spiritual Father, teacher, retreat director, librarian, accompanying the seminarians to their homes each summer vacation traveling the jungles of Burma by boat, pony and on foot; improving our Burmese language skills for a month each summer in a Burmese village, Nabet, near Mandalay; part of the founding group of Maryland Province Jesuits to open the first Major Seminary for Burmese seminarians preparing for the priesthood
1966: Expelled with most of the foreign missionaries from Burma
1966 – 67: Spiritual Father at Woodstock College, Maryland
1967: To Thailand
1967 – 69: Thai Language studies in Chiang Mai; Seven Fountains
1969 – 74: Catholic University Students Chaplain for Catholics
Attending State universities; Xavier Hall, Bangkok
Teacher for two-and-a-half years, of Drama, Government, and Diplomacy Thammasat University, Bangkok
1971 – 75: Appointed first Regional Superior of Thailand
And President of the Jesuit Foundation
1974 – 75: The Seven Fountains, Chiang Mai: Regional Superior, Catholic University Students Chaplain, Director of student hostel, engaged in Ecumenism with the Protestant McGilvary Seminary; teacher of a course in Scripture to Protestant students and a course in Biblical Greek to Protestant students destined for further Biblical studies; President of the Jesuit Foundation
1976 – 77: Sabbatical leave to the U.S.A.; reunion with my family and one year’s up-date in Scripture and theology, together with further training in the art of spiritual direction at Weston College, the Jesuit New England Province’s Theological Center next door to Harvard University.
1977 – 78: Xavier Hall, Bangkok: Assistant Parish Pastor, retreat work; President of the Jesuit Foundation
1978 – 82: The Seven Fountains, Chiang Mai Catholic University Students Chaplain; director of Student Hostel; parish pastoral work, retreat work; Ecumenism, and much effort at Interreligious Dialogue in cooperation with Bishop Rattna Bumrungrattana, Acharn Seeley -Church of Christ in Thailand, Acharn Saeng, Dean of Social Sciences, Chiang Mai University, and the Rev. Winnayaporn, Buddhist Abbot of Mae Rim; teacher of Pharmaceutical Latin for five years at Chiang Mai University, President of the Jesuit Foundation.
1982: Began Loyola House, a rented house on Soi Maw Sri, Sampran to become our first Jesuit scholasticate, and later, Jesuit candidates house
1982 – 91: Xavier Hall, Bangkok Chapel Pastor, instruction of catechumens some 5 to 6 each year, Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue, retreat work; President of the Jesuit Foundation
1991 – 94: Loyola House, Sampran, newly purchased property, on a lane off Soi Wat Thiendat, from the Archdiocese of Bangkok; now Jesuit scholasticate; President of the Jesuit Foundation
1994 – 1998: Xavier Hall, Bangkok: Regional Superior of the Thailand Region, second time; Pastor of the Xavier Hall Chapel, retreat work, participant in the Society of Jesus’ General Congregation 34 in Rome; Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue President of Jesuit Foundation
1998: up until the present - 2010: Spiritual Father for 30 seminarians each year, interviewing each one at least twice a semester, confessor, community Masses and preaching, occasional teacher, advisor for their theses to 7th year seminarians, and assistant at Lux Mundi Seminary (Saengtham College), Sampran; full time resident at Saengtham, but Jesuit member of Loyola House community. In 2008 Fr. Vichai Phokthavi, S.J. became the next President of the Jesuit Foundation.

About Retreats
The Ignatian retreat ministry has been an important work of the Jesuits in Thailand from the beginning. Fr. Laschenski has been directing days of recollection and 2 or 3-day weekend retreats to seminarians, religious, and lay people, and then Ignatian silent retreats to priests, seminarians religious, and lay men and women for 5 days, 8 days, 14 days, and 30 days. When someone asked him how many retreats to each group of retreatants he has given, he could only replay, quite a lot, impossible to count up now.

Writings Stored in the computer:
- Conferences to the major seminarians of 5th and 6th year (in Thai)
- Some 30 articles on the spiritual life, - a few published in Thai periodicals, (a few in
- History of the Society of Jesus in Thailand, 116 pages, for private circulation (in English)
- History and Literature of the Church Fathers, for private circulation (in English and Thai)

On the occasions of celebrating his golden jubilee in the priesthood (June 9, 2005) at Xavier Hall, Loyola House and the Seminary, Fr. Laschenski could only be moved with profound gratitude to God, our Lord!
Sigmund J. Laschenski, S.J.
February 25, 2010