Fr. Jerry Drohlshagen, SOLT American Regional Priest Servant
I first heard of SOLT in 1999 when I was working in Chicago with an organization associated with Catholic Charities whose ministry was outreach to gang members. While ministering there I felt a call to the priesthood and as I searched around for a missionary community to join, someone recommended SOLT. I contacted Fr. Tony Anderson and he sent me to Belize to work in the mission and I enjoyed it very much. I felt particularly attracted to the prayerfulness of the members of SOLT, to their dedication to the Holy Father, to the camaraderie of the community and to the humble service shown to those in deepest apostolic need. I applied to SOLT and was accepted. After a year of novitiate in New Mexico, I was sent to Rome to study at the Angelicum. Being in Rome was fantastic, and I especially appreciated the community life that was formed at the Christian Brothers’ House under the Rectorship of Fr. James Flanagan, SOLT Founder. While in Rome, I studied theology and canon law, played some excellent soccer, served on the formation team at the House of Studies and worked in some parishes.
At the time when the House of Studies was transferred to Detroit and the Generalate was being re-established in Corpus Christi, I was nominated to be secretary to Fr. Ogie Rosalinas, then General Priest Servant. During the short time that I served in that capacity, I was blest to be part of a very fruitful collaboration that had begun between the three General Servants and between the three Servants and Bishop Mulvey. After only a year of being in Corpus Christi, I was honored to be asked to serve the Apostolic Nuncio as one of his secretaries, and Fr. Ogie generously allowed me to serve the Holy Father in that very particular way.
During the last Assembly, I was humbled to have been selected as the new Priest Servant for the American Region. I am especially mindful of the good work that Fr. Gerry Sheehan and his Councilors have done for the Region over the last 8 years during some very difficult times. The role and responsibilities of the Regional Priest Servant are many and I hope that I and the two Regional Councilors, Fr. Dennis Walsh and Fr. Mark Wendling, will to be able to serve the Region, the Society and the Church as well as Fr. Gerry and his predecessors have done. For that reason, I ask for your prayers and your patience as I begin my term in Office and throughout the entire time that God grants me to serve the Region in this capacity.