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The Aquilian

The Aquilian

    Father Planning reminisces on Gonzaga career

    SGA President Mak Krivka presents Fr. Stephen Planning, SJ with an honorary diploma from the Class of 2021 for the work and achievements he has made in his tenure as president. (Photo from Gonzaga Flickr)

    As the 2020-21 school year comes to an end, Gonzaga College High School will give its last goodbyes to president Fr. Stephen W. Planning, SJ. As his 10-year career at Gonzaga comes to a close, Fr. Planning expressed the magnitude of his experience on Eye Street and how it affected his everyday life, while also touching on how the school’s roots have filled his soul. 

    “As a Jesuit president, I am entrusted with looking out for the Jesuit spirituality that we promote among our staff and students.  This is done with the help of wonderful lay colleagues like Ms. Carol Corgan,” Fr. Planning said. “My spiritual outlook has been outward more than inward,” which he said may come across as surprising to many.

    He explained that he will miss all of the connections he has made acting as the school’s public figure. 

    “I’m working with a wide variety of people,” he said. “The diversity of my work allows me to connect with the community in so many different ways.”

    Fr. Planning continued to explain that Gonzaga is bigger than “being men for others.”

    Before coming to Gonzaga, Fr. Planning served as president of a Cristo Rey School in Denver, which is a school that educates inner-city kids. Fr. Planning explained his environment has changed immensely because of the two student bodies. 

    “Through addressing community needs, I have been able to see the message of Gonzaga grow in the boys that roam the halls of this school,” Fr. Planning said. “We are here to show the boys not only to be men for others, but treat the world with respect, and that starts with respecting Gonzaga and what it has to offer.” 

    Fr. Planning will still be in the area at Georgetown University, where he will be the Minister and Treasurer of the Jesuit Community, which is a role where he will work with the administration of the Jesuits on the campus of Georgetown and, most importantly, play a more pastoral role compared to his current job. He expressed joy toward being able to play a pastoral role in the Church again, rather than bear so much responsibility in the administration of a Jesuit school. 

    If you see Fr. Planning around on campus, tell him thanks. Tell him he has helped us through a pandemic, and tell him thank you for keeping Gonzaga alive during possibly the most challenging part of all our lives. 

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