Columban Fr. Chris Saenz was appointed Director of the Columban Fathers in the United States by the Superior General of the Missionary Society of St. Columban after a consultative vote. He succeeds Fr. John Burger in this position. Society members voted in November, and Fr. Saenz assumed duties on November 23, 2021. He will serve a three-year term after which he is eligible to serve a second three-year term.
Ordained in 2000, at his home parish of St. Mary’s in Bellevue, Nebraska, Fr. Chris served 20 years in Chile short stints in Peru, Bolivia and the Philippines. Fr. Chris is the first Nebraskan to hold the position. Recently, as Vice Director of the U.S. Region since 2018, he has served the Hispanic community in Omaha, as chaplain to the Spanish-speaking Marriage Encounter, helping out local parishes, and offering spiritual and pastoral advice to the faithful.
Fr. Burger leaves the mission office to provide pastoral care to a home for elderly religious Sisters.