Bellarmine Welcomes New Pastor

This September, Father Paul Licktieg, S.J. will take over as Head Pastor of Bellarmine

By Ben Dickison Sports Editor

Father Paul Licktieg, S.J. will take on the role of Head Pastor of Bellarmine Chapel and will serve local parishioners in the community surrounding Xavier leading the 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Masses.

As the leaves meet the ground this winter, Bellarmine Chapel will become the nest of a former Blue Jay. On Dec. 3, 2023, the Feast Day of Saint Francis Xavier, Creighton University graduate Father Paul Licktieg, S.J. will officially assume the role of Head Pastor of Bellarmine Chapel. He will retain his role as Pastor at St. Xavier Parish in downtown Cincinnati.

Former Bellarmine Chapel Head Pastor Fr. Eric Sundrup, S.J. will undertake the role of University Chaplain for Xavier, which is designed to minister specifically to current Musketeers. Fr. Licktieg is designated to serve in an administrative role at both Bellarmine and St. Xavier, serving the parishioners coming from the communities surrounding Xavier and celebrating the 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Masses each Sunday.  

Despite conducting defined, separate roles, the “opportunity for overlap” between Sundrup and himself is enticing to Licktieg, who “adores every opportunity to say Mass for (Xavier students) and ask those big questions (regarding Catholic faith).” 

Licktieg is in his 11th year as an ordained man of the cloth. During his time at Creighton, Licktieg was pursuing degrees in theatre and theology.

He originally wanted to be a studio artist due to his fascination with the work of Pablo Picasso

“I was mistakenly nominated to Creighton’s Jesuit Humanities Program,” he said.Father was startled on the first day of class when “out of the five men, (he) was the only one who was not a Jesuit.”

After completing his bachelor’s degree at Creighton and finishing the Jesuit humanities program, he attended Fordham University, another Jesuit University, where he earned an MA in Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Care. He then studied Christology at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, Calif. 

Since his ordination, Licktieg has become renowned for his writing in publications such as the Jesuit Post and Huffington Post. 

At Bellarmine, Father seeks to emphasize the Jesuit value of magis, known to Xavier students as the Latin term for “more.” Licktieg defines the term more specifically as “finding a real sort of sustenance in the daily experience of our lives.”

One way to achieve this depth, especially on Sundays, is to change the “fact that about 10 percent of the student population at Xavier goes to church every Sunday,” he said.

 Engaging the student body in Mass will take priority over structural changes to Mass or the Chapel itself under Licktieg’s guidance. He wants to extend his ear to any parishioner, student, alumni or community member who senses a need for more in their daily experience and seeks to make Bellarmine “a place where people can engage in real questions of faith that they don’t stop seeking until they get an answer that makes sense.”  

Bellarmine will also welcome Father Damien Torres-Botello, S.J. as a Parochial Vicar to assist with administrative operations.