Published April 29, 2004
Father Joel M. Konzen, SM, principal of Marist School, marked his 25th year as an ordained priest during a special celebration given by the Atlanta Province of the Society of Mary on Saturday, April 24.
The celebration, to which over 300 people were invited, took place at Marist School in the Centennial Center. In addition to Father Konzen, Father James Duffy, Father John Harhager, Father Mark Kenney and Father William Rowland also celebrated the 25th anniversaries of their respective ordinations while Brother Ernest Morasci, SM, celebrated his 40th anniversary of professing vows in the Society of Mary.
Ordained in 1979 in New Orleans, Father Konzen has served the priesthood as called in various capacities throughout the country. His service to Marist School began in 1980 when he was both a teacher and director of admissions and financial aid, and he became president in 1988. Father Konzen was called to serve in other areas around the country following his year of presidency but remained a member of the Marist School Board of Trustees from 1996-99. In 1999, he was again named principal of Marist School and presently continues in this leadership role.
The Society of Mary, a religious congregation of priests and brothers founded in France in 1836, has as its mission to bring to people an understanding of God’s profound love as revealed through the Gospel from the inspiration of Mary, mother of Jesus. Education has always been one of the primary ministries of the Marist fathers and brothers.
Likewise, Marist School strives to form the whole person in the image of Christ through instruction grounded in religious values, the teachings of the church and the spirit of the Society of Mary. This mission is advanced through communal pursuit of excellence in academic, religious, extracurricular, leadership and service programs.
Father Konzen stated in his philosophy of Catholic secondary education, “Young people making the transition from adolescence into early adulthood have abundant questions concerning self-worth, universal justice, family relationships, the use of natural gifts and the value of contemporary Christianity. In a Catholic school, students deserve—and their parents expect—guidance, challenge and opportunities for reflection as they struggle to answer, ‘Who am I and what am I supposed to do with my life?’”