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BREADCRUMB

PADRE JUAN RETURNS

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December 11, 2023

For information on enrollment and registration at Notre Dame Prep, an independent, Catholic, International Baccalaureate school, please visit the admissions section of our website here.

Fr. Juan González, s.m., is coming back to Notre Dame Prep in February after serving at parishes in Brooklyn and San Francisco. 

    Fr. Juan González, s.m.

 

After Fr. Ron Nikodem, s.m., retired at the end of the last school year and left a huge void at Notre Dame Prep, the Marists and administration of the school have been anxiously awaiting the February return of Fr. Juan González, s.m., who will serve under Marist Way and the Marist missionary efforts of the school community. 

González is returning to the Pontiac campus after more than six years as pastor of Notre Dame des Victoires Parish in San Francisco, Calif.

"I am quite excited about my transfer from my parish in California to Pontiac as I've missed the Marist ministry of education since I last left Michigan in 2005," said the Detroit native. 

"My newest ministry at Notre Dame Prep will be a reunion with the NDP community and also with my own family members who still reside in the western suburbs of Detroit. I am grateful that God has blessed me with this ministerial change and I joyfully welcome God’s will for me as a gift at this stage of my Marist life."

González grew up in Detroit and after high school attended the University of Massachusetts, where he received a BA. He then earned his master's of divinity degree from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology, now known as the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College. 

He professed vows as a Marist in 1976 and was ordained to serve in the Society of Mary in 1982.

González first came back to Michigan to teach at Notre Dame in Harper Woods from 1977 to 1979 during his Marist formation and then again from 1981 to 1985. In addition, from 1981 to 1993, González ministered as pastor of Mary Mother of the Church Hispanic Mission in Detroit.

González is shown at the Notre Dame des Victoires Parish in San Francisco, Calif., where he served as pastor for more than six years.


In 1994, the Marists transferred him to Pontiac to help open Notre Dame Prep where he taught for six years before moving back to Harper Woods to serve again at NDHS. After that school was closed in 2005 by the Archdiocese of Detroit, González moved to Brooklyn in New York City where he served as pastor of the St. Francis of Assisi/St. Blaise parish until 2017 when he moved to San Francisco.

It's been quite a whirlwind for the busy Marist priest, but he's truly looking forward to his newest assignment and most especially the opportunity to work again in a school.

"Those years of teaching were so memorable for me," he said. "I recall that even as a high school student myself, I was interested in a teaching career and would pray to God that he would answer my prayers. God did hear my prayers and granted me 21 wonderful and blessed years of teaching at NDHS and NDP."

Fr. Joe Hindelang, s.m., served with González at both Notre Dame High School and Notre Dame Prep. Now provincial superior for the Marist Fathers and Brothers USA in Washington, DC, he is very pleased that his fellow Marist is back in Pontiac.

"He was a popular teacher at both NDHS and NDP, and I think the students and staff at Prep will enjoy having him back," said Hindelang, who served as principal of NDP for many years. "He's a dedicated Marist with a ton of creativity and humor, and while he enjoyed his time in our parishes, he is excited to be returning to the education ministry.”

González, fifth from left, is with a number of fellow Marists at Notre Dame High School in Harper Woods.


And like many staffers who served at both Notre Dame High School and Notre Dame Prep, González is quick to embrace and point out the common threads connecting the two Notre Dames.

"Our Marist charism, which I sometimes define as 'to be the presence of Mary in the world,' was the foundation of the Society of Mary’s education ministry at both schools," he said. "As Marists, we share this vision with our students, their parents and extended relatives as well as with administrators and teachers. 

"I also want to say that I've always felt supported when I was at both Michigan schools. My ministry of education and living within each school community enriched my life and I have experienced Mary, the Lord’s Mother, as guiding, supporting and loving me from the moment I became a Marist to the present day."

For information on enrollment and registration at Notre Dame Prep, an independent, Catholic, International Baccalaureate school, please visit the admissions section of our website here.

Comments or questions? mkelly@ndpma.org

Follow Notre Dame on Twitter at @NDPMA.

About Notre Dame Preparatory School 
Notre Dame Preparatory School is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. Notre Dame Preparatory School's upper school enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame Prep's middle and lower schools enroll students in pre-kindergarten through grade eight. All three schools are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the National Association of Independent Schools. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School, visit the school’s home page at www.ndpma.org.