Thirteenth Provincial of Region, 1997-2003
Rev. Robert J. Levens, SJ was born in Hartford, CT on May 12, 1944 to James A. and Margaret (O'Connell) Levens. He was raised in East Hartford, was a member of St. Rose Church, attended St. Rose School, and graduated from East Hartford High School in 1962. He received a B.S. in mathematics from Fairfield University, CT in 1966 and an M.A. in education from Fairfield University in 1968. Rev. Levens taught mathematics at Fairfield Preparatory School, CT from 1966 until his entrance into the Society of Jesus in 1975.
He received his early formation at St. Andrew House, Boston, MA. Following philosophy studies at St. Michael's Institute, Spokane, WA and after receiving a M.Div. from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology, Cambridge, MA, he was ordained a priest in 1981. He returned to Fairfield Prep to teach theology in 1982 and to chair that department until 1987. From 1984 until 1987, he also served as spiritual director of students and as school chaplain.
After a final year of spiritual formation in 1987/88 at Ciszek Hall, Bronx, NY, Rev. Levens pronounced his final vows in the Society of Jesus in 1989.
In 1988, he was assigned to teach religious education and mathematics at Bishop Connolly High School, Fall River, MA, where he also served as treasurer and rector of the Jesuit Community. He also served for some time as a week-end assistant at St. John the Baptist Church, Westport, MA.
He worked with the Diocese of Fall River in effecting the transfer of the administration of Bishop Connolly High School to the diocese in 1995. The Jesuits of the New England Province had conducted the high school since the diocese founded it in 1966. He served as Socius to the Provincial in 1995 and superior of the Ignatius House Jesuit community in Boston in 1996. He became the Provincial of the New England Province in 1997 and served until 2003. He took a year of sabbatical and now serves as chaplain to faculty and alumni at the Fairfield Preparatory School, Fairfield, CT.