DR. ANDREW L. SZEBENYI, S.J.

I was born in Szeged, Hungary, on November 20, 1928. I attended four years of elementary school in Szeged, Hungary from 1935 to 1939, followed by eight years of Gymnasium (a European kind of high school,) in Budapest, Hungary, from 1939 to1947. At the age of 19, on the 15th of August of 1947, I entered the Jesuit Order in Budapest, Hungary, and spent two years in the Noviciate. At the end of the Noviciate in August 1949 I escaped from Hungary through the Iron Curtain with 12 other novices, and successfully reached the American Zone in Austria. Hungary was then under communist power, and there was no hope for us to become priests in that country. I spent two years, from 1949 to 1951, in Classical Studies in Southern Germany, one year in Pullach, close to München, and another at Rottmanshöhe am Starnberger See. Next, I studied Philosophy at Collège St. Albèrt, Eegenhoven, Belgium, from 1951 to 1954, and received the Licentiate in Philosophy. After that I studied four years at the University of Oxford in the Department of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy, and received the degree of B.A. with honors in 1958, and the M.A. in 1959. Finally, I spent four years in theological studies at Heythrop College, England, from 1958 to 1962, and received the Licentiate in Theology. I was ordained priest at Heythrop in 1961 by Archbishop Grimshaw. In the year 1962 I immigrated into Canada and spent a year of Tertianship at St. Jérôme, Québec. As part of the Tertianship experience, I worked in St. Joseph’s Hospital in Toronto as chaplain for a few months. I immigrated into the United States in the Fall of 1963 and started to teach Biology at Le Moyne College, Syracuse, NY. Through the years, I taught a number of courses at Le Moyne: Vertebrate Anatomy, Microtechnique, Mammalian Anatomy, Evolution, Animal Behavior, Bioethics, Genetics, Core Biology for non science majors, and Research in Biology. I received the Ph.D in behavior genetics from Syracuse University in 1971. While I was studying there, I also taught lab to student nurses in Human Physiology. I became U.S. citizen in September 1972.

During the years, I have published a few articles and gave several lectures by invitation at scientific gatherings. I have completed two major works: Laboratory Guide to the Study of Animal Behavior, and a collection of essays on Bioethics with the title: Perspectives on Human Life. I also completed a textbook on Evolution, and another for use in Genetics. These are accessible to my students on the computers on the Le Moyne campus.

As priest, I have been providing regular help at St. Therese’s Parish since 1965, saying there Mass daily, preaching homilies, hearing confessions, administgering baptisms and performing marriages. More recenntly I also help out at St. Andrews church. Both churches are close to the college. I also provide monthly Masses at Le Moyne for the Hungarians of this area, and the same at the Dominican Monastery for a prayer group. For a short time, I helped out as assistant chaplain at Jamesville Penitentiary. Occasionally, I provide Masses for various Charismatic groups in our area, and visit hospitals, nursing homes, and do some counseling according to need. Occasionally I am involved in marriage tribunal matters for the Diocese of Syracuse. For two summers I was chaplain for the Boy Scouts at Sabbatis training camp in the Adirondacks. What do I look like?

For enjoyment I like to listen to classical music, play the flute, and do some work as carpenter, electrician, and plumber for friends. I invent a lot of stuff, but I am a poor business man to benefit from them. I am active in graphic arts. On one occasion I had an exhibition of some twenty paintings in the Art Gallery at Le Moyne Library. I enjoy writing, and I like to listen to books on cassettes. I collect a number of oddities, but specially I love to collect books. I try to keep up with the languages I acquired during my travelings. I like to drive out and walk by myself the beautiful countrysides of Central New York.

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