Father Jordan during his work in the Philippines.
Courtesy Photo, Ermina A. Wilder
"Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’” (Mt: 34-37)
Those who knew Father Michael Jordan, SOLT, know in their heart that he has already heard these words from the Lord Himself.
Father Jordan died in a fatal automobile accident on Monday, July 9, on Interstate 37 in Atascosa County, south of San Antonio. Father Jordan’s passenger, Father Edward Roach, SOLT, was critically injured and was taken to a San Antonio hospital. Father Roach, assigned to the Society of the Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT) mission in Nuevo Laredo, will have a long road to full recovery from his injuries.
“Father Jordan was a dedicated servant of our Lord and will be missed greatly,” Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey of the Diocese of Corpus Christ said. “Over his nearly 30 years in priestly ministry, Father Jordan was esteemed for his dedication to the unborn and the incarcerated. His tireless commitments to the cause of life and to his brothers in prison are an example for all of us on how to live the Incarnate Word of God.”
“Father Mike is an example to all of us of fidelity to a commitment he made years ago...to lay down his life in service of his brothers and sisters,” Father Dan Estes, SOLT said. “There is no one that has served this community like he has, he would go anywhere, he would do anything.”
Father Jordan was born in South Bend, Indiana, on Dec. 19, 1946, to Cecil E. and Patricia A. Jordan, nee Bannon. The family moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico where they attended Our Lady of Fatima Parish and Father Jordan graduated from St. Pius X High School in 1964.
Father Jordan is survived by three brothers, Gerard and Pamela Jordan of Corcoran, California; Dr. Thomas and Janice Jordan of St. Louis, Missouri and Timothy Jordan of Colorado Springs, Colorado; and three sisters, Susan and Jay Richards of Colorado Springs; Joan and James McLaughlin of Kansas City and Patricia and Dr. John Purk of Roeland Park, Kansas; and numerous nieces and nephews.
“Father Mike was a nice and kind man,” Father Peter Marsalek, SOLT, said in his homily at the congregation’s American Regional Assembly on July 11. Father Marsalek said Father Jordan must have grown up in a family where he must have “felt really loved from the first moment.”
“When you have someone who is so kind and self-confident in who they are, [it] is a sign of a person who understands who they are in their relationship to God, a person who really understands that they have been eternally loved,” Father Marsalek said.
After graduation from high school, Father Jordan enrolled at the University of Notre Dame where he received a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1968. He spent six years working at the alumni office at Notre Dame.
Father James Kelleher, SOLT who delivered the homily at Father Jordan’s funeral Mass at Corpus Christi Cathedral on Saturday, July 14, told a story about an outing Father Jordan and his friends took one day that changed his life forever. They went canoeing on the nearby St. Joseph River and their canoe tipped over. The future priest went under water and was drowning; he was sure he was going to die. Suddenly, he found himself on land.
“He knew it was a miracle. He was forever grateful because the Lord had plans for Father Michael Jordan,” Father Kelleher said.
Shortly after this miracle, Father Jordan joined SOLT as a lay apostle in Kansas City. Three years later, he entered the seminary in Legaspi, Philippines and was ordained to the priesthood on July 16, 1983 at his home parish in Albuquerque.
So many people saw him as a model for what it means to belong to the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, Father Marsalek said.
“He gave his body to the people he served; he gave his heart to the Church in the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity; and he have his soul to God,” Father Marsalek said.
Father Jordan was a member of SOLT for his entire priesthood. He served many years in the congregation’s Philippine missions. For the last 15 years, Father Jordan served in the Diocese of Corpus Christi caring for infirm priests in a home at Holy Family Parish in Robstown; ministering to state prison inmates; and as passionate supporter of the pro-life cause.
Those who knew him best commented that Father Jordan was often late. “You know why he was always late?” Father Estes asked. “Because he had time for everyone…he stopped for everyone, that’s what he was teaching us, Father Mike stopped for everyone…to meet every person…to serve everybody and he didn’t care where he had to be, he would stop for the littlest one.”
“Father Michael Jordan was a great spiritual voice,” Father Kelleher said. He truly understood the Trinitarian relationship of the Our Lady as daughter of the Father, mother of the Son and spouse of the Holy Spirit.
Father Kelleher said that Father Jordan’s first strength was his love for the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. His second strength was that he had a childlike devotion to Our Lady; he loved Our Lady so deeply; he loved to pray the rosary.
“He radiated God’s love to each one of us,” Father Kelleher said.
Father Jordan also understood well his congregation’s charism of ecclesial teams of priests, consecrated life and lay faithful who witness as Church. “He loved community, being with,” Father Kelleher said.
“May the Lord accept Father Michael quickly into eternal life,” Bishop Mulvey said
“This was a priest of supernatural joy. The padre always brought joy,” Father Kelleher said. “That was his trademark. He was simple, he was humble.”