Marist School Names Bishop Joel Konzen, S.M. the 2021 St. Peter Chanel Award Recipient

Marist School has named Bishop Joel Konzen, S.M. as the recipient of the school’s highest honor, the St. Peter Chanel Award.
The award, named for the Marist saint who was martyred for his faith, is given annually in recognition of individuals whose selflessness, exceptional support, and enthusiastic leadership have advanced the mission of Marist School in a profound and fundamental way. Bishop Konzen was honored by the school during its annual St. Peter Chanel Society Recognition Celebration held on Tuesday, October 19 at the Atlanta History Center.
Upon his acceptance of the award, Bishop Konzen said, “There is something very hopeful, I think, in assisting the young, and also a certain fulfillment in preserving a tradition that has readied so many so fruitfully for taking their place as adults.”
Marist School President Fr. Bill Rowland, S.M. said, “For nearly 30 years during two different stints, Bishop Konzen served Marist School…we are very appreciative of his many contributions to our school.”
Bishop Konzen has made a profound and lasting impact on Marist School and Catholic education. His enthusiastic leadership and exceptional service extends from his many years as a school administrator to the present as he selflessly shares his time, wisdom, and inspiring faith to advance the Marist mission.
Born and raised in Ohio, Bishop Konzen was educated at seminaries in Ohio, Indiana, and Louisiana, in addition to The Catholic University of America. He first professed vows in the Society of Mary in 1975 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1979. He taught at St. Peter Chanel High School in Bedford, Ohio (1976-1977), served as a deacon at St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in New Orleans (1978-1979), and served as a priest at St. Edmond Parish in Lafayette, Louisiana (1979-1980).
Bishop Konzen began work at Marist School in 1980, where he remained for nine years in roles as teacher, admissions director, principal, and president. While a graduate student at The Catholic University of America, he served as vicar provincial of the former Washington Province of the Society of Mary. From 1992 to 1997, Bishop Konzen was principal and president at St. Michael’s Catholic Academy in Austin, Texas. In 1997, he returned to Washington, D.C., where he was vicar provincial again for two years.
From 1999 until his episcopal ordination in 2018, Bishop Konzen served as principal at Marist School, where he embodied the positive characteristics of being Marist in the world for generations of students. He also taught a popular leadership class and championed summer courses focused on servant leadership and entrepreneurism. In appreciation and recognition of Bishop Konzen’s tenure at Marist, the school conferred upon him an honorary diploma during its 117th commencement ceremony in May 2018.
Bishop Konzen aided in the founding of two new Catholic schools in Atlanta, Notre Dame Academy and Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School. He also was instrumental in the creation of Reach for Excellence, a Society of Mary-sponsored program for underresourced middle school students. Bishop Konzen currently serves on the Marist School Board of Trustees, actively participating on the Executive Committee and Mission Committee, and on the boards of Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans and Pope Francis School and Health Centre in Ghana, West Africa, where the school was recently named in his honor. In 2015, he received the Educational Excellence Award of the National Catholic Educational Association in recognition of his contributions to the richness and diversity of American Catholic education.
In his current role as auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Bishop Konzen oversees the Archdiocese’s educational ministry and assists in serving the more than one million Catholics in central and north Georgia.
Bishop Konzen’s ongoing involvement with Marist School is a gift for which the entire Marist community is grateful.

View photos from the St. Peter Chanel Society Recognition Celebration. Read more about previous St. Peter Chanel Award recipients.

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Marist School

3790 Ashford Dunwoody Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30319-1899
(770) 457-7201
An Independent Catholic School of the Marist Fathers and Brothers