Fr. Jordan Neeck: Worshipping & Hunting in the Great Outdoors


Eleanor Grosvenor, Staff Writer, Journalism I

Fr. Jordan Neeck, a Norbertine priest and theology teacher at Notre Dame, grew up hunting, and now it has become a favorite hobby.

“In northern Wisconsin, hunting was just a part of growing up. It is like a rite of passage to go deer hunting and to slay a deer.  My father was not a big hunter, so I spent a lot of time with my best friend Dane and his dad Wyatt who taught me how to hunt,” said Neeck. 

The Norbertine Abbey gives him the option to take time off during hunting season, which he enjoys by spending time outdoors and hunting his favorite game: the whitetail deer.

“I like to pray while outdoors. That’s actually how I shot my first buck with my bow this year.  I had just completed praying the rosary, and I was frustrated that no deer had come to my stand. So I was about to head down, but first I looked behind me, and the buck was there.  I waited patiently until it stepped into a spot I could ethically shoot it.  I thank Mother Mary for that! I also find the outdoors a great place to be, to be quiet and contemplative in allowing God to speak in the silence,” said the priest.

Neeck explained that spending time outdoors has provided him with many challenges in order to grow his skills in survival, camping, hunting, fishing, or any kind of high adventure activity.  

For Neeck the outdoors is a sanctuary away from the craziness in life, a place to become better aware of himself and a place of adventure, always trying to set the bar higher. He loves to say nature is also a beautiful and remarkable reminder of how God arranges everything in its place.

“The Abbot granted permission for me to hunt the Abbey grounds, and this is how I got into bow hunting because, obviously, one cannot shoot a rifle in the city limits.  This is the most controversial thing to happen for a long time,” he explained.  

“The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is supportive of me hunting to decrease the population within the city limits, but the neighbors and those who come to the Abbey to look at the deer find me to be an enemy of wildlife.”

The priest suggested tree-huggers are not true believers of the science, as they don’t understand that overpopulation can lead to disease or starvation without proper management.

His advice for student hunters is to respect and appreciate nature and the animals who offer their life so that we can eat and enjoy the sport.