Immediately after uploading this post, the entire website referenced was taken down (the next day). Quite shocking since it was a big and well devoloped site. It would seem as though the “Society Of Jesus” has eyes everywhere and would very much like to disassociate themselves with their horrible but true history. It also indicates that I am being intensely monitored. You can still view a previous version of the site on the Internet Wayback Machine, should the original remain down permanently. The original link was http://www.thinkjesuit.org but that is now a dead link as of today. The archived site on the Wayback Machine can be viewed at
I don’t know what they are doing over there at ThinkJesuit.org, but their site is back up now. I used to be a Web Developer and I can tell you that, taking down your entire domain simply to update or maintain is like swatting a gnat with a sledghammer. Could have been technical problems but I’m glad that you can see the actual site for yourself now, unless it goes down again of course.
Unforgettable Jesuit Training Is Something Else
This is about the Jesuits, a global order of religious founded in 1548 by Ignatius of Loyola, the soldier-saint, to educate young men – and, of late, young women.
Excellence in education has always been the pursuit of the Jesuits.
The Jesuit purpose is to develop the whole man, the physical and the spiritual; to foster faith and reason, discipline and devotion, contemplation and intellectual curiosity, clarity and logic, all in the highest of moral standards; to shape and mold young minds to the greater glory of God; to serve God, country and humanity.
The tradition has continued for more than four centuries, touching the minds and souls of countless generations and, in the process, turning out great numbers of successful doctors; lawyers; scientists; theologians; teachers; jurists; political, business and military leaders, even newspapermen and women and, in some cases, the cop on the beat.
Since the founding of Georgetown University in the nation’s capital in 1789, the Jesuits have made a significant contribution to American education. Sometime this year the millionth graduate will receive a degree from one of the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in America today.
Once touched by the Spartan-like intellectual demands of the Jesuits, young men are seldom the same. They go forth into the marketplace carrying their Jesuit education as the proudest of burdens.
“It’s just my Jesuit training,” the Jesuit product often says.
“I’m not a Catholic, I’m a Jesuit,” Tommy Foglietta, the congressman from South Philadelphia, frequently jests.
Of course, not everyone holds the Jesuits in such high esteem.
When Alexander Haig, who attended St. Joe’s Prep, the Jesuit high school on Girard Avenue, was secretary of state, those who disagreed with his policies often chided him for having “a Jesuitical mind.”
And when Harry S. Truman was made captain-in-charge of Battery D – a.k.a Dizzy D – a WWI Army outfit, the would-be president had his own view of a Jesuit-educated soldier.
“Battery D had four commanding officers and none of them could handle those Irish boys,” Capt. HST later reflected. “They were most of them
college boys from Rockhurst, a Jesuit school in Kansas City. They were well- educated, many of them, but, oh, they were wild.”
Diverse views of the products of Jesuit education, yet pride beats on in the hearts of Jesuit-educated men.
To give you an idea, Sidney Deangelis, the Norristown lawyer, recently took Priscella Lloyd, an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia, to dinner at a popular restaurant in South Philadelphia.
As the two lawyers left the restaurant, they were approached by a man wielding a knife. He demanded Sid Deangelis’ wallet and the assistant district attorney’s purse and handsome new beaver coat.
Sidney Deangelis stalled the mugger for a time, but to no avail. The mugger grabbed Priscella Lloyd’s purse and fled into the night.
Sidney Deangelis called the police. Minutes later an unmarked car arrived with a plainclothesman at the wheel.
“Get in the car,” the plainclothesman said. “I’ll drive around the area to see if you can spot the guy who mugged you.”
Minutes later Sidney Deangelis spotted a man walking on Fitzwater Street, near Broad. “That’s him,” he yelled, “that’s the guy who did it.”
The plainclothesman leaped from the car, disarmed the man of a knife and found Priscella Lloyd’s wallet in the suspect’s pocket.
“Where’s the purse?” the plainclothesman demanded.
“I threw it in a dumpster down the block,” the suspect said.
The plainclothesman retrieved the purse and booked the suspect for the mugging – plus several other robberies.
Sidney Deangelis was amazed at the mental dexterity of the plainclothes cop, at his ability to move so quickly from the general to the particular – familiar exercise in Jesuit logic.
“How did you know that the mugger would be here?” the lawyer asked.
“Oh,” said the plainclothesman, with a shrug, “it’s just my Jesuit training.”
They tell a story about two priests – one an Augustinian, the other an Oblate – who for years pondered which order God loved most. Unable to reach a conclusion, the Augustinian and the Oblate finally decided to write God and ask him to settle the argument.
A few days later a reply arrived. “Dear Fathers,” it began. “I want you to know that I love the Augustinians just as much as I love the Oblates – God, S.J.”
“God, S.J.?” for God’s sake. No wonder Jesuit products figure the Jesuits hung the moon and the stars.
Pope Francis is an astutely trained Jesuit
(Article changed on March 15, 2013 at 04:48)
Duluth, Minnesota (OpEdNews) March 14, 2013: Wow! The Jesuits just got a windfall of free publicity. As the media reported, a Jesuit has been elected by the Cardinal-electors in the Roman Catholic Church as the new pope. He name is Jorge Bergoglio. Of Italian descent, he was born and raised in Argentina. Born in Buenos Aires on December 17, 1936, he was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1969. He will be known as Pope Francis — honoring the Italian saint Francis of Assisi.
Incidentally, Francis of Assisi recently got good press in the NEW YORKER, an obviously famous secular magazine that is not famous for running favorable essays about Catholic saints.
As the media correctly reported, never before has a Jesuit been elected pope. Because I happen to be a former Jesuit seminarian, a friend asked me what the arguments pro and con are regarding having a Jesuit serve as the pope.
The major con argument is that the election of Pope Francis establishes a precedent for other Jesuits to serve as the pope in the future. Because I see the monarchical aura of the papacy in recent centuries as a serious problem, I see this already serious problem as being compounded by allowing even one Jesuit to serve as pope. The prospect of having more Jesuits serve as pope in the future is not a pleasant prospect for me to consider.
As to the pro argument about having a Jesuit pope, I would say that it is probably safe to say that no Jesuit who could ever be elected pope would turn out to be a cowboy pope — as George W. Bush turned out to be a cowboy president. If it moves, cowboys want to kill it. But the new Pope Francis will probably practice non-violence himself.
In the book MEN ASTUTELY TRAINED: A HISTORY OF THE JESUITS IN THE AMERICAN CENTURY (1992), Peter McDonough, himself a former Jesuit, calls attention to Jesuit training in his apt title.
Young Jorge Bergoglio may have been a cowboy in spirit when he entered the Jesuit two-year novitiate. But as McDonough’s apt title suggests, Jesuit training is astutely designed to take the cowboy spirit out of the man.
Do you remember how King Odysseus went around Ithaca as a beggar after he returned there from the Trojan war? That’s kind of the spirit of the Jesuit two-year novitiate — in other words, you don’t get to act like you’re the king — not even of yourself and your own life and your daily activities. Then later in their Jesuit training, Jesuits complete a third year of novitiate-like simple living and working. Both during the novitiate and during the third year of novitiate-like living and working, Jesuits make a 30-day retreat in silence (except for daily conferences with the retreat director) following the SPIRITUAL EXERCISES of St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order.
The Jungian theorist Robert L. Moore of Chicago Theological Seminary has described Jesuit training as warrior training. He means that Jesuit training is astutely designed to help Jesuits in training to learn how to access the Warrior archetype in the archetypal level of their psyches. Based on my own experience of Jesuit training, I agree with Moore that Jesuit training is warrior training involving the Warrior archetype in one’s psyche. Because Jesuit training is indeed truly warrior training, most Jesuits as a result of their training overcome the cowboy spirit in themselves, even if they had a strong cowboy spirit when they entered the Jesuit novitiate.
Digression: Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette discuss the Warrior archetype in their book THE WARRIOR WITHIN: ACCESSING THE KNIGHT [ARCHETYPE] IN THE MALE PSYCHE (1992). Moore and Gillette claim that girls and women also have a Warrior archetype in the archetypal level of their psyches. End of digression.
Now, if you are not interested in entering the Jesuit novitiate, you may be wondering what benefits might come from warrior training involving the Warrior archetype.
I would say that the Warrior archetype is involved in all those work and play situations in life wherein we experience flow, as Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi discusses flow in his book FLOW: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF OPTIMAL EXPERIENCE (1990).
As a matter of fact, his wife Isabella Selega Csikszentmihalyi has published an essay about the early Jesuits and flow: “Flow in historical context: the case of the Jesuits” in the book OPTIMAL EXPERIENCE: PSYCHOLOGICAL STUDIES OF FLOW IN CONSCIOUSNESS, co-edited by husband and wife (1988, pages 232-248).
Through Jesuit training, most Jesuits today learn how to make their work seem like play. That’s how well disciplined most Jesuits are as the result of being astutely trained.
Let’s review. The papacy in recent centuries has taken on a monarchical aura, which I see as a problem.
In addition, I see a number of the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings regarding sexual morality as ridiculous.
Therefore, I am not exactly thrilled at the prospect of having an astutely trained Jesuit as the new pope.
Despite his Jesuit training, Pope Francis I could still turn out to be a bungler. He may not be ready for prime time, as they say. Nevertheless, I don’t think he’s going to be a cowboy in spirit — if it moves, kill it — as President George W. Bush was when he started unnecessary wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Who are Jesuits?
The name “JESUIT” refers to the members of the SOCIETY OF JESUS, which is a men’s Religious Order within the Catholic Church. Established in 1540 by St. Ignatius of Loyola, the Jesuits have a long history of serving the Catholic Church and are currently engaged in ministries around the world, in 127 countries on six continents.
Pope Francis, the first “Jesuit pope,” joined the Jesuits in Argentina in 1958. He served as the Jesuit Provincial Superior, the Director of Novices, and Rector of the Jesuit Seminary in San Miguel, before being elevated to bishop, archbishop, and then a cardinal. He was elected Pope on March 13th, 2013.
Pope Benedict XVI, his predecessor, when addressing the Jesuit leaders in Rome said “The Church needs you, relies on you and continues to turn to you with trust, particularly to reach those physical and spiritual places which others do not reach or have difficulty in reaching.” (Address to the 35th General Congregation of Jesuits, February 21st, 2008)
Earlier, Pope Paul VI, in his exhortation to the Jesuits said, “Wherever in the Church, even in the most difficult and extreme fields, at the crossroads of ideologies, in the social trenches, there has been and there is confrontation between the burning exigencies of man and the perennial message of the Gospel, here also there have been, and there are, Jesuits.” (Address to the 32nd General Congregation of Jesuits, 3rd December 1974).
Over the years, numerous Jesuits have been declared Saints and Blesseds in the Catholic Church and are presented to us as role models of people of faith.
The Jesuits are best known as educators. They run a number of educational institutions in the USA, including 28 universities and 56 secondary schools.
Who Are the Jesuits?
Founded in 1540 by St. Ignatius of Loyola and commonly called the Jesuits, the Society of Jesus is the largest religious order of men in the Catholic Church. Serving in about 125 nations on 6 continents, we number over 17,200 priests, brothers, and seminarians worldwide, all of whom observe vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.
Men who are called to the Society of Jesus desire to be “contemplatives in action” – combining faith and the promotion of justice. After two years as a novice, a Jesuit pronounces his solemn vows and engages in six years of philosophy and theology studies. He also engages in teaching ministry for three years. Most Jesuits receive priestly ordination after the 11 year training, but others also serve as brothers in a variety of ministries. Jesuits are best known in the fields of education (schools, colleges, universities, seminaries, theological faculties), intellectual research and cultural pursuits. They also engage in missionary work and direct evangelization to the poor, social justice and human rights activities, interreligious dialogue, and other ‘frontier’ ministries. Most importantly, Jesuits continue the tradition of providing Christian retreats, based on the foundational document of Ignatius: The Spiritual Exercises. Jesuits are inspired by their motto: Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (Latin for: All for the Greater Glory of God)
The Jesuit Charism
Most Religious Orders have a unique orientation that distinguishes them from other Orders. This is often referred to as the “Charism” of the Order.
There is a Jesuit Charism too, one that distinguishes the Jesuits from other men’s Religious Orders. This Charism manifests itself in the way Jesuits live and what they do. It is mirrored in what Jesuits value, the choices they make personally and in community, and in the minor and major decisions they make regarding ministries and lifestyle . . . what Jesuits refer to as “Our Way of Proceeding.”
The foundation of the Jesuit Charism is the “Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.” A number of attempts have been made in recent years to gather up certain principles that shine through the writings of St. Ignatius and are envisaged as permanent features of the Society he founded. Any such list presupposes, of course, the common elements of all religious orders in the Catholic Church, including the faithful observance of the usual vows of religion: poverty, chastity and obedience.
1. Dedication to the “Greater” glory of God. This gives the Jesuit a kind of holy restlessness, a ceaseless effort to do better, to achieve the more or, in Latin, the Magis. Ignatius may be said to have been a God-intoxicated man in the sense that he made “the greater glory of God” the supreme norm of every action, great or small.
2. A Personal love for Jesus Christ and a desire to be counted among his close companions. Repeatedly in the Exercises, Jesuits pray to know Christ more clearly, to love him more dearly and to follow him more nearly.
3. To labor with, in, and for the Church, and to think at all times “with the Church.”
4. Apostolic Availability. To be at the disposal of the Church, available to labor in any place, for the sake of the greater and more universal good.
5. Union of hearts and minds. Jesuits are to see themselves as “Friends in the Lord” and as parts of a body bound together by a communion of minds and hearts.
6. Preference for spiritual ministries. In the choice of ministries, Ignatius writes, “spiritual goods ought to be preferred to bodily,” since they are more conducive to the “ultimate and supernatural end.”
7. Discernment. Ignatius distinguished carefully between ends and means, choosing the means best suited to achieve the end in view. He teaches the discipline of indifference in the sense of detachment from anything that is not to be sought for its own sake.
8. Adaptability. Ignatius always paid close attention to the times, places and persons with which he was dealing. He took care to frame general laws in such a way as to allow for flexibility in application.
9. Respect for human and natural capacities. Although Ignatius relied primarily on spiritual means, such as divine grace, prayer and sacramental ministry, he took account of natural abilities, learning, culture and manners as gifts to be used for the service and glory of God. For this reason he showed a keen interest in education.
10. A synthesis of the active and the contemplative life. According to Jerome Nadal (1507-80), who spoke of the Jesuit practice, it is a special grace of the whole Society to be contemplative not only in moments of withdrawal but also in the midst of action, thus “seeking God in all things.”
For further explanation of the Jesuit Charism, click on the documents below from the 34th and 35th General Congregations of the Society of Jesus: “Our Way of Proceeding“ and “ A Fire that Kindles other Fires”
We are the Society of Jesus, a Roman Catholic order of priests and brothers founded half a millennium ago by the soldier-turned-mystic Ignatius Loyola. But most people call us “the Jesuits.”
In the vision of our founder, we seek to “find God in all things.” We dedicate ourselves to the “greater glory of God” and the good of all humanity. And we do so gratefully in collaboration with others who share our values, including laypersons. They have become part of the “we,” the extended Jesuit family.
With close to 17,000-plus priests and brothers worldwide, we are the largest male religious order in the Catholic Church. We are pastors, teachers, and chaplains. We are also doctors, lawyers, and astronomers, among many other roles in Church and society. In our varied ministries, we care for the whole person: body, mind, and soul. And especially in our education ministries, we seek to nurture “men and women for others.”
In the United States, the Society of Jesus is organized into eight provinces or geographic regions, each headed by a provincial superior appointed by the Superior General in Rome. Provinces are organized as follows:
Jesuit Assistancies Worldwide
In the same way that the United States Assistancy is comprised of individual provinces, so too is the rest of the world, with other Assistancies and Jesuit Conferences representing each region. For more information about the provinces and Assistancies throughout the world, please visit the Jesuit Curia, the global headquarters of the Society of Jesus, located in Rome.
Become a Jesuit
“The Jesuit Vocation means living the Gospel message fully, generously, perhaps even heroically. It is not an easy life. It is a wonderful vocation. Everything for the greater glory of God; more is not possible.” – Fr. Pedro Arrupe, Superior General (1966 – 1985)
It is not uncommon for a young person to want to do something significant with his or her life. Often times, this desire is strengthened by a desire to do something significant for God and a desire to make the world better and holier.
If you are interested becoming a Jesuit, or wondering if it would be a good fit for you, or wondering how one may become a Jesuit, you should find these pages helpful.
1. Jesuits: A Good Fit for me? You will find here qualities that are important for one exploring a Jesuit vocation. Answer the questions provided to see if the Jesuits would be a good fit.
2. Process of Discernment: Explains how to make a good discernment. Discernment is the process by which one seeks to understand what God calls the person to in his/her life.
3. The Jesuit Candidacy program: This is a program for the young man who desires to be a Jesuit and wants to discern more actively.
4. Application Process to enter the Jesuits: This section explains the different pieces that a candidate goes through when he seeks admission into the Jesuits.
5. Stages of Jesuit Training: This section explain the training process for a Jesuit. There are some differences in the training of Jesuit brothers from Jesuit priests.
6. Jesuit Brother Vocation: Explains the vocation of the Jesuit brother.
Jesuits: A Good Fit For Me?
Characteristics of a Good Candidate for Jesuit Life. Here are a few questions to go through as you explore whether you have in you some of the basics qualities necessary to be a Jesuit:
- Are you a practicing Catholic and do you find joy in living your faith?
- Do love people and seek to serve others rather than be served?
- Are you excited about using your gifts and talents for the good of others?
- Do you have a healthy sense of self-worth?
- Are you able to live and work with others, including those who are different from you?
- Are you open and capable of doing serious academic work?
- Do you have convictions that you are willing to stand up for?
- Are you able, especially when things go wrong, to face lifewith trust and a sense of humor?
- Are you open to living and working outside your comfort zone?
- Are you single and unmarried?
- Are you able to live a life of celibacy. Can you live it joyfully and wholly?
- Are you able to relate to people of different ages, socioeconomic groups, sexual orientations and cultural backgrounds?
If you answered “YES” to most of these questions, perhaps God is calling you to be a Jesuit. The next step would be to contact THE VOCATION DIRECTOR as you begin to discern if this is your Calling.
If you answered “NO” to most of these questions, perhaps God is calling you elsewhere . . . .
The Process of Discernment
The CALL comes from GOD, and in different ways.
The RESPONSE comes from YOU, and requires Your Response.
How do you know God is calling you to religious life?
DISCERNMENT is a word that describes the process of coming to understand how the Lord is calling you and inviting you to serve Him. It is a spiritual and personal journey. It is a journey of understanding, of seeing and acting.
The necessary ingredients for discerning a vocation from the Lord aretrust, patience, faith, and prayer. These four elements will be constantly challenged during your journey, and will need to be renewed daily.
Stages of Vocation Discernment:
Attraction or Interest – a person feels a mysterious attraction to the idea of a serving God as a priest or religious. He feels in his heart that he was made for something different than others, that he is somehow invited to a deeper relationship with God and the Church. It may begin as a desire, or an attraction to religious things….read more.
Inquiry – A man takes the initiative to contact someone for more information (he talks with a Jesuit he knows, sends an e-mail, makes a phone call). The person will usually contact someone he has met, or he will seek out a Jesuit at a school or parish…read more
Information Gathering – This part of the process can take place over the course of months or years. He gathers information from many sources….read more
Spiritual Discernment – The person enters into an agreement with the Vocation Director to begin a process of prayer, conversation and investigation concerning a future decision. The person agrees to regular prayer, spiritual direction, attending some events, visiting and meeting Jesuits…read more
Confirmation – After a while, the person begins to move toward more certainty about a decision. He commits more deeply to the process by working with the Vocation Director to set a time-frame for making a decision about formally applying to the Society of Jesus. Prayer, and spiritual direction are the guides at this stage…read more
The Jesuit Candidacy Program
The Jesuit Candidacy Program is a program of spiritual direction and vocational guidance. It is intended for a man who is seriously considering the Society of Jesus as one of several vocational choices. It is also for a person who strongly believes that God might be calling him to be a Jesuit, but is not yet certain. Lastly, it is for a person who has decided in his heart that he is called to be a Jesuit, but needs or wishes more experience and growth before taking such a step.
Does this involve a major commitment?
No, being a “candidate” does not imply a commitment to enter religious life. Rather, it provides an opportunity for vocational discernment. It is:
– a time for a man to know himself more deeply
– a time to grow in a personal relationship with Christ
– a time to experience the life and mission of the Society of Jesus
– a time to meet other Jesuits at work and in the community
– a time for a man to clarify his future
If a man is a candidate, is he expected to enter the Jesuits?
No. Candidacy is a period for discernment. It does not oblige the man to become a Jesuit. Discernment means that the man, with the aid of a spiritual director, tries to hear the call of God deep in his heart. Over time, it may become clear to the man (or to the Society) that Jesuit life is not the way to live out this vocation.
Who can be a Jesuit candidate?
An unmarried Roman Catholic man, generally between the ages of 18-35, who has a desire to serve the Church as a brother or a priest.
How do I become a candidate?
Those interested in becoming a Jesuit candidate can do so by contacting any Jesuit or by replying to the registration form found on this website. The Vocation Director will be happy to assist you with the Candidacy Program, to arrange for a spiritual director, and to share with you more information about the Jesuits.
Where does the candidacy program take place?
Wherever the man is. A Jesuit candidate remains where he is living (work, school, home, etc.) and participates in events, reading and activities while he carries on his normal life. Some of the specific events will take place at a Jesuit community or apostolic site such as a school or college. So, a candidate may be asked to travel to various events, from time to time, in order to meet other Jesuits and learn of our way of life.
What is the major component of the Jesuit Candidacy program?
Regular (monthly) spiritual direction. Anyone who wishes eventually to apply to the Society of Jesus is asked to have at least several months of spiritual direction with a Jesuit. The vocation director will assign a spiritual director to the candidate. The candidate’s relationship with his spiritual director requires mutual openness and trust – something that is challenging but also very rewarding. The director gradually helps the candidate to clarify his personal strengths and weaknesses, his aspirations and motivation, his experience of the Lord and the possible Jesuit character to his vocation. Moreover, the director or vocation director suggests readings to the candidate, which provide him more understanding about prayer, religious life, ministry in the Church, and Jesuit history and spirituality.
What else would a Jesuit candidate need to do?
In addition to Spiritual Direction, the following activities are strongly recommended to candidates. Some of these are required of men who are seriously considering application to the Society in a given year:
1. Attend meetings with other candidates. These gatherings (hosted by Jesuit communities) may consist of Eucharist, a meal and a brief talk/discussion on some aspect of Jesuit life or apostolate.
2. Make an individually-directed retreat of four to eight days during the course of the program. This retreat is given by the candidate’s director or another Jesuit, often at a Jesuit retreat house.
3. Possibly make a visit to the Jesuit novitiate. These informal weekend visits provide contact with young men who have recently begun their Jesuit life as well as provide first hand knowledge of early Jesuit formation.
4. Maintain conversation with the province Vocation Director. Regular conversations (often by email) allow the Vocation Director an opportunity to know each candidate and, if appropriate, to assess the candidate’s readiness to enter the Society of Jesus. The Vocation Director gives approval for the application process to begin.
How much does the candidacy program cost?
Nothing. Aside from the usual expenses such as transportation, the program is free. The Jesuits supply any books, materials, spiritual direction, admission fees, etc.
How long do I need to be a candidate before entering?
The length of candidacy varies according to each individual. For the person who begins candidacy as early as junior or senior year in high school, it could last a year or two until he graduates, or for several years while he goes through college. Others who are either nearing college graduation, or beyond college in some professional field, could find that a year or less of candidacy is sufficient time to clarify the possibility of a Jesuit vocation. Generally a candidate takes at least a year to gain clarity about a Jesuit vocation. A candidate who feels very strongly about his vocation can move ahead into the application process.
What if I decide the Jesuits are not for me?
Through the spiritual direction and activities of the Candidacy Program, a candidate might decide that he is not called to be a Jesuit. Whether for this or another reason, a person can terminate his candidacy at whatever point he chooses. In that case, he is expected to inform the Vocation Director of his desires and decisions.
What if I feel I want to apply to enter the Jesuits?
If a candidate experiences a growing conviction and peace about his desire to enter the Society of Jesus, he first discusses this with his spiritual director. If his director shares this conviction, then this is communicated to the Vocation Director who can help the man to begin the application process. In some cases, the Vocation Director may decide that a longer candidacy period would be beneficial for a candidate. If, however, a man is ready and his directors agree, then he can move along in the process.
How does a candidate enter the Jesuits?
Through formal application. With the approval of his spiritual director and the vocation director, a candidate makes formal application for entrance. This application process can take anywhere from six to twelve months.
Application Process to enter the Jesuits
How does a candidate enter the Jesuits?
Through formal application. With the approval of his spiritual director and the vocation director, a candidate makes formal application for entrance. This application process can take anywhere from six to twelve months.
When do applications usually begin?
Applications usually begin between September and January.
How long does the application process take?
Generally, from three to five months, depending on how quickly the candidate can get all the paper work in and schedule the interviews. Applications are usually approved in the spring or early summer.
What does the application process involve?
Completion of: the formal application, a spiritual autobiography, several interviews, several references, academic transcripts, sacramental records, some state documents such as one’s birth certificate, etc. All these documents are presented to the Provincial, who then makes the final decision regarding the acceptance of a candidate to the Jesuit novitiate.
Who makes the decision about a candidate’s acceptance into the Jesuits?
The Jesuit Provincial makes the decision to accept a man’s application, to defer it, or to deny it.
When does a man officially become a Jesuit?
If accepted, a man becomes a Jesuit on Entrance Day – in the US typically a Saturday in late August. This is the day when the candidate enters the novitiate community and becomes a novice. From this point the Society of Jesus provides for the man’s livelihood and financial needs. For his well being, the Jesuit novice places his trust in the master of novices, the Jesuit provincial, and God. After living as a novice for a period of two years, the new Jesuit then asks to pronounce his first vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience in the Society of Jesus.
Stages of Jesuit Training
Novitiate and First Vows
The first two years of Jesuit training (when a young Jesuit is called a “novice”) offers a series of “experiments” or experiences which help a man to confirm his call as a Jesuit, and help him to enter the Society of Jesus more fully. Novices live and study in community, go on pilgrimages, work among the poor, teach catechism, study the life and writings of St Ignatius of Loyola and other foundational documents. These experiences introduce him Jesuit life. Key to this time is the 30-day silent retreat, based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, which leads a novice into an encounter with God who calls him.
After two years, a novice applies for his first vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. After pronouncing these vows, he becomes a Jesuit scholastic (continuing to prepare for ministerial priesthood) or a Jesuit brother.
Preparing meals for the community is part of Novice life.
The classroom where the Jesuit Novices take classes with other novices from other religious communities.
The Novice community prays in the Chapel.
From Novice to Scholastic – the new Jesuit scholastics following their vow ceremony on August 11 at St Luke’s Church in St Paul, Minnesota. They represent the Jesuit Provinces of Missouri, Wisconsin and Upper Canada.
Theology and Ordination
“Theology enables the scholastic to penetrate deeper into God’s plan of salvation in Christ, within which is located the mission of the Society at the service of the Church; he is thus readied to be a minister of the word and of reconciliation. Similarly, he must cultivate a faith-vision of the whole of reality, beginning with a reflection on his experience as a human being related to God, and on the divine mystery revealed in Christ and made known in Scripture and Tradition, and through the magisterium and life of the church.”
The Formation of Jesuits – Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J. (Superior General)
Coming out of his Regency work, the Jesuit Scholastic returns to studies to prepare directly for priestly ordination. Earning a Master of Divinity (M. Div.) degree, and possibly another degree, the Jesuits usually spend three years before priestly ordination in one of the theologates of the Society. In the U.S. there are two such theological centers:
the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, California and the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry in Massachusetts.
Mark Carr, SJ, and Casey Beaumier, SJ, receive prayers from fellow Jesuits at their Ordination Mass on June 10, 2005 at Gesu Church in Milwaukee.
Daniel Hendrickson, SJ and Chris Collins, SJ were ordained on June 9, 2006 at St John’s Church at Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska.
Jesuit Brother Vocation
The Jesuit Brother is primarily, and completely, a Jesuit. He is a man committed to the service of the people of God as a member of the Society of Jesus through the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. The Brother has responded to a special call from the Lord. His goal is to further the work of God’s Church among the men and women of his time. Like all Jesuits, the Brother is especially prepared for this task by the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola.
The Brother is continually supported and motivated by his Jesuit companions, by his personal prayer and daily participation in the Eucharist.
The 32nd General Congregation of the Society of Jesus (1974) asked the question, “What is it to be a companion of Jesus today?” The answer: “It is to engage under the standard of the Cross, in the crucial struggle of our time, the struggle for faith and the struggle for justice which it includes.”
Br. Mike Wilmot, SJ, working on housing project in Africa
All Jesuits face this challenging call to service. The 34th General Congregation (1995) reminds us that because of “the variety of pastoral ministries, and especially the need for help in carrying out the mission …Ignatius accepted into the body of the Society priests and brothers, all of whom share the same vocation and contribute to the one mission… Ignatius believed in the diversity of vocations, which is based on the fact that God calls each one by name. It is only in this spirit of openness and acceptance that the various gifts, which
together make up the Society, can blossom.
For this reason, Ignatius considered priests and brothers in the Society as different ways of fulfilling the one and the same mission.”
CLICK HERE TO READ A STORY ABOUT 2 OLDER JESUIT BROTHERS, STILL WORKING.
Further resources and stories about the Jesuit brother vocation:
- Click here to read about Brother Pat Douglas, SJ, Brother Mike Wilmot, SJ, and other Jesuit brothersin the Midwest USA.
- Read Fr James Martin’s reflections on the importance of the Jesuit brother vocation in America Magazine
In this section you will find the profiles of several Jesuits, both present and past, and in the Midwest and beyond.
1. Jesuit Novice Community: The Novitiate is the first stage of Jesuit training and the men in this stage are called Novices. Read about the Novices of the US Midwest provinces who entered the Jesuit Novitiate in St Paul recently.
2. Jesuits in Training: This section has the profiles of some US Midwest Jesuits who are in training to be priests and brothers.
3. Jesuits in Ministry: This section has the profiles of some US Midwest Jesuits who are actively engaged in the world, serving God and His people.
4. Jesuit Saints, Blesseds and Holy men: This final section is on Jesuit saints and blesseds — those recognized by the Catholic Church as models for all peoples, and other Jesuits well known for their holiness and virtue.
Meet the Novices
Below is a picture of all 20 Jesuit Novices currently in the Novitiate at St. Paul, Minn. (13 second year novices and 7 first year novices)
Proceeding Novices not pictured;
Column 1-5, From left to right, bottom to top:
Column 1: Jim McGivney, David Inczauskis, Chris Williams, Michael Bartlett, Matt Ippel, Patrick Hyland
Column 2: Jose Camacho, Ryan Cruise, Fr. Charles Rodrigues, SJ, Sean Barry, William Gibson
Column 3: Minh Le, Fr. Greg Hyde, SJ, Emanuel Werner, Tommy O’Donnell, L. Ryen Dwyer, Jack McLinden
Column 4: Fr. Tom Pipp, SJ, Bryan Paulsen, James Kennedy
First Year Novices:
Michael Bartlett Ashland, Ohio
Mike, 34, earned a bachelor’s in philosophy in 2003 at the University of Chicago, where he is currently working on a master’s in religion. His academic studies helped him encounter great Jesuit theologians, which led him to explore a vocation to the Society. Prior to joining the Jesuits, Mike was employed as a barista, journalist and substitute teacher, and served as an overnight volunteer at Simpson Housing Shelter in Minneapolis. (Chicago-Detroit Province)
José “Chuy” Camacho Streator, Illinois
Chuy, 44, received a bachelor’s in business from Southern Illinois University in 1995 and another in chemistry from Illinois State University in 1999. He served 24 years in the U.S. Navy, working as a hospital corpsman and medical technician. His first exposure to Ignatian prayer was during a retreat with the Jesuits in Mexico. Working with his parish youth group and belonging to a small faith community in the parish were transformative experiences for him (Chicago-Detroit Province)
Ryan Cruise Bettendorf, Iowa
Ryan, 19, attended Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. An Eagle Scout, he has tutored students in math and Spanish in high school and was involved in his parish’s youth group and served as a catechist. He made a pilgrimage to Lourdes, France, and attended Mass celebrated by Pope John Paul II at the Vatican. Ryan enjoys watching and playing baseball, football and table tennis. (Wisconsin Province)
William Gibson Round Rock, Texas
William, 28, received a bachelor’s in philosophy from the University of Dallas in 2010. He taught classics and coached lacrosse at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati last year and also previously worked as a lifeguard and an English tutor. Although he was a Franciscan for three years, he was drawn to the Jesuits’ intellectual tradition and its commitment to the academic apostolate. William’s interests include theology and music. (Chicago-Detroit Province)
David Inczauskis Homer Glen, Illinois
David, 22, holds a bachelor’s in Spanish and religious studies from Wake Forest University in North Carolina, where he was a resident assistant in the dorms and a staff writer for the university newspaper. He also served as a peer minister and studied abroad at Oxford University in England during his junior year. While at Oxford, David met an English Jesuit and spent a few weeks with novices in Birmingham, England, which helped motivate his decision to join the Society. (Chicago-Detroit Province)
James Kennedy La Grange, Illinois
Jim, 23, received a bachelor’s in history from the University of Michigan in 2012. During college, he developed a tremendous respect for the Jesuits he met at St. Mary Student Parish while serving as a catechist. Jim also tutored elementary and high school students at Calvert House Catholic Center at the University of Chicago, where he earned a master’s degree in social sciences in 2013. (Chicago-Detroit Province)
James McGivney Cleveland, Ohio
Jim, 27, attended Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland, graduating in 2005. He earned a bachelor’s in accounting from the University of Dayton in Ohio and a master’s in accounting from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. He volunteered with the West Side Catholic Center in Cleveland, where he served the homeless, and at the Cleveland Food Bank. He coached the crew team and was a volunteer at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois. (Chicago-Detroit Province)
Thomas O’Donnell Dousman, Wisconsin
Tommy, 30, graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a bachelor’s in finance and marketing. He then taught in Milwaukee public schools and Cristo Rey high schools. Tommy’s volunteer experiences have been with SPRED (Special Religious Development); the COVE Alliance, which provides social services to orphaned and disadvantaged children; and The Guest House, serving those with disabilities or experiencing homelessness. Tommy enjoys playing and watching baseball and golf. (Wisconsin Province)
Jack McLinden Cleveland, Ohio
Jack, 23, graduated from Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland and received a bachelor’s in religious studies and classics from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. He pitched for the varsity baseball team at Saint Ignatius and Bucknell and worked as a youth baseball umpire in his spare time. Jack decided to join the Jesuits after completing the “Six Weeks a Jesuit” program in Canada and going on an immersion trip to Uganda. He is interested in philosophy and theology. (Chicago-Detroit Province)
Chris Williams Spearfish, South Dakota
Chris, 24, graduated from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, with a degree in theology and secondary education. While at Creighton, Chris worked at the Center for Service and Justice and studied in Peru. He has been a camp counselor, taught at Jesuit Academy in Omaha and spent a semester volunteering. Chris enjoys reading, movies, the outdoors and good coffee and good food. (Wisconsin Province)
Jesuits in training
Jesuits In Ministry
Jesuit Saints, Blesseds and Holy Men
Here is a list of some better-known Jesuits Saints, Blesseds, Martyrs, and holy men.
Click on the name of a Jesuit below to read about his inspiring life and ministry.
In this section you will find an assortment of articles written by or about the Jesuits. They should help you understand Jesuits better. You will also find an array of videos where Jesuits talk about themselves, their life and dreams, and even why they may have chosen to become a Jesuit.
The sections under the tab on Resources are:
1. Prayer: Under this section you will find information on how to pray and make the Examen.
2. Discernment Articles Library: Under this section you will find several articles on Discernment
3. Bookshelf: This section has information on a number of books on the Jesuits and relating to Vocational Discernment
4. Callings: This section has articles from recent issues of Callings: the Vocation Newsletter of the Midwest Jesuits
5. Videos: This section has a collection of many videos, mainly of Jesuits, speaking about their vocation, ministry, and aspects of Jesuit life
6. Spirituality Links: This section provides you with a list of websites that are good Ignatian spirituality resources
7. Catholic and Jesuits Resources: This section provides you with website links to important Jesuit and Catholic websites.
8. Documents: This section provides you with articles and excerpts from articles relating to spirituality and Jesuit life.
9. ThinkJesuit Wallpaper: Download from this section Jesuit themes and symbols that you could use as the background for your computer.
I. THE JESUITS
Q. 1: Who are the Jesuits?
A: The Jesuits are members of the Society of Jesus – a religious Order of men in the Roman Catholic Church. The Society of Jesus is the largest male religious Order in the world, with approximately 18,000 members internationally.
Q. 2: Where does the name Jesuit come from?
A: At first, there were misgivings about the meaning of the name “Jesuit.” Today, however, it is used more universally to refer to the members of the Society of Jesus. It is an anglicized version of the Latin Jesuita which is the combination of the two Latin words Jesu and Ita. This translates as “Yes, Jesus.”
Q. 4: What is the significance of the “IHS” that appears on the seal and logo of the Jesuits?
A: They are three Greek letters “Iota”, “Eta”, and “Sigma” — the first three letters of Jesus’ name in Greek.
Q. 5: Why were Jesuits called “Blackrobes”?
A: Jesuits wore a black robe, called a cassock, that was bound together at the waist by a belt called a sash. Today, Jesuits in several parts of the world have other dress codes and may wear a black shirt with a Roman collar or even a white a cassock.
Q. 6: Do Jesuits have a formal habit or dress?
A: Well, there is no habit or dress that all Jesuit priests, brothers, or seminarians use. What is formal and appropriate depends on the place where the person lives, the work the Jesuit engages in, on local traditions, and the specific context. Jesuits do not have an official habit or a uniform as, say, the police, or military, or hospital nurses may have. In many countries, as in the US, it is a clerical shirt and when the situation requires it, the clerical shirt is worn with a suit. In other parts of the world it could be black cassock or, because of prevailing weather or living conditions, a white cassock.
In the Constitutions of the Society, it gives these instructions concerning clothing; “The clothing should have three characteristics: first, it should be proper; second, conformed to the usage of the country of residence; and third, not contradictory to the poverty we profess…” (Const. 577)
Q. 8: Who is the head of the Jesuits?
A: The worldwide head of the Jesuits is called the Superior General. In January 2008, Fr. Adolfo Nicholas, a Spanish Jesuit who had worked for years as a missionary in Japan and the Philippines, was elected Superior General. The Superior General is elected for life. He appoints “provincials” to lead the local administrative units called “provinces” and the term of a provincial is usually for a period of 6 years.
Q. 9: How are the Jesuits in the US organized?
The United States is one of 10 Jesuit Assistancies world-wide, and comprises of 9 Jesuit province. The nine US Jesuit provinces are California, Chicago-Detroit, Maryland, Missouri, New England, New Orleans, New York, Oregon, and Wisconsin.
Q. 10: Is there someone in-charge of the Jesuits in the US?
A: Each of the nine Jesuit provinces has a Provincial Superior. He is in-charge of his province and usually has a term of 6 years. The provincial is appointed by the Superior General of the Jesuits.
Q. 11: What is the difference between a Jesuit Provincial and a Bishop?
A: Bishops are appointed by the Pope to administer geographic units called dioceses, which contain parishes, schools, churches, service groups, and other organizations. Their primary responsibility is to teach the faith and lead the people of their diocese. Jesuit provincials, on the other hand, are appointed by the Jesuit Superior General to serve a six-year term as the leader of a Jesuit province. Their responsibility is to direct the Jesuits and Jesuit ministries of their province. Jesuits live and work in dioceses to serve the local church and, as a result, bishops and provincials work in close collaboration.
Q. 12: What is the difference between Religious priests and Diocesan priests?
A: Diocesan priests serve the diocese that they belong to. They are under the authority of their bishop, they do not live in community, and they make promises of chastity and obedience. Religious priests, like the Jesuits, on the other hand, live in community and are under the authority of their local superior and provincial. They also take the vow of poverty, in addition to chastity and obedience. The way of life for Religious priests is guided by their congregation’s particular mission or spiritual tradition, usually referred to as their religious charism.
Q. 13: Is it true that the Jesuits are the largest men’s order of Catholic Religious in the World?
A: Yes, it is true. As of January 1st, 2013, there were some 17,287 men on six continents and in 127 countries throughout the world. Of this number, 12,298 were priests; 1,400 brothers; 2878 scholastics; and 711 novices. There were 2,467 Jesuits in the U.S.
If you have questions that have not been addressed, click HERE.“
II. JESUIT LIFE
Q. 14: Where and how do Jesuits live?
A. Most Jesuits live in Jesuit communities, with other Jesuits. A typical Jesuit community comprises of Jesuit priests, brothers, and scholastics (those in studies). Jesuit communities range in size, from four or five to large communities with sixty or more Jesuits, depending on the ministries of the community. Every Jesuit community has a Superior. In larger communities the superior is known as the Rector.
Q. 15: What is the everyday life of a Jesuit like?
A: The typical day of a Jesuit can be very different, depending on the ministry to which the Jesuit is assigned. As may be expected, the life of Jesuit in studies is very different from one in the active apostolate, and that of one teaching at a university is different from that of one working at a parish or a refugee center. The best way to find out about Jesuit life is by visiting Jesuit communities. Each year Jesuit Vocations Directors organize several events that help interested young men to “Come and Experience” the life of a Jesuit.
Q. 16: Some Jesuits are priests, some are brothers: What is the difference?
A: Jesuits can choose to be priests or brothers. Jesuits who are ordained priests administer the Sacraments and celebrate Mass. And Jesuit brothers, although they may not feel called to the life of a priest, participate fully in the work and mission of the Society of Jesus. Both groups of men take the same vows and live as equals in the same religious communities.
Q. 17: What are the Vows that Jesuits take?
A: The Jesuits, like all other Religious, takes vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. In the case of Jesuits, the first vows are perpetual vows. They are taken after the first training period of training, called the novitiate.
Q. 18: Why do Jesuits also take Final Vows?
A: When a Jesuit has completed his entire formation and is ready for full incorporation into the Society, he is invited to profess Final Vows.
Q. 19: What is the fourth vow?
A: The fourth vow is primarily a vow to obey the Pope with regard to the missions.
Q. 20: Do Jesuits get paid a salary?
A: Jesuits typically draw a salary from the institution where they work, but the salary goes directly to the Jesuit community that he is a member of. Jesuits do not get to keep their salaries because of their vow of poverty, but live instead on an allowance from the community.
Q. 21: How do Jesuits manage their living expenses?
A: All living and health expenses of a Jesuit are looked after by his community. In addition, every Jesuit receives a monthly allowance to cover minor expenses such as toiletries, clothing, books, etc. The monthly allowance a Jesuit receives is not related to the salary he may earn, but to what he needs to function effectively in his ministry. For larger expenses, personal or for his ministry, a Jesuit would approach his Superior for permission and the money he needs. A good example of that would be if someone needed a computer for his work or studies.
Q. 22: Where do the Jesuits get the money for their living expenses from?
A: The money used for covering the living expenses of Jesuits comes from different sources. For those who live in “working communities,” it usually comes from the salaries of members in that community. When Jesuit communities do not have salaries that are adequate to support them, the communities seek financial support of “outside” benefactors.
Q. 23: Can Jesuits own things, such as cars, televisions, computers, and other gadgets, etc.
A: No. In keeping with the Vow of Poverty, a Jesuit does not “own” anything — not even “the shirt on his back.” However, for the sake of effectiveness in ministry or, at times, because of special circumstance, the Jesuit Order tries to provide a Jesuit with the things he requires to live and function effectively, from simple things like stationery and toiletries to more sophisticated items such as a car, television, computer, or other gadgets, etc. Often times, these things are often shared in common by the Jesuits in the community and not limited to the use of a single Jesuit.
Q. 24: What kind of work do Jesuits typically engage in?
A: Worldwide, the Jesuits are possibly best known for the work in the field of education. The US Jesuits run 28 universities (including Georgetown, Boston College, Loyola, Marquette and Creighton) and over 50 secondary schools. Besides education, Jesuits are also engaged in research and the intellectual apostolate, parish and retreat apostolates, evangelization and missionary work, Justice, reform, and socioeconomic development, and outreach to refugees and immigrants, to name but a few.
Q. 25: Are Jesuit educational institutions Catholic schools?
A: Absolutely, and in every single way. However, Jesuit institutions typically welcome individuals of other faiths who qualify for admission or work.
If you have questions that have not been addressed, click HERE.“
III. BECOMING A JESUIT
(This part only responds to FAQs. The section BECOME A JESUIT explains in detail the steps on how one may become a Jesuit.)
Q. 26: Can anyone become a Jesuit (or join the Society of Jesus)?
A: Basically, any man over the age of 17 who is a member of the Catholic Church (a minimum period of 3 years since baptism or since confirmation in the case of those baptized in non-Catholic churches) and is not married can become a Jesuit. There are various other requirements as well, and admission practices vary from province to province. In the US, the expectation is that candidates should have completed high school before applying.
Q. 27: Is there an age limit — a minimum age or a maximum age — for entering the Jesuits?
A: Although the stipulated minimum age at which a young man can begin Jesuit training is 17 years, it varies from province to province. In the US, the expectation is that the applicant should have at least completed high school before entering the Jesuits. Some provinces expect an applicant to have lived for a couple of years on his own after high school before entering. Check with your local Vocation Director about any age requirement. Most men enter the Society in their 20s and 30s. A man over 40 is generally seen as being too old to enter and is not accepted unless there is special reason to justify his acceptance. The Jesuit Provincial superior requires special permission from the Superior General to accept men 50 and above, permission that is rarely given.
Q. 28: How does one know if he is being called to be a Jesuit?
A: This is an important question. Please refer to the section on Discernment.Click here
Q. 29: Does every Jesuit also automatically become a Catholic priest?
A: While all Jesuits are Catholic, not all Jesuits are priests. Many Jesuits choose to be brothers. (Please refer to question #9.) Jesuit priests and brothers share a common spirituality, charism, and life – essential parts of which are the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, a life of prayer, and living in community under a religious superior, but Jesuit priests, in addition, have to also fulfill the canonical prerequisites that apply to ordained minsters in the Catholic Church.
Q. 30: Is there a problem in becoming a Jesuit if someone has only recently become a member of the Catholic Church?
A: The Society of Jesus cannot accept a person to the novitiate until the person has been a Catholic for three years (since baptism, or in the case of those baptized in another church, since confirmation in the Catholic Church). In the meantime, however, a person interested in becoming a Jesuit could begin discerning whether or not he has a vocation to the Society.
Q. 31: Would having not been a “good Catholic” in the past prevent one from being accepted into the Society of Jesus?
A: St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, was hardly an angel in his youth. But after his conversion, he began to live his life in a different and deliberate manner. To be a suitable candidate for the Society, it is important that the person has lived a life fitting with such a vocation for a reasonable period of time. The man’s life should be marked by a love for Christ, regular prayer, frequent participation in the Eucharist and the sacrament of reconciliation, chastity, and the service of others – especially the poor and marginalized.
Q. 32: Can someone who has financial debts become a Jesuit?
A: Jesuit provinces in the US distinguish between debts due to student loans and debts from general living expenses such as loans, credit card debts, mortgages, etc. A person must pay off all general living expense debts before entering the novitiate, but can enter with student loans. A person’s student loans are deferred or serviced by the Society until he is ordained in case he chooses to become a priest, or until final vows if he becomes a brother. At that time the Society pays off all the person’s student loans.
Q 33: Can a foreign national apply to join a Jesuit province in the US?
A: There is no restriction to foreign nationals applying for admission to a Jesuit province in the US. However, for practical reasons and because of US immigration policies, foreign nationals need to have citizenship or permanent residency status (Green Card) prior to applying for admission to a US Jesuit province. The Jesuits do not sponsor residency or immigration papers for candidates. As an international Order that is present in most countries around the world, such candidates would be advised to apply to a Jesuit province in their country.
Q. 34: Can a woman become a Jesuit?
A: No, a woman cannot become a Jesuit. But there are a number of groups (congregations) of women religious (sisters) who share the same spirituality as the Jesuits and in some instances have the same constitutions (foundational documents) as the Jesuits.
Q. 35: What else is important when considering a Jesuit vocation?
A: Jesuit formation takes many years and involves a lot of academic work. The ability to engage in intellectual work is one important prerequisite. Another would be health. Because of our way of life, the Jesuits need men who are in general good health and not limited in their ability to engage in Jesuit ministry. Finally, it is critical that those seeking admission to the Jesuits come with a strong desire to serve the Lord with great generosity, openness, and a love for the poor and marginalized.
Q. 36: What is the best preparation for a young man who desires to apply to the Jesuits?
A: The best way to prepare would be the following:
- Make prayer a regular part of one’s day.
- Participate in the sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation frequently and regularly. If possible, attend Mass daily
- Get spiritual direction from a good and competent spiritual director — someone who can help one sort through one’s fears, resistances, hopes, etc.
- Learn to do the Examen and do it daily.
- Do some form of regular service, preferably with people who are on the margins of society.
- Get familiar with Jesuit and get to know some of them individually and in their communities.
- Read about the Jesuits and their history.
Q. 37: What happens to a person’s belongings when he enters the Jesuits?
A: A young man enters the novitiate with very few personal belongings. All basic needs are provided by the novitiate community, including bedding, toiletries, towels, etc. In the months before a man enters, the Novice Master sends him a list of what he may and may not bring. When he enters the novitiate, his other belongings need to be left in the care of someone he chooses. All the man’s needs are provided for him by the congregation for as long as he is a Jesuit. After final vows (refer Q.11 for final vows), all personal belongings automatically will belong to the Society.
Q. 38: What happens to a person’s financial assets and inhertances when he enters the Jesuits?
A: Before entering the novitiate, the Jesuit-to-be assigns someone to look after his financial assets (such as a salary, bank interest, etc.) and inheritances. The assignee – a person who could be changed if so desired – decides and executes all financial matters on behalf of the Jesuit until his final vows. At the time of final vows (refer Q.11 about final vows), the Jesuit must decide what to do with his financial assets and inheritances. He may give them away or give them to the Society. After final vows anything that a Jesuit inherits/gains automatically belongs to the Society. The principles governing these norms are simple:
1. Leave the Jesuit free of “worldly concerns” so that he can focus on his vocation, and,
2. After final vows, as a fully incorporated member of the Society, anything a Jesuit inherits/gains belongs to the Society.
If you have questions that have not been addressed, click HERE.“
This page was last updated on: March 26, 2013.
Sorry about these ads at the bottom of some of my posts, folks. I have no control over what WordPress.com puts there.
I was horrified at the latest ad that you see below, if it were up to me, I wouldn’t have anything like that on my blog.
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