Jesuit Novices in the U.S. and Canada Profess First Vows

September 11, 2018 — Twenty-six Jesuit novices in Canada and the United States professed first vows of poverty, chastity and obedience this month. A novice spends two years at the novitiate for the first stage of Jesuit formation, culminating in first vows — a public profession of commitment to the Society of Jesus.


Ten Jesuits professed first vows at Mission Santa Clara de Asís on the campus of Santa Clara University in California on August 11. From left: Anthony J. Cortese, SJ; Bishop Gordon Bennett, SJ, bishop emeritus of Mandeville, Jamaica; Michael J. Bachmeier, SJ; Dennis V. Marzan, SJ; Henry W. Perez, SJ; Fernando C. Saldivar, SJ; Fr. Stephen Corder, SJ, director of novices; Fr. Scott Santarosa, SJ, provincial of Jesuits West; An Nguyen Vu, SJ; Daniel E. Mascarenhas, SJ; Kyle J. Baker, SJ; Victor E. Yanez Valle, SJ; Fr. Anthony Sholander, SJ; An Hoang Vu, SJ; Bishop Carlos Sevilla, SJ, bishop emeritus of Yakima, Washington; Fr. Scott Coble, SJ; and Fr. Anton Harris, SJ. (Photo by Adam Hays)

Vow Day Masses were held at Mission Santa Clara de Asís on the campus of Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California; Saint Thomas More Catholic Church in St. Paul, Minnesota; the Chapel of Saint Joseph on the campus of Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia; Saint Charles Borromeo Church in Grand Coteau, Louisiana; and the Church of the Gesù in Montreal.


Above, vow crosses, which novices receive during the first vows Mass. (Photo by Adam Hays)

At the Mass, each Jesuit novice makes the profession of vows individually in front of the Eucharist, just as St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, and some of his first companions did. They also receive a vow cross that they will keep for the rest of their lives.


Seven Jesuits professed first vows on August 11 at Saint Thomas More Catholic Church in St. Paul, Minnesota. From left: Alexander DeWitt, SJ; Patrick Saint-Jean, SJ; Alexander French, SJ; Josef Raoul Rodriguez, SJ; Mark Blancke, SJ; Christopher Meister, SJ; and Christopher Alt, SJ.

During their two years in the novitiate, the novices prepared to become vowed members of the order by learning about the Society, participating in local ministries and living in Jesuit communities. They also embarked on pilgrimages, performed community service and completed the Spiritual Exercises — a 30-day silent retreat developed by St. Ignatius.


Oliver Capko, SJ (right, pictured with Jean Francky Guerrier, SJ, left), pronounced first vows at the Church of the Gesù in Montreal on August 19.

Novices also experience life as a Jesuit, including living in community and ministering in different settings — from hospitals and third world countries to soup kitchens and Jesuit high schools. 


Douglas Jones, SJ, and Paul Phillipino, SJ, pronounced first vows at Chapel of Saint Joseph on the campus of Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia on August 11. From left: Fr. John Cecero, SJ, provincial of the USA Northeast Province; Fr. Steve Surovick, SJ, socius and assistant director of novices; Douglas Jones, SJ; Fr. Joseph Sands, SJ, director of novices; Paul Phillipino, SJ; and Fr. Robert Hussey, SJ, provincial of the Maryland Province.

By the time a novice kneels at the altar to pronounce vows, he is prepared and ready to speak the words of the vow formula to God, which concludes: "And as you have freely given me the desire to make offering, so also may you give me the abundant grace to fulfill it."


Six Jesuit novices pronounced first vows at St. Charles College in Grand Coteau, Louisiana, on August 11. Back row from left: Angel Flores, SJ; Joshua Hinchie, SJ; Connor Smith, SJ; front row: Jeff Miraflor, SJ; Jorge Roque, SJ; Marco Machado, SJ.

Following the profession of first vows, Jesuits preparing to be priests usually begin three years of studies: two years of philosophy studies, combined with one year of graduate-level theology courses. Those men who took vows as a Jesuit brother will usually take several theology courses. Click here to read more about the steps of Jesuit formation at beajesuit.org.

Watch the livestream of the Jesuits West province first vows ceremony below:





Recent News

April 18, 2019 — How can old Jesuit manuscripts written in indigenous languages have become such a hot topic? Because they fit perfectly into one of the four Jesuit Universal Apostolic Preferences as well as into UNESCO’s theme for 2019, namely the International Year of Indigenous Languages.

April 17, 2019 — This coming April 22, 2019, we will be celebrating two events: Easter Monday and Earth Day. “Today, the waves of personal and planetary destruction roll back to sources of hope,” states Erik Oland, Provincial of the Jesuit Province of Canada, in a new letter.

April 18, 2019 — Two Jesuits, Leonard Altilia and John O’Brien, comment upon the Pope’s latest Apostolic Exhortation through a Jesuit and Canadian perspective.

April 15, 2019 — The 9th edition of the Lonergan Symposium will be held next May 4, jointly organized by the Centre Culturel Chrétien de Montréal and the Lonergan network.

April 11, 2019 — How can the Church, this two-thousand-year-old institution, still reach today's youth? Fannie Dionne dwells into 3 points of Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation.

April 11, 2019 — A book devoted to reconciliation with indigenous peoples was launched on March 27, at McGill University’s Newman Centre.

April 11, 2019 — Next July, after 14 years as Managing Director, Mireille Chilloux will leave her position at Mer et Monde.

view all news

Search news

Publications

Jesuit (Winter 2019)

Relations - avril 2019

Loyola Today



Anishinabe Spiritual Centre
The Anishinabe Spiritual Centre is a place of peace, a beautiful retreat space, a welcoming ...