Formation: Our Hearts Are On Fire
Jesuits in formation spend between nine and twelve years completing a formation process that was envisioned by St. Ignatius himself.
Modern-day Jesuit formation presents novices, brothers and scholastics with a national and often global experience of Ignatius' mission of going everywhere in the world to find Christ by working with and learning from the poor - an important calling echoed in the words and actions of Pope Francis. A key focal point of Jesuit formation continues to be the Spiritual Exercises, the 30-day retreat a man makes twice - at the start of his training and, later, during tertianship, the last step before final vows. For nearly 500 years, the Spiritual Exercises has been a critical tool that helps Jesuits to see Christ more clearly, to love him more deeply and to follow him more closely.
Twenty-eight Jesuits were ordained priests in the U.S. and Canada this year, the highest number in 15+ years, including four men – Jesuit Fathers, Dennis Baker, Brent Otto, John Peck and Sean Toole, who were ordained at the Fordham University Church in June.
The “Francis Effect” continues to inspire men interested in becoming a Jesuit. Nationwide, the Society of Jesus has seen a 65 percent increase in inquiries from men seeking to serve God’s people through the spirituality of St. Ignatius Loyola.
Jesuit novices and scholastics are not simply immersed in studies. They also gather experiences in parishes, prisons, hospitals and community centers across the East Coast and internationally.
Teaching in a school still plays an important part in the formation of a Jesuit. Nearly all Jesuit regents serve in a high school or university. This year’s regents include Adam Rosinski, serving at St Joe's Prep in Philadelphia; Kevin Hughes, serving at McQuaid Jesuit; James Ferus, serving at Cheverus High School; Vin Marchionni and Tim Casey, serving at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Baltimore; Tim O'Brien, serving at Loyola Maryland University; and Chris Grodecki at Saint Joseph’s University.