Samuel J. Sawyer, SJ
Samuel J. Sawyer, SJ

Samuel J. Sawyer, SJ, 35, spent his early years in Montana but, following the untimely death of his father, the family moved to Pennsylvania where his mother began work at the University of Scranton. From the time he was very young, Sawyer was surrounded by Jesuits — both at Scranton Preparatory School, where he attended high school, and at the University of Scranton campus. At Boston College, Sawyer started actively discerning a vocation to the Jesuits. While earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science, he worked with other Jesuit high school alumni to establish Boston College’s longstanding Kairos retreat. Following graduation in 2000, Sawyer spent a year teaching math and running the computer lab at Baltimore’s St. Ignatius Loyola Academy, a tuition-free, independent Jesuit school for underserved boys. He then returned to Boston as a software engineer for a defense contractor and later worked as an independent software consultant. As a parishioner at St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, Sawyer’s involvement with the Liturgy Commission and the RCIA group helped convince him that his longtime discernment was coming to an end: He applied to the Jesuits in 2004 and entered the novitiate that summer. Missioned next to Loyola University Chicago, he earned a master’s degree in philosophy and was then assigned to teach philosophy for two years at Loyola University Maryland. Next missioned to the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, Sawyer earned a Master of Divinity degree while serving as a deacon at Immaculate Conception Church in Everett, Massachusetts. During his years of formation, he has worked on the Hearts on Fire traveling retreats, accompanied pilgrims at World Youth Day gatherings in Spain and Brazil, served as a chaplain for Loyola University Chicago’s medical school immersion trips and co-founded The Jesuit Post, a popular website examining the intersection of faith and culture. (Maryland Province) 

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Loyola Institute for Spirituality
Loyola Institute for Spirituality (LIS), founded in 1997, is located in Orange, CA. LIS provides many programs and services for individuals, parishes, and dioceses throughout Southern California and beyond.