Fr. Andrés Vall-Serra, SJ
Fr. Andrés Vall-Serra, SJ

Jesuit Father Andrés Vall-Serra, 38, was born in Bogotá, Colombia, but moved with his family to Houston at the age of 4. When he was in middle school, the family moved again, settling in Wichita, Kansas. Fr. Vall-Serra’s uncle was a Jesuit in Colombia, so even from a young age, the Society of Jesus was very present to the family. As a student at Wichita’s Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School, Fr. Vall-Serra played tennis and soccer before graduating in 1995 and enlisting in the Navy. Attached to an F-18 squadron as a mechanic, he served for three years in the Persian Gulf, Southeast Asia and the Mediterranean. His time in the Navy helped convince Fr. Vall-Serra that while he wasn’t interested in pursuing a career in the military, he was ready to begin discerning his call to the priesthood. For the next several years, Fr. Vall-Serra discerned his vocation while studying at Wichita State University and working part time in an insurance brokerage. In 2004, he entered the Jesuits and his experience as a novice was characterized by a profound sense of peace, calm and joy. For his long experiment during the novitiate, Fr. Vall-Serra worked in the remote mountains of Honduras. At Saint Louis University, he earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy while serving at a Latino parish, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and ministering in a local jail and a state prison. Missioned next to Managua, Nicaragua, he taught for 2½ years at Instituto Loyola, a Jesuit school for underserved students, and later worked as a consultant on Ignatian spirituality at Our Lady of Guadalupe School in Denver. Missioned to the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry in 2013, he earned a Master of Divinity degree while working as a deacon with the Latino community at the Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. After ordination, he went to serve in Punta Gorda, Belize, and looks forward to continuing his studies in Ignatian spirituality. He celebrated his first Mass as a Jesuit priest at Our Lady of Guadalupe in St. Louis. (Central and Southern Province)

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Our Lady of the Oaks Retreat House
Our Lady of the Oaks Retreat House, located in Grand Coteau, La., has provided a beautiful setting for retreats since 1938.