Daniel Mora, SJ
Highlights of Jesuit Formation:
- Accompanied the people of the community of San Fermin in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic, as a novice.
- Worked as a catechist with second-generation Mexican Americans at St. Procopius Parish in Chicago during first studies.
- Served as a deacon at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Bogotá, Colombia.
Will join the Jesuit community at Sacred Heart Parish in El Paso, Texas.
Daniel Mora, SJ, was born and raised in Palmira, Colombia. Like many children in Colombia, he grew up, for the most part, at his maternal grandparents’ house because his parents worked during the day. He has fond memories of them; it was at their home that he received his faith in Jesus Christ. As a young adult he was involved in the local Lions Club, where his desire to serve others was first awakened. After high school, he studied public accounting at the Jesuits’ Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Cali, Colombia. After graduation, Daniel worked as a financial auditor for several years. In 2007 he moved to Puerto Rico to pursue an MBA. In 2008, after seeing a film about the life of St. Alberto Hurtado, SJ, he contacted the Jesuits on the island and began the discernment process. In August 2009, Daniel entered the Society of Jesus and did his novitiate in Santiago de los Caballeros in the Dominican Republic. There he accompanied a community in the neighborhood of San Fermín, celebrating the Word, visiting the sick, assisting in the catechesis of young people, visiting families and giving the Spiritual Exercises. He was then sent to Chicago to take a year of English as a Second Language (ESL) and then studied philosophy for two years. In Chicago, Daniel served at St. Procopius Parish as a confirmation catechist and accompanied a Christian Life Community called “Spanglish CLC” for Latino students at Loyola University Chicago. He did his regency at Colegio San Ignacio in Puerto Rico working as an assistant in the community service office and teaching a class for seniors called “Magis commitment.” Daniel was then sent to study theology in Colombia at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. After being ordained to the deaconate on November 27, 2021, he served as a deacon in the Jesuit parish of St. Francis Xavier in Bogotá while finishing his Bachelor of Theology from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. After ordination, he plans to join the Jesuit community at Sacred Heart in El Paso, Texas.
Bachelor’s degree, public accounting, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colombia; Bachelor of Theology, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana
Who’s your favorite saint, and why?
My favorite saint is St. Alberto Hurtado, SJ. Why? Because of his commitment to social justice that turned into concrete works such as the “Hogar de Cristo” where people excluded by society are treated with dignity. His spirituality led him to love Christ intensely and to see Jesus himself in the poor and marginalized. Moreover, he was a Jesuit and a priest close to the people, who listened to and spiritually accompanied many young people. All his time was given to others. He invited everyone to ask themselves: What would Jesus do in my place? This was an invitation for men and women to get to know the Lord better. After meeting St. Albert Hurtado, many young people decided to join the Society of Jesus. I also made the same decision when I learned about the life of this Jesuit saint — the best decision of my life.
What is one hobby you’ve cultivated as a Jesuit, and why is it important to you?
A hobby that I have continued to cultivate as a Jesuit is watching soccer on television. I especially like to follow the matches of my favorite team in Colombia, America de Cali, and some European football matches, especially from the Spanish, Italian and English leagues. My favorite players are Lionel Messi and James Rodriguez. This hobby is important for me because it helps me to rest in a quiet way. Also, I watch many of these games with fellow Jesuits and it is an opportunity to share as a community.
What do you love about the Society of Jesus?
I love that in the Society of Jesus I can be myself, and, in this way, I am accepted and valued. It has also allowed me to know Jesus more deeply, to feel loved by him and to want to give my whole life to him and his people. I love the Society of Jesus because it has allowed me to find the meaning of my life in my consecration as a Jesuit religious and in my apostolate as an ordained minister. I also love the Society of Jesus for the friends it has given me.
How has your spirituality changed since entering the Society?
When I joined the Society of Jesus, my spirituality was very superficial. In the Society of Jesus, I received the gift of knowing Jesus more and better, but most of all of feeling deeply loved by him. From that moment on, my relationship with Jesus is my life itself. My whole life makes sense in him. That was a gift I received in the Society of Jesus.
What brings you joy?
It fills me with joy to share with people my life as a Jesuit.
Who is one important mentor who has accompanied you on your journey? What made them a good mentor?
A very important mentor during my life as a Jesuit has been Jesús “Chumi” Zaglul, SJ. Chumi was my novice master. What made him a good mentor was that through his life witness he was able to transmit to me his love and passion for Jesus and the desire to give his life for others, especially for those who are forgotten and marginalized in society. He also showed me that it is possible to be very happy as a Jesuit and a priest. And I have confirmed this in my own life.