Jean Francky Guerrier, SJ
Highlights of Jesuit Formation:
- Served as the communication and advocacy officer and project coordinator at the Jesuit Migrant Service in Haiti, providing humanitarian assistance to urban refugees and asylum seekers in Port-au-Prince.
- Served as a professor of philosophy of history at the Notre Dame Seminary of Cazeau in Haiti.
- Founded and hosted the show “Talking with Francky” at Salt + Light Media in Toronto.
Will study for a Master of Theology and Licentiate in Sacred Theology at Regis College and serve at Salt + Light Media in Toronto.
Jean Francky Guerrier, SJ, was born in Croix-des-Bouquets, a city in Haiti located about 45 minutes from the capital, Port-au-Prince. His father died when he was four years old. After his father’s death, Francky and his family moved to Port-au-Prince where he attended primary and secondary school. Francky grew up in a very Catholic family of three brothers and three sisters with his mother, Anna Corriolan. From an early age, he developed a passion for communication and theatre. He participated in various plays and appeared in some Haitian movies such as “La vie de Job,” by the famous Haitian director Ricardo Lefèvre.
It was at Saint Gerard’s Parish in Carrefour Feuille, Port-au-Prince, that Francky began to discern his vocation to the priesthood because he was very involved in the activities of the parish run by the Redemptorist priests. After high school, he began studies in computer science, and that same year he contacted the Jesuits in Haiti to discern his vocation to the priesthood in the Society of Jesus. In 2008, he decided to end his computer science studies to enter the Jesuit pre-novitiate in Port-au-Prince. During that year, he taught mathematics at Sainte Marie de Canapé-Vert school in Port-au-Prince. He was admitted to the Jesuit novitiate in Haiti in 2009, where he spent two years before being sent to the Dominican Republic to study philosophy and humanities. He had his first experience in radio at Santa Maria, La Vega, a radio station run by the Jesuits of the Dominican Republic.
After four years of studies in the Dominican Republic, Francky was sent to Haiti to work at the Jesuit Migrant Service-Haiti as the communication and advocacy officer. He was also the coordinator of several projects funded by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. He also taught philosophy of history at Notre Dame de Cazeau Seminary and Spanish to Jesuit pre-novices. He was minister and treasurer of the Karl Léveque Jesuit community.
After two years of regency in Haiti, Francky was sent to Canada for his theological studies at Regis College at the University of Toronto. He also attended acting and improvisation classes at The Second City Toronto. Francky recently completed the Master of Divinity program and was ordained a transitional deacon in May 2020.
During his theological studies, Francky worked with the Becoming Neighbours organization that accompanies newcomers to Canada. He also created his own podcast, “Talking with Francky,” at Salt + Light Media in Toronto.
Bachelor’s degree, philosophy and humanities, Centro Bono (INTEC) Santo Domingo; Master of Divinity, Regis College, University of Toronto; Acting and improvisation, Second City Toronto
What is your favorite book you’ve encountered since entering the Society?
I like reading about Greek Tragedy because I like theatre. I could say that I have many favorite books. It is difficult to choose just one. But I would say “The Oedipus Trilogy” by Sophocles is a book that I really like.
I am a music lover; I like the Haitian Compas, French and American classics, etc. My favorite show (podcast) is my own creation, “Talking with Francky” at Salt + Light Media in Toronto. “Talking with Francky” and the music that I listen to both help me to relax after a busy day.
What are three words a family member or fellow Jesuit would use to describe you? (Ask someone.) Do you agree with his or her selections?
Transparency, dialogical, discernment. I totally agree with them.
Who’s your favorite saint, and why?
The Virgin Mary is my favorite saint. Her fiat, her readiness, is always a constant compass for my process in the Society of Jesus. She is the perfect example of obedience to God. I always ask her to put me with her son.
What do you love about the Society of Jesus?
I like the way of proceeding of the Society of Jesus whose sole purpose is to prepare men willing to serve in the mission of the church. Therefore, I love the process of formation in the Society because it helps scholastics becoming more similar with Christ’s words and actions, for a better commitment in a mission developed from service and humility and from poverty. The way of proceeding of the Society of Jesus is based on St. Ignatius of Loyola’s own experience. He contemplated the mystery of incarnation, rooted his vocation in the contemplation of the love that descends from God toward humanity.
Throughout my entire process of formation, I was always invited to contemplate Christ who became flesh, not to be served, but to serve. Hence, the word “service” characterizes my entire formation. For Ignatius of Loyola, our entire existence as Jesuits has no other meaning other than to love and serve God our Lord in all things. I am grateful for having the Jesuit identity instilled in me, which allows me to become a true companion of Jesus, so that I can remain faithful to his service.
What was one particularly meaningful experience you had during your formation, and why was it meaningful to you?
One particularly meaningful experience I had was doing the 30-day Spiritual Exercises as a novice in Haiti. I was in the first week of the Exercises on January 12, 2010, when the devastating earthquake that killed more than 300,000 people in Haiti occurred. The novice master at that time, Fr. Miller Lamothe, SJ, decided to stop the Spiritual Exercises, first to open the doors of the novitiate to receive those who were displaced by the earthquake, as well as to allow the novices and other members of the novitiate to go to the streets of Port-au-Prince and other neighboring areas to help the wounded and the needy.
That experience shaped my entire journey in the Society of Jesus. I came to understand that serving those in need after the earthquake was for me a profound experience of living the Spiritual Exercises in the midst of the reality itself. The other novices and I had spent months helping people who were victims of the earthquake before starting again with the Spiritual Exercises.
Therefore, the Spiritual Exercises have helped to better integrate the experience of serving those who are in need as it allows me to focus on prayer and meditation as essential to remain close to God’s love. It has also helped me to be attentive to the movements of the spirits and to discern God’s action in the world.