Michael J. Lamanna, SJ
Highlights of Jesuit Formation:
- Taught math, history and religion at Yap Catholic High School in Yap, Micronesia, during regency.
- Lived and worked near the U.S.-Mexico border, including a summer with the Kino Border Initiative.
- Served as a deacon at St. Ignatius Church in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.
Will do a pastoral year at Sacred Heart Parish in Richmond, Virginia.
Michael Lamanna, SJ, was born in Albany, New York, and claims all of Upstate New York as home. He attended Syracuse University and did two years of volunteer work before entering the Society in 2011. He cherishes memories of working with great women religious in Syracuse, New York, and Buffalo, New York, right before and right after joining the Society.
As a novice, Michael did his long experiment at Nativity Miguel Middle School in Buffalo with Fr. Ed Durkin, SJ. Working with Ed was extremely formative, and it solidified Michael’s conviction that Jesuits bring something special to the world. After vows in 2013, Michael was missioned to Loyola University Chicago for philosophy studies. He went to Yap, Micronesia, in 2016 for his regency, where he taught math, history and religion, along with running some extracurriculars like volleyball, gardening and choir at Yap Catholic High School.
Working with migrants and refugees has been a formative part of Michael’s life. He worked in Refugee Resettlement in Syracuse before he entered the Society, and he has had a couple of opportunities to live and work near the Southwestern border as a Jesuit, including a summer working with the Kino Border Initiative. He most recently served as a deacon at St. Ignatius Parish in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, a welcome pastoral outlet in a time when interpersonal ministry is quite scarce. He completed a Master of Divinity and Licentiate in Sacred Theology at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. After ordination, Michael will do a pastoral year at Sacred Heart Parish in Richmond, Virginia.
Bachelor’s degrees, geography and economics, Syracuse University; Master’s degree, social philosophy, Loyola University Chicago; Master of Divinity, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry; Licentiate in Sacred Theology, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry
What is your favorite TV show you’ve encountered since entering the Society?
“Fleabag.” It is smart, funny and quick, and it features a priest.
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?
Michael Simone, SJ, calls me “enigmatic,” “hilarious” and “idealistic.” (I asked my classmates, and their responses weren’t appropriate for public consumption.) I agree with the first and the third, and I’ll happily take the second.
What brings you joy?
The moments of deepest joy come when watching someone encounter the Holy Spirit for the first time, or in a new way — especially a young person. When someone discovers the depth of life that God offers, it is truly magnificent, and it gives me a boost of faith.
Who is one important mentor who has accompanied you on your journey? What made them a good mentor?
Fr. John Mulreany, SJ, has been an important mentor. He and I worked in Yap together. It was a joy being around someone who loves being a priest so much. He really came alive on Sunday, and it was infectious.