William C. Woody, SJ
Highlights of Jesuit Formation:
- Served as a hospital chaplain at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, New York.
- Taught philosophy at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
- Ministered as a deacon at St. Ignatius Church in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.
Will do a pastoral year at Holy Trinity Parish in Washington, D.C.
William C. Woody, SJ, was born and raised in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, to a loving and devout family. Along with his siblings, he attended Rosemont School of the Holy Child and was an altar server at St. John Vianney Parish. After attending St. Joseph’s Preparatory School in Philadelphia, Bill graduated summa cum laude from the University of Scranton with a Bachelor of Arts in theology, philosophy and French and a concentration in Catholic Studies. It was at St. Joe’s and at Scranton where Bill came to know the Jesuits well and was inspired by their ministries and vocations.
As a novice, Bill ministered as a hospice orderly at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx, New York; as a teacher in Syracuse, New York; and at St. Anne’s Parish in Kingston, Jamaica. He returned to New York to study at Fordham University, where he also served as a chaplain at St. Barnabas Hospital. Bill taught philosophy at Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City, New Jersey, before teaching philosophy at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. One of the highlights of Bill’s scholastic ministry was teaching in the Montserrat Program at Holy Cross and directing adaptations of the Spiritual Exercises. Bill has presented and published on contemporary philosophy of religion and serves as an editor for the International Network of Philosophy of Religion. Following his regency Bill moved to Boston College, where he completed a Master of Divinity degree and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology. He is grateful to the many students, friends, and Jesuits along the way – and especially to the parishioners and staff at St. Ignatius, Chestnut Hill, where he served as a deacon. He is most grateful to his family for nurturing his vocation — and to God, through whom this blessed life is possible. After ordination, he will serve for a year at Holy Trinity Parish in Washington, D.C.
Bachelor of Arts with Honors, theology, philosophy and French, University of Scranton; Master’s degree, philosophy, Fordham University; Master of Divinity, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry; Licentiate in Sacred Theology, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry
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?
“Generous, hilarious, beloved.”
I admit, this question and its response took me aback! A close Jesuit friend and fellow ordinand gave me that response. But it speaks well to Jesuit community life — with “beloved brothers in the Lord” — to hear what they see and experience on the day-to-day basis. I wasn’t expecting this, but it makes me smile. Neither my religious life nor our community life is perfect, but generosity, humor and love go a long way to making it a holy and enjoyable life!
Who’s your favorite saint, and why?
St. Joseph. While he has no speaking role in the Gospels, he lives his vocation with tenderness, care and strength for those he loves. It’s a humility and holiness that I hope to embody as a priest.
Tell your vocation story. One catch: You must use only six words.
“Behold, I am with you always.” (Matthew 28:20)
Imagine you could travel back in time and meet yourself the first day you entered the Society of Jesus. What’s one piece of advice you’d give to yourself?
Trust in the love everyone has for you. And pray more!