2021 Novices

October 4, 2021 — The Society of Jesus in the United States, Canada and Haiti welcomed 34 new Jesuit novices this August at novitiates in California, Louisiana, Minnesota, New York, Quebec and Haiti. They have taken the initial step on their journey toward Jesuit priesthood or brotherhood, known as “Jesuit formation,” which can take a total of eight to 12 years.

Meet the 2021 Novices

Aaron Calton
USA Midwest
Benjamin Rogers
USA Midwest
Brian Kemper
USA Midwest
Carl Caceres
USA Midwest
Carlos Martinez-Vela
USA Central and Southern
Christopher Ross
USA Central and Southern
Fernando Garcia Toro
USA East
Fr. Nicholas Colalella
USA East
Joassaint “Wilgenns” Bazelais
Canada
José Lopez
USA Central and Southern
Joseph Ertle
USA Midwest
Joseph Laughlin
USA Central and Southern
Joseph T. Benton
USA Central and Southern
Justin Sauro
Canada
Leonardo Rander Asse Jr.
USA Midwest
Luke Olsen
USA East
Matthew Brazzolotto
USA Central and Southern
Michael A. Horn
USA Central and Southern
Michael Bauer
USA Midwest
Nader Nasralla
Canada
Nicholas Lignore
USA East
Paolo Taffaro
USA Central and Southern
Peter Lehman
USA East
Pierre Thompson
USA West
Rénaud “Titus” Morantus
Canada
Roodler Datilus
Canada
Ryan Cruise
USA Midwest
Samuel Pilon
Canada
Scott Fox
USA Midwest
Scott McKillip
USA Central and Southern
Solomon Liebl
USA Midwest
Steven McCrorey
USA East
William Peters
USA West
Zen Kuriyama
USA East

In these first two years as novices, the men will learn what it means to live in community, adopt the rhythm of daily prayer and deepen their understanding of God’s call to the Society. They have selflessly devoted their lives to the service of the marginalized, to the church, to God and to each other.

St. Ignatius of Loyola, who co-founded the Society in 1540, first defined the elements of Jesuit formation in his Jesuit Constitutions. Jesuit novices still follow this plan today — adapted to the modern world.

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The novices will complete a comprehensive program of service, ministry, study and prayer, methodically devised to help Jesuits grow in their relationships with Christ and identify how they can best serve him and all humankind. The new Jesuits attend orientation sessions, take on house jobs, share vocation stories and visit local Jesuit ministries.

Typical days at the novitiate consist of classes taught by the director and his assistant (known as the Socius), as well as daily Mass, group prayer and discussion of their spiritual journeys.

The novices will complete a series of “experiments” to explore their vocations and help them discern the specific ways they might be called to serve the church.

Novices also make St. Ignatius’ 30-day Spiritual Exercises silent retreat, which they commonly regard as the most meaningful part of the novitiate.

In the second year of their novitiate, novices are missioned to an assignment at a Jesuit-run organization, similar to an internship. Called a “long experiment,” this segment of the novitiate lasts several months.

As novices, Jesuits in the U.S. and Canada spend one of their summers at Regis University in Denver at a conference on Jesuit history, delving more intensely into St. Ignatius’ life while meeting their peers at other novitiates.

After two years, the hope is that novices will have become confident in their vocations, nurtured a more intimate relationship with God and developed a profound love for the Society of Jesus. At the end of their time as novices, they profess first vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. No longer novices, they are called “scholastics” as they continue to the next stage of Jesuit formation, First Studies, for two years of graduate-level philosophy courses.

Do you want to learn more about vocations to the Society of Jesus? Visit beajesuit.org for more information.

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