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2024 Ordinands

Brook Stacey, SJ

Province: Canada

Hometown: Toronto, Ontario

Highlights of Jesuit Formation:

  1. Worked with Indigenous youth during a five-month-long experiment in Punta Gorda, Belize, teaching in a grade school and leading a choir.
  2. Spent two years at St. Paul’s High School, the Jesuit high school in Winnipeg, Manitoba, teaching religion, math and physical education and coaching wrestling.
  3. Spent three years in Paris, where he studied theology, coached boxing to refugees with Jesuit Refugee Service and was ordained a deacon.

Post-Ordination:
Will pursue a bachelor’s degree in teaching at Tyndale University to become a certified teacher in secondary education and then go on to serve as chaplain, teacher and counselor at a Jesuit high school in Canada.

Brook at the beginning of the Camino de Santiago in the summer of 2023.

Education:
Bachelor’s degree, Earth sciences, Dalhousie University; Master’s degree, theological studies, University of Toronto; Bachelor’s degree, sacred theology, Centre Sèvres; Master’s degree, psychospiritual studies, Knox College, University of Toronto

Biography:
The younger of two brothers, Brook Stacey, SJ, grew up in Toronto, Ontario. He pursued his studies in geology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he encountered a Catholic missionary movement that invited him to deepen his faith involvement. During this period of exploration, he began contemplating the possibility of embracing Catholic priesthood. It was at this juncture that he sought guidance from a spiritual director, who happened to be a Jesuit. After two years of mentorship, during the summer preceding his final year of studies, he embarked on the Camino de Santiago in Spain to reaffirm his discernment. Upon returning to Halifax, he completed his geology studies, applied to join the Jesuits and was admitted to the Society of Jesus in 2013.

Following three years of philosophical studies, two years of teaching in a high school, and three years of theological studies in France, Brook returned to Toronto where he completed a master’s degree in psychospiritual studies with the aim of becoming a certified psychotherapist. He also served as a deacon at St. Peter’s Parish in Toronto. He eagerly anticipates his forthcoming priestly ordination in June 2024. In September, Brook will commence a bachelor’s degree in education to prepare for teaching at a Jesuit high school.

Brook with his Jesuit Refugee Service boxing group in Paris.
Brook (right) with his brother, sister-in-law and their dog Pete

Who’s your favorite saint, and why?
One of my favorite saints is Jean de Brébeuf, a North American martyr who traveled from France to spread the faith among the Indigenous people of the Huron Nation. The natives honored him with the name Ekon, meaning “he who carries a heavy load,” recognizing his strength and commitment to bear the weight during their journeys across the St. Lawrence and French River to Huronia.

During my teenage years, I attended Camp Ekon, a Canadian summer camp, without foreseeing that I would one day follow in the footsteps of Brébeuf. There, I learned of an Indigenous ethic that resonated with me: On a voyage, you could choose to paddle the entire journey or not paddle at all. However, starting to paddle and stopping halfway through would result in a loss of respect. Brébeuf was known for completing the entire voyage, and I aspire to emulate his dedication in my own journey.

Brook (left) with Rojas Thomas, SJ, in Paris

What is one hobby you’ve cultivated as a Jesuit, and why is it important to you?
When I began studying philosophy in Toronto, I also began doing martial arts. I began with trying out kung fu and eventually was led to Japanese jiujitsu and then Brazilian jiujitsu. Since I was on a tight scholastic budget, I paid for my membership by washing the mats, toilets and shower stalls of the gym once a week. This hobby became a passion as I began competing in jiujitsu for the next several years. This sparked an interest in other martial arts including Muay Thai, boxing and wrestling. The experience I gained allowed me to coach the wrestling team at a Jesuit high school during regency. This passion has been a great outlet for me and has also been a great way to make friends.

Tell your vocation story. One catch: You must use only six words.
One wild, crazy adventure of love.

Brook (right) at the priestly ordination of Fr. Curtis Mackenzie, SJ (second from left), in Kelowna, British Columbia.

Who is one important mentor who has accompanied you on your journey? What made them a good mentor?
One mentor I had was during regency, a Jesuit named Michel Boutilier. He was incredibly important to me in guiding me through this stage in formation. He was a wise mentor, a good friend and a faithful companion. He listened to me during my most difficult times and struggles. He also showed me what it meant to be a priest. His love for the priesthood helped me to see its beauty as well. Our talks and time spent together were always moments of consolation that continued to bring me and guide me deeper into my vocation. I look forward to him putting my priestly vestments on me for my ordination.