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2024 Ordinands

Mike Tedone, SJ

Province: USA West

Hometown: Placentia, California

Highlights of Jesuit Formation:

  1. Attended MAGIS and World Day 2016 in Poland.
  2. Spent the summer of 2017 with the Kino Border Initiative.
  3. Participated in the interreligious and interdisciplinary program Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics (FASPE) in the summer of 2022.

Post-Ordination:
Will serve in the classroom and in sacramental ministry at Cristo Rey High School Sacramento.

Mike preaches during a summer preached retreat at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Missoula, Montana, in July 2017

Education:
Bachelor’s degree, Catholic theology, Marquette University; Master’s degree, religious education, Boston College Clough School of Theology and Ministry; Graduate certificate, spiritual direction of the Ignatian Exercises, Loyola University Chicago Institute of Pastoral Studies; Master of Divinity, Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University

Mike during his diaconate ordination in the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, California, presided by Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ

Biography:
Mike Tedone, SJ, grew up in Orange County, California, and began his vocational journey through his high school youth group, which began nourishing his soul, and his sophomore history teacher who encouraged theological investigation. He attended Marquette University in Milwaukee, where he completed a bachelor’s degree in theology and secondary education, which he immediately put to use at Xavier High School in Micronesia through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. Still discerning next steps, Mike went to the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry (BCSTM) where he completed a master’s degree in religious education. In his second year at BCSTM, Mike made the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life through St. Ignatius Parish. Through getting to know scholastic classmates and his experiences of the Exercises, he felt invited to apply to and enter the Jesuits.

After taking first vows in Los Angeles, Mike completed his philosophy studies and a certificate for the Exercises in Everyday Life at Loyola University Chicago. He spent two years of regency teaching sixth, seventh and eighth grade religion at Sacred Heart Nativity Schools in San Jose, California, and a third year as director of young adult ministry at St. Aloysius Parish in Spokane, Washington, and as a spiritual director with Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life (SEEL) Spokane. For theology studies he attended the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, California. While completing his Master of Divinity degree, Mike did field work at Cristo Rey De La Salle East Bay High School and St. Theresa Catholic Church in Oakland. After ordination, he will join the faculty at Cristo Rey High School Sacramento, serving in the classroom and sacramental ministry.

Who’s your favorite saint, and why?
One of my favorite saints has grown to be Thérèse of Lisieux, the Little Flower. Like many others, I am inspired by her insight that even small things done with great love in our daily life to share God’s love with others are ways for us to grow in holiness. Her insight has been taken up by St. Teresa of Calcutta and so many other people. With whatever talents we have, whatever gifts are given to us (even the present moment and person in front of us), through the Holy Spirit we can be instruments of Christ’s love today. When reviewing my day, it is helpful to notice the ways in which people have been this instrument in my life and where I have been or need to be that instrument for others. The path of holiness sometimes involves leaps, but it also requires small steps that might not even be perceptible to anyone but God.

Mike (center) with fellow Jesuits West members Frs. Paul Janowiak, SJ (left), and Fr. Gilbert Sunghera, SJ, after assisting at his first Mass as a deacon at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Oakland, California

What’s one piece of Jesuit history that you find really inspiring?
I am inspired by the friendship of St. Ignatius and St. Francis Xavier. Two men from competing families who by all accounts should have hated each other become brothers and a model for the friendship and reconciliation that Christianity calls us to. Their openness to the Holy Spirit at work in their lives allowed them to move past their family histories. They recognized they were called to a common mission in Christ. Their friendship inspires me to be a sign of the unity all Christians are called to.

Mike with his vow classmates at a Jesuits West formation gathering in December 2019. From left: Simon Zachary, SJ; Mike; Joe Dickan, SJ; Ryan Mak, SJ; and Joe Kraemer, SJ.

What was one particularly meaningful experience you had during your formation, and why was it meaningful to you?
One particularly meaningful experience of my formation was my experience at Czestochowa for a vigil with the 2016 MAGIS program connected to World Youth Day. During the vigil, which began outdoors, confession was offered to those in attendance, and eventually they moved into the basilica to make an offering to Our Lady, placing their intention in a bowl in front of the icon of the Madonna. While this was happening, many priests were still sitting in alcoves listening to confessions, for what must have been at least two hours, still clearly listening and sharing the mercy and love of Jesus with each penitent. Witnessing the energy and desire to share God’s mercy drawn out of the many pilgrim priests was itself a consoling experience and furthered my desire to service and sacramental ministry. 

Tell your vocation story. One catch: You must use only six words.
In Christ’s heart, I have (a) home.

Mike on the back of a flatbed during his time a Jesuit Volunteer in Micronesia. His experience in Micronesia helped him discern his vocation.

How has your spirituality changed since entering the Society?
Since entering the Society, my spirituality has become more centered on the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I credit this to my experience of both making and sharing the Spiritual Exercises and feeling called to recognize Jesus as brother and Lord who has sent the church on mission with the Spirit. This has also meant an ever-deepening understanding in what it means to see the face of Christ in the eyes of others.