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2024 Ordinands

Minh Le, SJ

Province: USA Midwest

Hometown: St. Paul, Minnesota

Highlights of Jesuit Formation:

  1. Did summer immersion experiences around the world, including in Lima, Peru; the Kohima region of Northeast India; and Vietnam.
  2. Coached tennis at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois.
  3. Encountered so many wonderful people.

Post-Ordination:
Will pursue a Master in Fine Arts at San José State University.

Minh (left) with fellow Jesuit C-Y Kao in San Francisco.

Education:
Bachelor’s degree, psychology, University of St. Thomas; Master’s degree, social philosophy, Loyola University Chicago; Master of Divinity, Boston College Clough School of Theology and Ministry

Biography:
Minh Le, SJ, was born in Vietnam and grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota. His family are immigrants from the war. They settled in St. Paul, where Minh learned to love the cold, tennis and the Minnesota State Fair. He attended the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul where he studied psychology and Catholic studies. A semester abroad in Rome and encounters with Jesuits reaffirmed his desire to pursue religious life. Drawn to the Society of Jesus’ missionary zeal and Ignatian spirituality, Minh eventually entered the novitiate in 2013. The life and formation of Jesuits takes them many places. He studied at Loyola University Chicago; taught and coached tennis at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois; and finished his theology studies at Boston College. Additionally, Minh’s summers have been enriched with transformative immersion experiences in Lima, Peru; the Kohima region of Northeast India; and Vietnam. After ordination, he will pursue a Master in Fine Arts.

Carmelites and Jesuits face off in a friendly game of football on Thanksgiving. Tom Elitz, SJ, Minh’s classmate and fellow Jesuit at Boston College, managed to slow him down.

What are three words a family member or fellow Jesuit would use to describe you? Do you agree with his or her selections?
Creative, athletic, mystique. Not sure about the last one, but thank you Sean Barry, SJ, one of my closest Jesuit companions, for your contribution!

Who’s your favorite saint, and why?
Edmund Campion. The only book that I read on my 30-day silent retreat was Evelyn Waugh’s “Edmund Campion: A Life.” His courage, intellect and care for God’s people made an impression on me.

Minh assigned an action photography photoshoot to Photo I students at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois. They made this photograph of their art teacher and tennis coach.

What is one hobby you’ve cultivated as a Jesuit, and why is it important to you?
I have loved the game of tennis ever since I was a kid. A lot of the things that we feel in life — disappointment, pressure, thrill, triumph — can be experienced on the tennis court. Learning how I react and can improve in such situations has shaped how I move off the court as a Jesuit.

Tell your vocation story. One catch: You must use only six words.
My vocation is not my own.

A family photo at the celebration of Minh’s parents’ 50th wedding anniversary

Where has your Jesuit vocation taken you that you never thought you would go?
Toward the arts. Though Jesuit history is rich in contributions to the arts, I never thought I would develop as a Jesuit and as an artist.

What’s one thing you would tell someone considering entering the Society today that you wish you had known?
To take such a step can be difficult and there will be challenges along the way, but there will also be much joy, life and grace. All of it will shape you in ways beyond your imagination.

Prior to Minh’s diaconate ordination, he hiked along the Pacific Coast with his long-time college friend Viet. Friendships, hikes and time in nature have grounded him throughout formation.

What brings you joy?
Seeing something in a different light, enjoying a meal with friends, having a good laugh, wandering in nature, playing the piano, and opening Pokémon cards with my nephews and nieces.