Nicholas A. Albin, SJ
Province: USA Midwest
Hometown: Chantilly, Virginia
Highlights of Jesuit Formation:
- Served as a deacon at St. Leonard of Port Maurice Parish, a Franciscan church in Boston’s North End neighborhood.
- Taught theology and mathematics to students at Walsh Jesuit High School in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.
- Led high school students in academic summer immersions to the Ignatian sites in Spain, France and Italy.
Will serve as assistant to the president for mission at Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, Nebraska, while pursuing graduate studies at Creighton University in educational leadership and Ignatian spirituality.
Bachelor’s degree, business administration, Xavier University; Master’s degree, social philosophy, Loyola University Chicago; Master of Divinity, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry
Nicholas A. Albin, SJ, was born in Falls Church, Virginia, and was raised with his younger sister by his two loving parents in the Washington, D.C., suburbs of Northern Virginia. Growing up, his family and studies at Bishop O’Connell High School were foundational to his faith. He desired to continue his Catholic education while studying business — leading him to attend Xavier University in Cincinnati, where he encountered the Jesuits. He graduated in May 2012, earning a Bachelor of Science in business administration, with a concentration in finance. After being inspired by a Jesuit professor of philosophy to consider life as a Jesuit, Nicholas entered the Jesuits at the Novitiate of St. Alberto Hurtado in St. Paul, Minnesota, in August 2012. He professed first vows in August 2014 and began his philosophy studies at Loyola University Chicago.
During philosophy studies, he spent his summers working with migrants along the border of El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, as well as in the Kohima region of Northeast India, teaching English and theology while giving retreats in Ignatian spirituality. After presenting his thesis analyzing Aristotle’s philosophy of friendship through ancient Greek tragedies, he earned a Master of Arts in social philosophy from Loyola University Chicago in May 2017. Nicholas was then missioned to Walsh Jesuit High School in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, where he taught theology and mathematics, served as the moderator for student government, and led students in academic summer immersions to the Ignatian sites in Spain, France and Italy.
In August 2020, he began his theology studies at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry (BCSTM) and was ordained to the diaconate in September 2022, serving as a deacon at St. Leonard of Port Maurice Parish in Boston’s North End neighborhood. He graduated from BCSTM in May 2023 with a Master of Divinity. After his priestly ordination in June 2023, Nicholas will begin his next mission as the assistant to president for mission at Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, Nebraska, while pursuing graduate studies in educational leadership and Ignatian spirituality at Creighton University.
What’s one interesting fact about yourself not everyone would know?
One thing that people may not know about me is that I spent a summer visiting and ministering to the people in the Kohima region of Northeast India. Months before the summer, the idea of traveling to the twinning region of the Midwest Province came to me in my prayer. It was not an experience I would have volunteered for on my own, but I felt a call from God to explore this opportunity. I expected it to be a challenging experience — being so far away from the comforts of home and adapting to a new place. However, to my complete surprise, it was truly a “fourth week of the Spiritual Exercises” experience for me — one full of God’s love and grace. It was actually the first time that I felt God’s love for me. I have always grown up knowing God’s love for me and for others, initially as an intellectual concept, but it was through my encounter and sharing in the experiences of ministry with the people of the Kohima region where the love of God became a felt experience for me. Just simply being with the women and men throughout that region — from teaching in the classrooms to offering retreats to sharing in meals and conversation — I felt like I had experienced God through the people I was ministering to and with.
Who’s your favorite saint, and why?
My favorite saint is Francis Xavier. As an undergraduate student at Xavier University, the story and experience of Francis Xavier’s missionary zeal was well incorporated into our transformative Jesuit education. I admire how Francis Xavier willingly gave himself to the mission of the Jesuits, responding readily to Ignatius Loyola’s request of him to travel to Asia. One of my most impactful spiritual experiences as a Jesuit was attending the celebration of a Mass next to the remains of Francis Xavier during a trip to Goa, India.
Where has your Jesuit vocation taken you that you never thought you would go?
A pleasant surprise in my Jesuit formation was serving as a high school teacher in my regency experience. It was a very new experience for me and a job that I never imagined myself doing when I first entered the Society of Jesus. However, to my complete surprise, I fell in love with it. The students were wonderful, and I had excellent colleagues. For three years, I taught sophomore theology (ecclesiology) and algebra I to first-year students. I also loved serving as the moderator for student government where I helped the students with hosting events to boost school spirit, creating fundraising and service opportunities for the local community, and planning the school dances. I also was honored to help lead students in academic study immersion programs visiting the Ignatian sites in Spain, France and Italy. All in all, while I was the one tasked with teaching the students about theology and mathematics, they were the ones teaching me how to be a Jesuit priest. I am so grateful that I had an opportunity to serve for three years as a high school teacher during my Jesuit training.
Who is one important mentor who has accompanied you on your journey? What made them a good mentor?
While I have had many mentors in my journey, one mentor who stands out for me is Fr. Cyril Whitaker, SJ, who I had as a philosophy professor during my junior year at Xavier University. One day, I emailed him my assignment on Descartes, and he replied back in an email: “Thank you for your paper, Nick. By the way, have you ever thought about becoming a Jesuit priest?” It was his question that inspired me to begin my discernment — which led me to going on retreats, attending spiritual direction and praying with St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises — and ultimately led me to entering the Society of Jesus. It has been a pleasure to stay in touch with him throughout my Jesuit formation. His desire to bring people closer to Christ and his care for those he ministers to and with continue to serve as a positive example which I desire to follow in the Jesuit priest I hope to become.