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Levelt Michaud, S.J.

Province: Canada

Birthday: December 26, 1986

Hometown: Léogane, Haiti

Education: Bachelor’s degree, philosophy, Centre Bono, Dominican Republic; Bachelor’s degree, theology, Centre Sevres, Paris

Highlights of Jesuit Formation:
1. Served with the Jesuit Refugee Service, doing pastoral work with Haitian students.
2. Worked with Haitians in a batey, where sugarcane cutters live, in the Dominican Republic.
3. Studied theology in Paris, where he also accompanied a Christian Life Community and led an interreligious group for migrants.

Post-ordination: Will continue working on his Licentiate in Sacred Theology at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.

Born in Léogane, Haiti, Father Levelt Michaud, S.J., is the second in a family of seven children. When he reflected on the question about following Christ, he was still in the third year of secondary school in an Anglican high school. Through his cousin, an Anglican seminarian, he discovered the presence of the Jesuits in Haiti. Fascinated by their lifestyle and charism, he entered the novitiate in Port-au-Prince in 2008. In 2010, he began philosophy studies in the Dominican Republic. Through the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), he did pastoral work among young Haitian students. Later, he discovered the subhuman living conditions of his Haitian compatriots in sugarcane fields, known as bateyes. Deeply touched by their situation, he asked to be allowed to work in a batey: It was an experience that made him more sensitive to the most vulnerable. Along with other Haitian scholastics, he invested himself creating a liturgical review in Creole to better help Haitians to live Sunday Masses. By the end of his studies, Nietzsche’s critical writings had captured his imagination; his thesis was on Nietzsche. In 2014, he returned to his country for regency, teaching philosophy at the major seminary and at a high school. He also served both as minister and bursar of his community. He continued with the publication of the liturgical review in Creole in Haiti by assuming the role of director. In addition, he accompanied the Christian Life Community (CLC). In 2016, he was sent to Paris for theology. He continued with the accompaniment of the CLC in Paris. He also led a small interreligious group for migrants for JRS France. During the summer of 2017, he went to Athens to work with migrants. He successfully tutored an asylum seeker through JRS France. For his final dissertation, he made a comparative study of the meaning of suffering in Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the survivors of the earthquake in Haiti in 2010. Currently, he is in his first year of studies for his Licentiate in Sacred Theology at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry where he is majoring in ethics. He will be ordained a priest in Haiti on August 1, 2020. His first Mass will be at his home parish, Immaculate Conception. Afterward, he will return to Boston to complete his studies.

Levelt with his sister Kathiana in Haiti just before he left for Paris for theology studies in 2016.

What is your favorite book, movie, music, or TV show you’ve encountered since entering the Society and why do you love it?
Book: “The Little Prince”; movie: “Amistad”; music: “Heal the World” by Michael Jackson.

What are three words a family member or fellow Jesuit would use to describe you? (Ask someone.) Do you agree with his or her selections?
Calm, faithful and hard worker.

What is one hobby you’ve cultivated as a Jesuit and why is it important to you?
Bicycling and writing poems. Bicycling because it was my mode of transportation to go to school in my hometown and writing because it’s a way I express my feelings.

What’s one interesting fact about yourself not everyone would know?
I love philosophy.

What do you love about the Society of Jesus?
The universality of the Society and its openness.

What was one particularly meaningful experience you had during your formation, and why was it meaningful to you?
To be able to study with other Jesuits around the world.

Tell your vocation story. One catch: You must use only six words.
Prayer, service, gratitude, study and work.

How has your spirituality changed since entering the Society?
I try to find God in everything.

Levelt in Nsiamfumu, Democratic Republic of Congo, in July 2019.

Imagine you could travel back in time and meet yourself the first day you entered the Society of Jesus. What’s one piece of advice you’d give to yourself?
Be myself and be confident in others and be open to the novelty.

What brings you joy?
Working with others and finding sense in what I do.

Who is one important mentor who has accompanied you on your journey? What made them a good mentor?
Etienne Ganty, S.J., because with him I discovered a taste for philosophy.

How might you explain the Jesuit motto “ad maiorem Dei gloriam” to someone who’s never heard it before?
I would quote this phrase from St. Irenaeus: “The glory of God is the standing man.”