Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility


By Eric A. Clayton

There’s something groundbreaking happening in New York City that just might revolutionize the global Society of Jesus.

Nestled in the shadow of Fordham University, on a bustling street in the Bronx, sits Ciszek Hall — one of the houses of First Studies, where Jesuits in formation go to study philosophy and theology.

But Ciszek Hall is doing things a little differently. The Jesuits studying here don’t limit their studies to the classroom; they’re challenged to integrate what they learn from their professors with what they’re learning from their neighbors and community leaders.

Ciszek Hall is a response to the signs of the times, a local initiative that’s the result of a worldwide discernment. Here, Jesuits are given praxis placements: community sites ranging from shelters to prisons, from parishes to summer camps, all with the aim of helping young Jesuit learn from and sink into local contexts, bringing to life the lessons learned in the classroom.

Meet some of the Jesuits at Ciszek and learn more about how this new way of doing First Studies is shaping the global Society of Jesus in the videos and podcast below.

What is First Studies? The video below gives a quick introduction to this important stage of Jesuit formation.

Do you think you or someone you know might be called to discern a vocation to the Society of Jesus? Get in touch with a vocation promoter and learn more by visiting