Fr. Paredes said that he was comfortable with his pastoral ministry at two Jesuit parishes, but that “my vocation within the Jesuit vocation, has been teaching high school kids.”
However, coming to Loyola did present some challenges, such as replacing a Jesuit teacher who devoted 23 years of ministry to Loyola and teaching in a coed school for the first time.
Despite the challenges, he writes, “I can say that coming back to teach has been a blessing.”
“To be the only Hispanic male on the faculty, as well as a Jesuit priest, has some advantages when I teach any subject,” Paredes writes. “I encourage my students to open their eyes and see that a different world is possible. I am impressed to see that very often my students relate their experiences to the social teaching of our Catholic faith.”
Paredes writes, “A Jesuit has to be able to engage in any ministry, moving from serving old folks to young ones, from the poor to the upper class, and in so doing fulfill the will of God.”
For more reflections from Paredes, visit the Maryland, New England and New York Provinces Jesuit Vocations website.