Keeping the Door Open: Residence at Boston College Allows Students to Discern Religious Life

Jesuit Father Terrence Devino will mark 25 years as a priest this coming spring, remembers the strong stirrings he felt for the priesthood back when he was a college student — feelings he wasn’t sure anyone else could understand.

“I was scared to death to talk about it,” he recalled.

Fr. Devino doesn’t want anyone at Boston College who may be mulling a vocation to the priesthood or religious life to feel scared or alone. To that end, he works diligently directing Manresa House, BC’s center for vocational discernment, where an abundance of warmth, hospitality and spiritual guidance awaits for anyone seeking to explore a religious calling.

Established by University President William P. Leahy, SJ, in 2007, Manresa House takes its name from the town in Spain where St. Ignatius of Loyola prayed for more than 11 months, leading to the ultimate creation of the Spiritual Exercises. The house originally was under the direction of then-Campus Minister Jesuit Father Jack Butler, who now serves as BC’s vice president for University Mission and Ministry.

“College students spend lots of time searching. This house offers a place where students are encouraged to look at how to serve the Church,” Devino said. Communication and economics major Christopher Knoth ’14 is grateful for Manresa House and its director.

“Fr. Devino is a man who is more than just someone to talk to because he talks back. I have never met a man who is as dedicated. He selflessly gives all his energy to anyone who enters the doors of the Manresa House,” said Knoth, an Ignatian Society member and graduate of St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland.

“He has given me so much direction in my life and I am beyond blessed to call him a friend. He has gotten me through my hardest times at school and I have celebrated some of my highest of highs with him as well. My college experience would not be nearly as personal and influential on my life if it were not for Fr. Devino.”

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