Posts Tagged ‘CARA’

Jesuits Weigh In on Millennial Generation Vocations for The Atlantic

Jesuit Danny Gustafson, center, with fellow Jesuits of the 2013 vow class of the New England, Maryland and New York Provinces

Several Jesuits recently spoke about vocations for The Atlantic, including Jesuit Father John O’Malley, Jesuit Brother Jim Siwicki, Jesuit Danny Gustafson, and entering Jesuit novice Matt Ippel. The four Jesuits were interviewed for an online article written by Emma Green, a 2012 graduate of Georgetown University, about those in the millennial generation entering religious life.

Regarding the effect of Pope Francis’ election on vocations in millennials, Jesuit Father John O’Malley said he was unsure of any long-term effects at the moment. “I must say, however, that I am a little optimistic,” he added.

Jesuit Danny Gustafson, 24, recently completed first vows at the Jesuit novitiate in Syracuse, N.Y., and offered some insight from a millennial’s point of view. “It’s been a great feeling of connection with the hierarchy, if for no other reason than because there’s a shared formation that Pope Francis has that I’m going through right now. Knowing that the same spirituality that speaks to me speaks to the pope — I find [it] very humbling, but also very encouraging,” Gustafson said.

“The majority of my family on my father’s side are not Catholic,” said 22-year-old Matt Ippel, one of the newest members of the Society of Jesus after entering the novitiate at St. Paul, Minn., this month. “Sharing my upcoming plans, they’ve all been very excited and shown an immense amount of support, but they’ve also talked a lot about Pope Francis — the way [he] has conducted himself in his conversations, his addresses, his homilies.”

According to CARA, the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, 12 percent of male and 10 percent of female non-married Catholic survey respondents over the age of 14 considered becoming a priest, nun or religious brother or sister “at least a little seriously.” Jesuit Brother Jim Siwicki, vocation director for the California Province of the Society of Jesus, commented on the novices’ motivations. “There’s a strong desire for a sense of community, both local and global,” he said. But “the thing that’s difficult that I see with millennials is that they want to keep all options open. It’s not a lack of interest — it’s that fear of making a commitment.”

Twenty-two-year-old Ryan Muldoon, a recent Georgetown graduate who is entering the seminary of the Archdiocese of New York, described the concept of discernment. “This isn’t really a decision that anybody makes of their own volition. This really does stem from a deeper calling — a call by God and a response by an individual,” he said. [The Atlantic]

Jesuit Named Executive Director of CARA

gauntThe Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University announced this week that Jesuit Father Thomas P. Gaunt has been named its new executive director.

“Father Gaunt brings to CARA a wealth of experience in administration and marketing and public relations as well as research experience, which will further CARA’s mission in service to the Church,” said Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas, Chair of the CARA Board of Directors.

Father Gaunt most recently served as Socius/Executive Secretary for the Jesuit Conference in Washington, DC from 2001 to 2010. He has also served previously as a pastor, Director of Planning and Research for the Diocese of Charlotte, and as the Assistant Provincial for Formation and Studies for the Maryland Jesuit Province.

“I am excited at this opportunity to join CARA and be part of its long service to the Church. In particular,  I look forward to CARA’s responding to the need for practical social science research on current issues,” said Father Gaunt.

Father Gaunt has conducted research for the Jesuit Conference; the Jesuit Volunteer Corps; the Daughters of Charity; the Immaculate Conception Province, O.F.M. Conventual; the Society of the Divine Word, Chicago Province; the Archdiocese of Atlanta; and the dioceses of Charleston, Charlotte, Palm Beach, and Raleigh.