Posts Tagged ‘Jesuit Formation’
Regency is a time in Jesuit formation that occurs after First Studies and just prior to the formal study of theology, affording each Jesuit an opportunity to work in an apostolic area.
“The students provide a context for me to work out what my own particular vocation means for me and to the world,” said Baker. “They constantly teach me about what it means to be a Jesuit and, in ways they cannot fathom, they instruct me on what kind of priest they want to see me become one day.”
Baker taught at a Jesuit high school before he entered the Society, but doing this work as a Jesuit scholastic is something completely different. “For reasons that often make me shake my head in utter disbelief, this work — and doing it in this particular way as a Jesuit — suits me better than I ever could have imagined.”
For Brenkert, the magis takes on a new meaning in regency to include the search for the quality, excellence and mastery of a craft and the freer and more personal service of others.
“To be a successful regent,” he said, “I believe that my love for my students must pour forth, flowing from my prayer and from my participation in the sacraments.”
Read more about Jesuits’ regency experiences in Jesuits magazine.
Jesuit Keith Maczkiewicz had hoped to do something he had never done before during his Long Experiment, a time when each Jesuit novice does five months of full-time apostolic work while living in a Jesuit community. He had worked in high school campus ministry, but when he was missioned to Georgetown University to assist in campus ministry there, his novice director said, “You may have done this job before, but you never did it as a Jesuit.”
Maczkiewicz, who was involved in Sunday liturgies, Catholic chaplaincy programs and retreats and ministry as a chaplain-in-residence in a dorm at Georgetown, soon realized that his novice director was right.
Maczkiewicz said he was very conscious that the 30-day experience of the Spiritual Exercises was affecting all of his life and ministry. “I realized that the Exercises had become not only important to me, but had become my heritage, in a way, had become an inherent part of my life.”
Working with the Exercises as an instrument of prayer, and helping to lead others in prayer and discernment, helped him to solidify his own relationship with God. “The Long Experiment has helped me to fall in love with Christ all over again in the midst of my ministry, in the context of my Jesuit community, and with the lenses of poverty, chastity and obedience focusing, broadening and enriching my life,” Maczkiewicz said.
Today, Maczkiewicz is a scholastic in First Studies at Loyola University Chicago. He professed his vows to the Society of Jesus last year. You can read more about Jesuit novices’ long experiments in Jesuits magazine.
Jesuit Vincent Marchionni, a scholastic, recently reflected on his first semester of “First Studies,” the first mission for scholastics after taking their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in the Society of Jesus.
Marchionni is studying at Saint Louis University and writes that while many see philosophy as a tedious and frustrating subject, his first semester has taught him the opposite.
“Philosophy is so interesting because everyone philosophizes, whether they know it or not. Everyone has opinions on human nature, or how we know things, or ethics,” he writes.
He also writes about his vows, which he says “are a means to enhance his [a Jesuit’s] performance in mission.” Of his vow of obedience, he says that it “demands that, as a Jesuit, I am as available for mission as possible. The point of all this studying is to make me a better Jesuit who can engage different people in different apostolates.”
Read more of Marchionni’s reflections on his first studies and vows.
During the Regency period of formation, a Jesuit is often assigned to work in a ministry, such as a school or community outreach program. Patrick Gilger is a Jesuit in the Regency stage of formation and he recently spoke with Jesuit.org about his work among the Lakota people and how his time with them has impacted his use of Ignatian Spirituality.