Posts Tagged ‘Jesuit James Hooks’

Four New Orleans Jesuits Offer Full Reflections Leading Up to Ordination Day

James Hooks, SJ

Born: May 2, 1978
From: Born in DC and grew up in Tampa, Florida
Entered the Jesuits: August 14, 2001

As the date of my ordination grows closer, more and more people say something like, “The day is finally here!” It is true that priestly formation in the Jesuits does not happen overnight. Still, I do not see my ordination as a goal as much as a turn in the road, a turn that brings me closer to Jesus and a new way of serving the Church and the world. I am immensely grateful to God and to my fellow travelers on this road who, in ways large and small, have brought me to this point in my journey. I also look forward to seeing where this road leads us.

In a particular way, I am grateful to have had so many inspiring models of Jesuit life and priesthood in my brothers in the Society. These men have taught me what it means to be a priest according to the pattern that Jesus left us. They have shown me how to carry our responsibility and authority quietly, humbly and in a way that leads people away from us and into a deeper relationship with God. Their lives have demonstrated that our privilege essentially lies in being stewards of an immense gift among and for all of God’s people. I hope that in my priestly life, I will be able to reflect some measure of the humility and generosity that my brothers have modeled for me, for I know that this is how Jesus himself worked – and still works – in the world.

 

Bao Nguyen, SJ

Born: November 29, 1971
From: Saigon, Vietnam
Entered the Jesuits: August 14, 2001

Today, we experience brokenness, sinfulness, and chaos in society. Many people feel lonely, desperate, and alien within themselves and the Church. As a priest, I have a desire to console people who have struggled to find God in their lives. I wish that I could be an instrument to assist people to feel relief and to restore their good human nature as children of God. The image of a bridge to connect over gaps among rich, poor, ideologies, faith, religions, cultures, nationalities and many more has inspired and motivated me continually to work for the universal Church as a vineyard of God.

Being a priest does not mean that I am perfectly worthy of this wonderful sacrament, but I feel Christ has invited me to this special vocation and gives me the grace to live it. I acknowledge my religious life and priesthood as a heartfelt and sacrifice response to Jesus who gives himself for me and others, and becomes absolutely generous to the world. Everything on earth including myself contains God’s love. I cannot hesitate to express my gratitude to the Lord by generously jumping into the water with Jesus like St. Peter did (Mt 14:22-33), to take a perilous adventure with Him, and to let Him lead me to magnificent events of priestly ministries.

 

Brian Reedy, SJ

Born: September 6, 1973
From: Born in Troy, Ohio; grew up in Anaheim, California and Texas
Entered the Jesuits: August 14, 2001

This past Easter I was very blessed to be able to sing the Easter Exsultet Proclamation at the vigil Mass during which my parents received their first Holy Communion. One of the lines of the Proclamation says, “dazzling is this night for me, and full of gladness.” As I looked out at my parent’s faces, lit only by candlelight, it was truly a dazzling night full of deep gladness. I realized that this is a constitutive dynamic of my priesthood. I have the honor of proclaiming God’s love to the same people that have nourished and established me in my faith and vocation. My priesthood flows out of the loving relationships that have given me the freedom and courage to say “yes” to the Lord’s call. At the same time, I am now able to feed and nourish those same people with Christ from the tables of the Word and the Eucharist.

 

Daniel Tesvich, SJ

Born: October 5, 1976
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Entered the Jesuits: August 14, 2000

I did something wild and unexpected during my first year in college at LSU that marked the rest of my life. I allowed myself to fall deeply in love with Christ and the many gifts that He pours out on His Church. It was especially in the Divine Liturgy, where we are given access to the grace wrought on Calvary and have communion with the very Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ, that I experienced myself as a loved and healed sinner called to a new life in Christ. It was during this time of deepening my faith and accepting Christ into my heart that He first began calling me to serve His people by becoming a priest. At first I resisted this calling since I had other plans for my life and because I knew myself as a sinner and late-bloomer in the faith. Certainly there were better men to be called!

As I have grown during my priestly formation, especially during the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius, I have experienced the great truth that the main issue is not the virtue and wisdom of the minister. Instead the issue is being called to share Christ’s love for humanity with others. Of all the many joys in my life so far, the best joy has been precisely that: sharing with others the healing love that Christ has given to me. I have great hope that since Christ has called me to this life of priestly service, He will give me the grace necessary to carry out His will. I ask for your prayers that I may always be open to the grace to be the priest Christ wants me to be.


Four New Orleans Jesuits Offer Reflections Leading Up to Ordination Day

“Go forth and set the world on fire.”

Spoken centuries ago by St. Ignatius Loyola to his brother Jesuits, these words – part mission statement, part marching orders – are deeply emblematic of the Society of Jesus and never more so than during the sacrament of Ordination.

On June 9, 2012, four men from the New Orleans Province –  James Hooks, S.J., Bao Nguyen, S.J., Brian Reedy, S.J. and Daniel Tesvich, S.J. —  will be ordained at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala.

A diverse group, the Ordinandi hail from New Orleans, Florida, Texas and Vietnam.  Before entering the Society of Jesus, they worked in academics and accounting and earned a number of advanced degrees.

Their call to priestly ministry is as varied as their hometowns and former occupations, but they have one thing in common:  a desire to dedicate themselves to the Jesuit mission of serving the Roman Catholic Church wherever the need may be greatest.

Following are reflections written by each of the four New Orleans Province Jesuits awaiting Ordination.  For nearly a dozen years, these men have been preparing for this moment, and their thoughts about the journey and the challenges and blessings ahead make for a thought-provoking read.

James Hooks, SJ As the date of my ordination grows closer, more and more people say something like, “The day is finally here!” It is true that priestly formation in the Jesuits does not happen overnight. Still, I do not see my ordination as a goal as much as a turn in the road, a turn that brings me closer to Jesus and a new way of serving the Church and the world. I am immensely grateful to God and to my fellow travelers on this road who, in ways large and small, have brought me to this point in my journey. I also look forward to seeing where this road leads us.
More >>
Bao Nguyen, SJ Today, we experience brokenness, sinfulness, and chaos in society. Many people feel lonely, desperate, and alien within themselves and the Church. As a priest, I have a desire to console people who have struggled to find God in their lives. I wish that I could be an instrument to assist people to feel relief and to restore their good human nature as children of God. The image of a bridge to connect over gaps among rich, poor, ideologies, faith, religions, cultures, nationalities and many more has inspired and motivated me continually to work for the universal Church as a vineyard of God.
More >>
Brian Reedy, SJ This past Easter I was very blessed to be able to sing the Easter Exsultet Proclamation at the vigil Mass during which my parents received their first Holy Communion. One of the lines of the Proclamation says, “dazzling is this night for me, and full of gladness.” As I looked out at my parent’s faces, lit only by candlelight, it was truly a dazzling night full of deep gladness. I realized that this is a constitutive dynamic of my priesthood.
More >>
Daniel Tesvich, SJ As I have grown during my priestly formation, especially during the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius, I have experienced the great truth that the main issue is not the virtue and wisdom of the minister. Instead the issue is being called to share Christ’s love for humanity with others. Of all the many joys in my life so far, the best joy has been precisely that: sharing with others the healing love that Christ has given to me.
More >>