Posts Tagged ‘Regency’
For the past two years, Jesuit John Peck has taught philosophy at Loyola University Maryland. Teaching there has been part of his formation as a Jesuit—it’s a stage called regency, in which most Jesuits work full-time for two or three years at a Jesuit ministry. Reflecting on this period, Peck says that he can summarize in a word what he’s gained: confidence.
“I now have greater confidence in the authenticity of my friendship with Jesus Christ. … Regency challenges a Jesuit in formation to assume added responsibility for his spiritual life. … With a full schedule of teaching, preparation, writing and other activities, I’ve had to work hard to stay nourished on a steady diet of the Word of God.”
With excellent mentoring from his colleagues, Peck says he’s also grown in the confidence that he can accomplish the work the Society of Jesus entrusts to him. “With each semester I’ve grown as a teacher. I’ve become more adept at designing courses and classes,” he writes. “My judgments about what students need and can receive have become sharper.”
As he completes regency, Peck says he’s also more confident that he can thrive in Jesuit community life. While his background differs from many of the Jesuits he lives with, he writes, “Representing myself truthfully and speaking up, I’ve learned that others find my experiences and points of view interesting. I’ve also found that men with whom I differ are often full of goodness and apostolic fervor. I’m confident that God will continue to give me joy with my Jesuit brothers.”
Living and working at Loyola have been “an experience of God’s providential care” for Peck. “[God] has enkindled my desire for him in prayer and nurtured me through the friendship of mentors and fellow Jesuits. I’m eager for the future and confident he will continue to provide.”
Read Peck’s full reflection in the Spring/Summer 2013 issue of JESUITS magazine.
Jesuit Bill Noe remembers pondering the meditation of the Spiritual Exercises on the call of Christ during his 30-day retreat as a novice. He remembers hearing Jesus say, “You are going to live as I live.”
That call came to life in Bolivia, where Noe recently spent two and a half years teaching in a technical college during regency, a time in Jesuit formation that affords each Jesuit an opportunity to work in an apostolic area.
“In Bolivia I had a chance to live at least a little bit of what I discovered in the Spiritual Exercises,” he said.
In July 2008, Noe was sent to teach electronics at the Instituto de Aprendizaje Industrial, a three-year technical institute founded and operated by the Bolivian Jesuits.
In Bolivia, Noe was both a teacher and a student. While he used his training as an engineer in the classroom, he learned to integrate his work with his life in a Jesuit community and with his prayer life.
Although he was welcomed into the community, he soon learned what it was like to be an immigrant. “Jesus was outside of his culture,” Noe said, recalling Jesus’ life in Egypt. “He was a migrant.”
When he returned home, he noticed all the Latino faces on the streets around him. “I didn’t notice them before,” he said. “My time in Bolivia gave me a lot to think about in how I relate to people from other cultures.”
It has made him ask himself, “Who else don’t I notice? Who else don’t I include?”
Read more about Noe’s regency experiences in Jesuits magazine.
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.
Now in his second year at the school, which serves underprivileged boys, he wrote that he is learning “the value of patience, the necessity of compassion amid the sternness of discipline and the humbling truth that the real flowering of these young boys is a process that far surpasses the contributions that I will make.”
He compares his daily efforts as a teacher to those of a serious gardener: “imposing the order of rows and furrows upon the chaos of an unmanaged field, in order that creative and fruitful growth may emerge from fertile ground.
“The experience of teaching during regency has also led me to meditate upon my developing identity as a Jesuit,” he wrote. “In the course of my discernment and formation, I have been blessed with the presence and friendship of many wonderful Jesuits who inspire me with their apostolic devotion, spiritual wisdom and variety of talents and life experiences. Regency has challenged me not only to discover and develop these talents within myself, but also to share them confidently, trusting that divine grace will guide my actions and growth each day.”
Read more of Ryan’s reflections.