Posts Tagged ‘Vocations’
Jesuit Father Chuck Frederico, vocation director for the Maryland, New England and New York Provinces of the Society of Jesus, was a recent guest on “The Busted Halo Show with Fr. Dave Dwyer” on Sirius Radio.
In addition to discussing the Jesuit formation process, Fr. Frederico shared his own vocation story.
Fr. Frederico explained that after high school he went to the Culinary Institute of America in New York, which had previously been a Jesuit novitiate, St. Andrew-on-Hudson.
Before attending, one of Fr. Frederico’s high school teachers, a diocesan priest, told him to do three things when he arrived. One, to take notice of the “AMDG” — which stands for Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (“For the greater glory of God”), the motto of the Society of Jesus — written on the front door. Fr. Frederico recognized this from his grade school days. “I’d been writing that on the top of my loose leaf since first grade because the nuns I had, the sisters of St. Joseph, were founded by the Jesuits.”
His teacher also said in the small chapel there would be a window of St. Aloysius Gonzaga receiving first communion from St. Charles Borromeo. Fr. Frederico recognized this from his grammar school days as well, as he attended St. Charles Borrmeo.
Third, his teacher asked Fr. Frederico to read a book on Jesuit philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and Fr. Frederico was fascinated by his life.
After culinary school, he went to Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia to study food marketing. “I met the Jesuits in spirit at the Culinary Institute and in the flesh at Saint Joe’s,” Fr. Frederico said.
Fr. Frederico was planning to have his own restaurant, but God had different plans.
“I was fascinated by these guys [the Jesuits]. I had six different Jesuits in the classroom, and each of them taught with such passion,” he said.
By his senior year, Fr. Frederico was applying to the Jesuits. Listen to the whole segment with Fr. Frederico online.
Jesuit Vincent Strand, a regent currently studying German in Austria, was recently featured in an Associated Press story because he and his two brothers, Luke and Jacob, all have a calling to the priesthood.
Vincent Strand’s older brother Luke and younger brother Jacob are already ordained, and Strand is on the path to ordination.
According to Strand, his original plan was to become a neurologist, get married and start a family. He said he remembered thinking, “Oh, good. [Luke's] going to be the priest. I don’t have to now.”
But while at Marquette University he found his calling. Strand said a theology professor showed him “God was real in a way I hadn’t [realized] before.”
Strand told the AP that he thought about devoting himself to God even if he got married but decided to “completely empty” himself and pursue his calling.
“The celibacy and that vow of celibacy has been one of the real things I love about the life and one of the very freeing things about the life,” Strand said.
A Jesuit professes first vows after two years in the novitiate and before entering first studies. Kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament, the man promises to become poor, chaste, and obedient with God’s help. Each novice then receives a crucifix—a symbol of his dedication to following Christ on the way of the cross—which will remain with him throughout his life.
On August 13, 2011, six Jesuits from the Chicago-Detroit Province professed first vows at St. Thomas More Catholic Community, the Jesuit parish of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. Read on to learn more about them and why they love being Jesuits.
“During my time in the Navy, I realized that my vocation really was to be a priest. So I started looking around and discovered that the Jesuits were the best fit for me. . . . There are a lot of good guys in the Society. . . . There’s a lot of study, but it’s fun learning and training yourself to help other people.” — Gregory Ostdiek, Beavercreek, OH
Greg has a BA in English and a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Dayton, and an MA in English and an MS in mechanical engineering from Penn State. He served in the navy for 14 years, including several tours in the Middle East. Greg taught physics at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School & Academy before joining the Society.
Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno is the curator of meteorites at the Vatican Observatory at Castel Gandolfo, the Papal summer residence. His research explores the connections between meteorites and asteroids, and the origin and evolution of small bodies in the solar system. Prior the joining the Jesuits, he obtained his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Earth and Planetary Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a PhD in Planetary Science from the University of Arizona.
After speaking at the Jesuit Brothers Institute on Jesuits in the Sciences, Br. Consolmagno took some time out to sit down with National Jesuit News and share the story of his vocation:
November 5th is the feast of All Saints and Blessed of the Society of Jesus, and also the start of National Vocation Promotion Day Month, which is observed by Jesuits and their partners. Jesuits are blessed to continue to have prayerful men with generous hearts who desire to labor in and for the Kingdom.
Jesuits recognize the ongoing need to engage men who might be called to religious life. The Society of Jesus is a community of priests and brothers dedicated to the service of God and the Church for the betterment of the world around us. No matter what the work, from university to infirmary to barrio, it is for the glory of God and the help and salvation of souls.
Even within the Society of Jesus, there is a great variety of voices, an array of talents, but all are at the service of the call and the mission. Some are gifted at social analysis, others at immediate and effective working with people at the margins of life or society. Many are scholars, many are missionaries. Whether teaching, preaching, giving the sacraments or praying for the society, the voices are as varied as the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, but there must be one message: to love God with all our hearts and to love our neighbors as ourselves.
If you or someone you know is discerning a vocation calling to join the Jesuits in service, we encourage you to visit Jesuit.org for more information on the Society of Jesus. Today, National Jesuit News offers a prayer for vocations to the Society of Jesus.
in the name of Jesus,
and through the power of Your Holy Spirit,
we pray that You inflame the hearts of men
with courage and trust
and the desire to labor for Your kingdom
We ask You
through the intercession of Mary, our Mother,
St. Ignatius, and all Your saints,
to bless the Society of Jesus
with bountiful vocations
that it may continue to serve Your church
with passion and zeal.
May Your will be done.
Below, Jesuit Father Robert Ballecer, national director of vocation promotion for the Society of Jesus urges us to reflect on the feast of All Saints and Blessed of the Society of Jesus and asks that you help us to continue the mission.