Posts Tagged ‘Vocations’
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.
32 men entering the novitiates of the Society of Jesus last month, beginning the two-year period of prayer, work and study. The largest classes hailed from the New Orleans and Missouri Provinces, which each have 7 men entering their provinces. Of the 32 men, Jesuit alumni represent 40 percent of the novices. The largest alumni groups represented overall include Saint Louis University (4), Texas A&M University (3) and Texas Tech (3).
The novitiate is the first stage of Jesuit formation and novices begin to learn through experience about the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience as lived in a community setting. He learns the traditions, rules and expectations of the Society of Jesus. During this time he makes the Spiritual Exercises in a 30-day retreat and engages in a variety of “experiments,” such as serving the poor, the elderly, and teaching children. At the end of the two years, he pronounces perpetual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience either as a brother or as a scholastic who will prepare for priestly ordination.
Marcos, 26, attended Loyola Marymount University, earning his BA in theology and, while working at an all-girls school, his MA in secondary education. He has traveled to more than 20 states and over 22 countries, including a JVI teaching assignment in Chuuk, Micronesia. He loves being in a band and enjoys singing and playing guitar, piano and drums. (California Province)
Mint Hill, North Carolina
Jonathon, 24, is a 2009 graduate of the University of Dallas with a BA in history. In college he was a member of the student senate and a residence hall assistant. Since 2009 he has been working in Rome, Italy, as assistant to the director of the University of Dallas Rome Program. He loves history, politics and sports, including college basketball. (New Orleans Province)
Brian, 26, is a graduate of Regis Jesuit High School and of Saint Louis University, with a BA in math and business administration. He has worked as a Kairos retreat leader and in campus ministry. After college he served for two years in the Augustinian Volunteers, and most recently worked in their development office in Philadelphia. He loves sports and music. (Missouri Province)
Paul, 26, earned a BS from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. He went on to attend Mundelein Seminary, through which he volunteered as chaplain at a jail, hospital and Boy Scout camp. In college, he worked as an undergrad researcher and a building manager. Paul’s other interests include soccer, outdoor activities, fitness and nutrition. (Wisconsin Province)