How I Became A Jesuit Priest
I was just ordained a Jesuit Priest. Exactly how this vocation emerged is difficult to describe. Even in a Church that spends most of its time focusing on mystery, people have difficulty making sense of the choice to become a member of the Catholic clergy. I think of the various, surprised “What’s?” of my friends when I told them of my decision to join the Society of Jesus. Having been part of various artistic communities for years made my desire to be a Jesuit priest appear strange at best, polemical at worst. Yet, there it was: I had an undeniable pull to enter a religious order in the Roman Catholic Church.
Vocation is a strange thing. It is the idea that people can be drawn towards a particular way of life. Vocation is partially about the job, but more about the way a person’s choice of work allows something deeper to develop in his or her heart. For many, “the call” comes at the expense of other aspirations. It is a trade-off. We let go of certain impulses and choose to follow other desires, in an oftentimes circuitous route, that we hope will lead towards a deeper awareness of how me might better love and serve humanity.
This desire to love and serve led me to explore a single mystery in a deeper way: GOD. Awareness of the great I AM, the Source of Being (also the source of much debate and even war) was a sensitivity that I had desired to cultivate openly and without distraction for years. It was not that I thought I would find the answer. Rather, I hoped the choice to grapple with the mystery of existence and the human attempt to give voice to those things we call “eternal” would shape me in ways that I had come to admire in others. When I found the Society of Jesus, I found a group of people that were responding to this same mystery in a profound way. [more]