New Videos Highlight the Five Steps of Jesuit Formation

September 14, 2018 — Ever wondered how Jesuits become Jesuits? While a man is considered to be a Jesuit from his first day of novitiate, the total journey toward Jesuit priesthood or formed brotherhood can take from eight to 13 years.

When a man answers God’s call to join the Society of Jesus, he begins the process known as Jesuit formation, an almost 500-year-old tradition adapted to today’s needs. St. Ignatius of Loyola, who founded the Society along with the First Companions in 1540, detailed the process of Jesuit formation in the Jesuit Constitutions.

Below, the Society of Jesus debuts new videos narrated by Fr. Chris Calderón, SJ, on each step of Jesuit formation: novitiate, studies, regency, theology and tertianship.

Novitiate

A Jesuit’s formation begins in the novitiate, where he spends two years learning how to pray (especially with St. Ignatius’ daily Examen), how to live in community and about the Society of Jesus. In some Jesuit provinces, a novice embarks on a pilgrimage, where he is sent out to learn to trust in the providence of God and become comfortable with uncertainty, returning within a few weeks to a month.

Meet the novices of 2017 (2018 novices coming soon!)

Novices also do apostolic work and make the 30-day Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola. Essentially, in the novitiate, a man learns how to be a Jesuit. At the end of the two years, he pronounces First Vows: perpetual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Each novice pronounces vows as either a brother or a scholastic (a man who is preparing for priesthood).

Studies

Meet the novices who pronounced First Vows and began Studies in 2018

After professing First Vows, a Jesuit moves into academic work as a brother or a scholastic (a man who is preparing for priesthood). He studies philosophy at a Jesuit university, usually for three years. Additional ministerial work further deepens his Jesuit identity. Some scholastics and brothers are missioned to finish work on their bachelor’s degrees, while others work on advanced degrees in philosophy or other subjects.

Regency

For the first time during formation, a Jesuit brother or scholastic works full-time in a Jesuit ministry, living in an apostolic community of Jesuits, usually for three years. Often teaching at a Jesuit high school or university, the regent learns to balance full-time apostolic work with a life of prayer and community living.

Theology

After completing regency, Jesuit scholastics (men preparing for priestly ordination) study theology at the graduate level, usually for three years. During theology studies, a scholastic is ordained as a deacon and after completing theology studies, he is ordained to the priesthood, marking the end of about a decade of study and preparation and making him available for his first assignment as a Jesuit priest.

Meet our 2018 ordinands at jesuits.org/ordinations

A Jesuit brother might study theology for a shorter time as a way to enhance his effectiveness for ministry. After a Jesuit brother finishes theology studies he enters ministry — or he might go on to earn another advanced degree. Jesuit brothers are missioned to work across all apostolic ministries of the Society.

Tertianship

Tertianship is a time of renewal. Jesuits must have been ordained as priests, or in the case of brothers, have completed their studies. They then work in assigned ministries for several years before beginning tertianship. A Jesuit revisits the foundational documents and history of the Society of Jesus and makes the 30-day Spiritual Exercises again — in a sense, reaffirming his vocation. The tertian participates in an approximately nine-month program that also includes spiritual training and apostolic experiment.

Do you want to learn more about vocations to the Society of Jesus? Visit www.beajesuit.org for more information.





Recent News

December 13, 2018 — The most recent issue of the magazine Canadian Jesuits invites us to go to the frontiers. Mentioned both in the title and in the biblical meditation by Fr. Bernard Carrière, SJ, this theme is explored in various ways in this edition of the magazine.

December 13, 2018 — During his visits and his apostolic trips around the world, Pope Francis always takes time to meet up with his Jesuit companions. These fraternal gatherings have often led to informal discussions that are exceedingly rich between the pope and his Jesuit companions.

December 14, 2018 — The territory of Haiti has just published a new edition of its magazine LE REGARD. The publication takes place in a context of high political and social turbulence.

December 7, 2018 — Our companion, Father Mario Serrano, SJ, from the Dominican Republic, coordinator of the social apostolate of the Jesuit Province of the Antilles, has been in Canada for a few months primarily to learn French, while collaborating with the team of the Centre justice et foi and of the Province.

December 7, 2018 — Collaborators and friends of the Jesuits came to celebrate the first Advent Eucharist at Manresa Jesuit Spiritual Renewal Centre in Pickering, ON last December 1, 2018.

December 7, 2018 — Last Thursday, our collaborators, Norbert Piché and Mouloud Idir, sent a letter to the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau concerning the Global Compact on Migration.

December 3, 2018 — This simulation exercise allows participants to experience what a refugee goes through when he must flee his country.  Obviously, it is impossible to really know what a refugee experiences until we actually become one.

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