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Five Jesuit Novices Profess Perpetual Vows

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

With gratitude to God, the Maryland, New England, and New York Provinces of the Society of Jesus announce the profession of perpetual vows by five novices.

Professional of first vows signifies a Jesuit novice has completed their two year novitiate and is making a permanent commitment before God to enter the Society of Jesus to serve the Church. These are vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

The five novices  professed their vows at Holy Cross Church in DeWitt, New York on August 10 in front of fellow Jesuits, family, and friends.  Read the homily by Fr. James Carr, SJ, the novice director for the New England, New York and Maryland Provinces of the Society of Jesus.

l-r, Jesuits Zachariah Presutti, Michael Lamanna, Daniel Gustafson, William Woody, Stephen Nicholson

l-r, Jesuits Zachariah Presutti, Michael Lamanna, Daniel Gustafson, William Woody, Stephen Nicholson

Meet the Jesuits Professing Vows

Danny Gustafson, nSJ Daniel Gustafson, nSJ, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota graduated in 2011 from Georgetown University with a degree in government and theology. Dan previously worked in Washington D.C. for a political consulting firm and interned in the U.S. House of Representatives. His vocation to the Society was inspired by retreats at Georgetown and a service trip to El Salvador. Read his recent novitiate reflection about  working at St. Joseph’s Prep in Philadelphia teaching religion and working in the Mission and Ministry Office.
Mike Lamanna, nSJ Michael Lamanna, nSJ, of Guilderland, New York graduated from Syracuse University with bachelor’s degrees in economics and geography. Mike volunteered for a refugee resettlement program through FrancisCorps and in community development as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer. An Ignatian retreat and subsequent Ignatian reading helped inspire his vocation to become a Jesuit. Read his recent novitiate reflection about teaching at NativityMiguel School in Buffalo, NY.
Steve Nicholson, nSJ Stephen Nicholson, nSJ, of Marlborough, Massachusetts earned a Master of Public Health degree from Boston University and a B.S. in chemistry from MIT. Stephen worked coordinating emergency services for one parish and as a confirmation teacher for another. His experience in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and the example set by a great uncle, Fr. Francis Nicholson, SJ,  who was a Jesuit both inspired his vocation. Read his recent novitiate reflection teaching at Fairfield Preparatory School in Fairfield, CT.
Zach Presutti, nSJ Zachariah Presutti, nSJ, of Belmont, New York studied political science and theology at Canisius College. Jesuits he encountered while studying for the priesthood at Christ the King Seminary in the Diocese of Buffalo, New York and while a student at Canisius led Zach to pursue becoming a Jesuit. Prior to entering the novitiate he served as pastoral associate at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Buffalo. Read his recent novitiate reflection working as a chaplain at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago.
Bill Woody, nSJ William Woody, nSJ, of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, received his bachelor’s degree in theology and philosophy from the University of Scranton. He has been a resident assistant and peer tutor at Scranton as well as a volunteer in hospice care and inner-city tutoring. Jesuit family friends, eight years of Jesuit education, and studying the lives of Jesuit saints and martyrs inspired him to become a Jesuit. Read his recent novitiate reflection teaching and working in at St. Anne’s parish West Kingston, Jamaica.

Vows and Jesuit Formation

The first two years of a Jesuit’s life are spent in the novitiate program where each novice grows his spirituality, knowledge, and verifies his vocation. They take classes, participate in local ministries, discuss and reflect upon reading, live in Jesuit communities, and go on retreat including making the Spiritual Exercises (a 30-day silent retreat developed by St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order). In June of their second year, as the final step in preparation for their profession of perpetual vows, novices make an 8-day retreat.

Following the profession of these first vows, Jesuits will ordinarily begin two years of graduate-level philosophy student and one year of graduate-level theology study. The full formation process for Jesuits (from entering the novitiate through ordination to the profession of final vows) takes on average 10 to 12 years.

Learn more about the steps involved in becoming a Jesuit and about Jesuit vocations.

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