Jesuit Vocation

Hi all,

I’ve been thinking about a Jesuit vocation for a while. I have a devotion to Ignatius and the more I read about the Jesuits and their saints and their role in history, the more and more I love them. I especially love their motto, and their historic status as defenders of the Pope and orthodoxy. I want to be a soldier for Christ and I truly feel i need to explore a possible
call to the great order of Ignatius.

I have one problem however, I was in the diocesan seminary for 6 months, I left feeling that I wasn’t on track with my vocation and also because of the seminary itself and issues there were with the Rector (who was later forced to resign). It was a very depressing place and I fee like I left that place not discounting the priesthood rather that particular seminary which was literally like hell on earth. I’m sorry but I can’t describe the things that went on there. I have now moved on from the diocesan call, feeling that it is a incomplete call to the Jesuit priesthood.

I read on the web somewhere that if someone is a member of a previous religious order then then are instantly disqualified from having a Jesuit vocation? Would being a student in a diocesan seminary disqualify me from having a chance to explore the Jesuit call?

Your best answer will probably come from a vocation director for the Jesuits. This page has links so you can find the provinces in the US and contact the vocation director.

[quote="tcravs, post:1, topic:196227"]
I read on the web somewhere that if someone is a member of a previous religious order then then are instantly disqualified from having a Jesuit vocation? Would being a student in a diocesan seminary disqualify me from having a chance to explore the Jesuit call?

[/quote]

Not true.

First, you were not in any religious order. You were in a diocesan seminary. So this can't possibly be a problem.

Second, even if you began discerning with a religious order, you are allowed to leave before solemn vows, or if simple vows are dispensed from.

It will not disqualify you unless you left under circumstances which indicate that you are an unfit candidate (i.e., if you were dismissed for bad behavior).

-Rob

I have not heard that about Jesuits, that is that if you are a member of another order you are disqualified from the Jesuits.

Having said that......

[quote="RobNY, post:3, topic:196227"]
Not true.

First, you were not in any religious order. You were in a diocesan seminary. So this can't possibly be a problem.

Second, even if you began discerning with a religious order, you are allowed to leave before solemn vows, or if simple vows are dispensed from.

It will not disqualify you unless you left under circumstances which indicate that you are an unfit candidate (i.e., if you were dismissed for bad behavior).

-Rob

[/quote]

Each order can set its own criteria for candidates and yes, they can say, if they wish, that if you were in another order in any way then you can not join them.

I know of orders that say if you have an annullment you may not join, others that say you may join but you may never be ordained.

Just as no one has a right to ordination, no one has a right to enter a religious order/community.

However, it would be a bit of a problem if you had already completed your seminary education. I read that Albino Luciani (Pope John Paul I) had already done so and that his request to enter the Society of Jesus was denied. It is probably not any different now.

[quote="Young_Thinker, post:5, topic:196227"]
However, it would be a bit of a problem if you had already completed your seminary education. I read that Albino Luciani (Pope John Paul I) had already done so and that his request to enter the Society of Jesus was denied. It is probably not any different now.

[/quote]

But was that precisely the reason why? Throughout history men and women have decided not to enter orders they were pursuing, and joined other orders, or even changed orders. For instance, Thomas Merton failed at being a Franciscan and then joined the Gethsemane monastery as a Cistercian monk (he spent a period of time after the Franciscans kicked him out terrified that he was now done with any religious vocation... for good!). Or St. Agnes of Montepulciano who became a Dominican nun later in life.

St. Thomas Aquinas even has an article in the Summa about religious who wish to pass from one religious order to another... and says its okay as long as the reason is to move to a more rigorous religious life. :)

But perhaps the Jesuits have a specific thing against this.

[quote="ByzCath, post:4, topic:196227"]
Each order can set its own criteria for candidates and yes, they can say, if they wish, that if you were in another order in any way then you can not join them.

I know of orders that say if you have an annullment you may not join, others that say you may join but you may never be ordained.

Just as no one has a right to ordination, no one has a right to enter a religious order/community.

[/quote]

ByzCath,

You are absolutely right. I think I made my point too strongly. I wish only to say that most orders or dioceses ask this to know about your personal history, not to disqualify you from entering. The Jesuits would be well within their rights to exclude candidates on this basis, even if it might seem arbitrary or unfair to some people. It would not in fact be, since no one is owed life in a religious community or ordination according to strict merit. Thanks!

-Rob

You will need to be VERY careful about the Jesuits. There are some severe problems. I might suggest you turn to someone like Fr. Joseph Fessio and seek advice. Many Jesuits are a long way from the original charism of St. Ignatius. All you have to do is look at America Magazine and its approval of homosexual priests and other heterodox things.

It is imperative to think with the mind of the Church and if this Order no longer does so, you might lose your faith in the pursuit of what is no longer there.

[quote="RobNY, post:6, topic:196227"]
But was that precisely the reason why? Throughout history men and women have decided not to enter orders they were pursuing, and joined other orders, or even changed orders. For instance, Thomas Merton failed at being a Franciscan and then joined the Gethsemane monastery as a Cistercian monk (he spent a period of time after the Franciscans kicked him out terrified that he was now done with any religious vocation... for good!). Or St. Agnes of Montepulciano who became a Dominican nun later in life.

St. Thomas Aquinas even has an article in the Summa about religious who wish to pass from one religious order to another... and says its okay as long as the reason is to move to a more rigorous religious life. :)

But perhaps the Jesuits have a specific thing against this.

[/quote]

That may be. I wish good luck to the original poster. As for Fr. Louis(Thomas Merton), I really think that he should be canonized(probably as St. Louis of Gethsemani).

[quote="Young_Thinker, post:8, topic:196227"]
That may be. I wish good luck to the original poster. As for Fr. Louis(Thomas Merton), I really think that he should be canonized(probably as St. Louis of Gethsemani).

[/quote]

I doubt this will happen because there is just too much to question about the last years of his life and the circumstances of his death.

I highly doubt that the Abbey at Gethsemani would put forward his cause.

[quote="ByzCath, post:9, topic:196227"]
I doubt this will happen because there is just too much to question about the last years of his life and the circumstances of his death.

I highly doubt that the Abbey at Gethsemani would put forward his cause.

[/quote]

All right.

Interestingly, though, I have heard of a Catholic who wanted to be a Jesuit but was too liberal in his theology. It is a pity that they have such a reputation nowadays that I found that to be almost funny.

tcravs' question is worth a fuller response. First, as one responder correctly pointed out, having been in a seminary does not disqualfy you from the Jesuits. Next, for more information than Fr. Joe Fessio may be able to give, you could go, by way of the following link, to the vocations director of the Jesuit Province of California. The director is in the best position to answer any questions you may have. Here's the link:

jesuitscalifornia.org/Page.aspx?pid=285

At the end of the introductory article, you'll see a link to the director's office, where you can contact him. There's also a list of publications you could use to "read up" on the Jesuits.

Good luck, keep praying, and God be with you = the very old form of "goodbye"]. We'll keep you in our prayers.

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