Henry Longbottom SJ
Henry is a native of Huddersfield in West Yorkshire. After graduating from Oxford University, he pursued a career as a lawyer in the City of London. The idea of a priestly vocation had been in the background ever since he started taking faith seriously during his early teens, but as he explains “it seemed a bit like an abstract ideal, far removed from my own reality.” This all changed when he went on a silent Ignatian retreat at Barmouth in Wales. “Almost in a single moment, everything came together and make sense, it dawned on me that Christ loved me for who I am and that he was calling me to labour with Him”. Henry entered the novitiate in 2011 and professed first vows in 2013.
Henry is currently studying for a Masters degree in Philosophy at Heythrop College and is a member of the Jesuit community in Clapham. In addition to his studies, he engages in voluntary work as a caseworker for a charity that acts for vulnerable debtors. He also provides legal advice for an environmental NGO. One of the features of the Society of Jesus Henry most admires is the way it “integrates profound spirituality with concern for social justice which provides a unique avenue for engagement with an increasingly secular world”. Another aspect of Jesuit life that Henry values is its truly international character. “Sharing a house where six nationalities are represented is a lot of fun, dinner table talk (and food!) is certainly never dull”.