Alan Harrison SJ
I am Alan Harrison, a Jesuit Brother, originally from Wolverhampton but of Irish and Welsh lineage. I currently work offering spiritual direction, assisting with courses at the Mount Street Jesuit Centre but also acting as National Chaplain to the Christian Life Community in England and Wales. This latter regularly takes me across the country and from time to time to other parts of Europe. The former in contrast sees me securely based in central London.
I think of myself as a very blessed individual in that I joined the Jesuits over 50 years ago impelled by the attractive vision of life as a Jesuit Brother depicted in a vocation pamphlet of that time, and influenced by an unforgettable encounter with the American social activist and founder of the Catholic Worker movement, Dorothy Day. I felt deeply and powerfully that God was inviting me to become a Jesuit Brother and that I could only really be happy if I responded to that invitation.
Eventually when I arrived at the noviciate the novice master announced 'Now the great adventure has begun' and indeed it has been a great and deeply satisfying adventure which seems to deepen and become more richly enticing as the years move on. I particularly value the unique witness that the Brother can give to the essential qualities of Religious Life and the companionship in service that is the Society of Jesus. Much of my Jesuit life has been spent happily and busily in the ministry of education, in teaching or administration, but I have also been engaged accompanying people in the Spiritual Exercises, a blessing that has been part of my life for over 30 years and something that I feel lies close to the heart of what it is to be a Jesuit.