Jesuit Life

Jesuits in Britain have for many decades been responsible for the formation (our jargon for training) of Jesuits from all over the world.  They have been sent to London by their Superiors to benefit from our teaching of Theology and Philosophy at Heythrop College at undergraduate and masters levels, and a number also come to study at other universities in London and around the country.  We have four “formation communities” in London where Jesuit scholastics (our jargon for...
Fr Dermot Preston SJ reflects on the place of the vows in the life of a Jesuit. He has worked as a Jesuit in Britain,  South Africa and Guyana and is now Provincial of the Jesuits in Britain.When I was a novice we used to recite this helpful little meditation:“Poverty – to be free, as He was freeChastity – to love generously, as He lovedObedience – to live a life of service, as He served.”As these words illustrate, the contours of the vows are not narrowly...
Fr General on a visit to Jesuit communities in Vietnam, 2015
The Jesuit Curia in Rome has published the first of a series of ‘Conversations with Father General Adolfo Nicolás SJ’, who will be stepping down at the Superior General of the Society of Jesus at the 36th General Congregation later this year. Each month, he will reflect on various aspects of Jesuit life in the modern world.The January 2016 ‘conversation’ addresses community life, a topic which Fr Nicolás has in the past described as a type of “ministry”. Talking with Father Patrick Mulemi SJ,...
Novices 2015
After a few rather static weeks in the house, I’ve noticed a shift in pace once again as we build to Christmas and the very different shape of novice life in the new year which will be focused on our experiments, including the spiritual exercises in January, our first ‘short experiment’ in February/March and then a likely pilgrimage in the early summer.We’ve only been told this week where our short experiments will be. I’m going to be working in a hospice in the east end of London and living...
Philip Harrison SJ recalls life in the novitiate in Birmingham.Life in the novitiate can be an intense experience bringing together people from very different walks of life and different cultures. All though share the same calling for service and that builds a depth of friendship which is unique. That was also the experience of Ignatius, Pierre Favre and Francis Xavier, the first Jesuits when they met as friends in Paris. Their difference of outlook provided a rich experience of community which...
In February 2008 Pope Benedict XVI recalled the words of his predecessor Paul VI:Wherever in the Church, even in the most difficult and extreme fields, at the crossroads of ideologies, in the social trenches, there has been and there is confrontation between the burning exigencies of man and the perennial message of the Gospel, here there have been, and there are Jesuits.As much as ever before the Society needs men ‘with a deep and sound faith, a well-grounded culture and genuine human...
What sustains a Jesuit in his life?Novitiate community, September 2014.Daily Eucharist where we receive Christ who gives himself totally to us so that we  might give ourselves totally to him and to those to whom we are sentPersonal prayer with a special emphasis on the prayer of recollecting the experience of the day (the Examen prayer) so as to unite ourselves more closely with God in the  midst of lifeAn annual eight day silent retreat which allows us to nurture our personal...
My name is Nicholas King, and I was born in Bath in 1947. After I left school, I went up to Oxford to read Classics, with the firm intention of becoming a wealthy barrister after that. However at a particular moment, which I can date to within a few minutes, and greatly to my surprise, I realised that the only thing that I could do if I was to be happy was to join the Jesuits, who had taught me at Stonyhurst. That was 47 years ago, and (so far) I have seen no reason to change my mind…...