Novices

Ian, Matthew and Paolo
The novices of Britain and Ireland have just returned from their autumn work experience placements, known in Jesuit jargon as “experiments”.Experiments were designed by St Ignatius to test a man’s vocation through the two-year novitiate period. Experiments mirror the various steps taken by St Ignatius after his conversion. For centuries, Jesuit formation has included these same methods as a means to test, stretch, clarify, and confirm the novice’s vocation.Typical novice experiments include...
Novices at Emo Court
The novitiate in Birmingham serves the Jesuit Provinces of Ireland, Britain and the Low Countries, and each year the novices and novice master undertake a tour of one of the three Provinces. This year, Ireland was the destination and the intended focus of the trip by the eight novices led by Novice Master Fr Simon Bishop SJ, was to attend the National Ploughing Championships at Screggan in county Offaly. First year Irish novice Desmond Gibney takes up the story: “It took some explaining to...
A team of Jesuit novices with Fr Simon Bishop SJ and Vron Smith recently joined a group of prisoners in HMP Hewell in the West Midlands, to accompany them on a week of guided prayer.It was a week of surprises, with prisoners from a wide range of age, race and even faith background. Novice Luke Taylor nSJ explained, "We offered a variety of Ignatian ways of prayer. Some prisoners shared one-on-one with a prayer guide while others drew their own spiritual journeys. Some entered scripture through...
Stephen Noon SJ kneels as he professes his first vows
It was 'vow day' last Saturday,  after two years as novices, a time of testing to see if God has called them to join the Society of Jesus, three men were invited by their provincials to take simple and perpetual public vows.  One of them, Stephen Noon entered the novitiate from the cut and thrust of Scottish politics. A member of the SNP, Stephen worked as an assistant to Alex Salmond and an architect of the 'Yes' campaign in the Scottish referendum.Reflecting on the last two years as...
Damian Howard SJ preaches at the first vows September 2017
This is a great day for the British and Irish Jesuits as we receive the vows of three young men who have decided that they are ready to commit themselves to sharing our life and our mission.These days, a decision like that it is no trivial matter. Behind the simple words of commitment that they are soon to pronounce lies much seeking and questioning and even a little struggling as they have tried to make sense of the invitation they have heard deep in their hearts to take a chance on God.So in...
The Crib at St Chad's Cathedral, Birmingham. Credit: Peter Jennings
Among those taking part in the televised Midnight Mass on BBC One on Christmas Eve this year will be a Jesuit novice from Manresa House in Birmingham. Christopher Brolly nSJ, a second-year novice in the novitiate, will be reading one of the Bidding Prayers during the Eucharist which will be broadcast live from St Chad's Cathedral in Birmingham with Archbishop Bernard Longley as the Principal Celebrant.This year, St Chad’s has been celebrating its 175th anniversary and considers it to...
Fr Leonard Moloney SJ
The former Headmaster of Clongowes Wood College in Co. Kildare has been appointed as the new Jesuit Provincial in Ireland. Fr Leonard Moloney SJ (61) will replace Fr Tom Layden SJ who has been the Provincial of the Jesuits in Ireland since 2010. Fr Moloney’s appointment was announced by Fr General Arturo Sosa SJ at the 36th General Congregation that is taking place in Rome.Father Moloney served as Headmaster at Clongowes Wood College for almost 11 years. Originally from Limerick, he...
Novices Patrick, Christopher and Vinny take part in Saturday morning’s Rosary
Last weekend, a group of Jesuit novices, led by Fr Simon Bishop SJ, took part in ‘The Release: Light up the Sky’, a retreat weekend for young adults, organised by Youth 2000. Hosted at St Bernard’s Catholic High School, Rotherham, there was a great atmosphere throughout the weekend, not only among the novices from Manresa House in Birmingham but also among the entire 180-or-so young people who attended.The retreat involved periods of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, along...
Some of the 13 novices from Northern Belgium, Ireland, The Netherlands and United Kingdom
The Jesuit novices who are normally based at the novitiate in Birmingham visited the Low Countries recently, on a trip that gave them an insight into the scope of the international Society. Novices from Britain, Ireland, Flanders and the Netherlands make up the international community at Manresa House; and since the September to December Study period is the longest period inside the novitiate itself, they embarked upon a trip to (North) Belgium and the Netherlands, to visit a variety of Jesuit...
Novices make their First Vows
Dear ‘voventes’, family, friends, companions,Vowday. After two years of probation we are here together at this important encounter with the Lord. The ‘voventes’ are making us witnesses of their intimate secret which they bear in their hearts: the knowledge that the Lord touched each of them in a very special way and that He has been transforming them ever since.Their selection of three texts from Holy Scripture today is a testimony of their private and intimate...

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