Novitiate

"The flight from Belfast to Birmingham was straightforward, though getting up at five was not fun!" says Frank Brady SJ, of the Jesuit community in Portadown, Northern Ireland. "That was my own fault, though. I could have booked a later flight. I just wanted time in Birmingham with the community there as I had not spent any time there for a number of years." On Saturday 7th September, Frank joined the novitiate community and guests at St Mary's church, Birmingham, for the Mass of First Vows of...
Paolo Beltrame
Paolo Beltrame, second-year novice of the British Province, will be taking his First Vows on the 7th September, together with Matthew Tumulty, of the Irish Province. He reflects on his life and novitiate experience.Perhaps you enjoy sailing boats. I myself am not able to sail at all. However, I find it beautiful and fascinating; in particular I like - watching! - the America’s Cup. For me it is an extreme, technological challenge that, essentially, uses natural resources: human coordination and...
Manresa House hosted the French and German Novitiates, including their novice masters, Thierry and Thomas from 2nd to 9th August. The time together was well prepared practically, thanks especially to Brother Mick O’Connor SJ, and spiritually and creatively through stages of the Emmaus journey in Luke. The participants soon grew into a single community.On Saturday morning Archbishop Bernard Longley arrived with Anglican Bishop David Urquhart, a near neighbour and friend. Their dialogue in answer...
“What chance did the firm plans of three provincials have against the prayers of these two women?” asked Johan Verschueren SJ, Regional Superior of the European Low Countries at a special ceremony at the north west Europe Jesuit novitiate, Manresa House, Birmingham on Tuesday 16th January.The two women in question are Martina Scully and Colette Maher, faithful friends and supporters of the novitiate for over fifty years. Since receiving kindness and support from Gerry Marsden SJ, a member of...
Luke Taylor SJ, completing his vows
On the Feast of St. Peter Canisius SJ, Friday 21st December, Luke Taylor SJ made his first vows in the Society of Jesus at Manresa House in Birmingham. It was an occasion both simple and dramatic, profound yet understated, intense but also relaxed and cheerful, marking an important moment in the relationship between Luke and the Lord through his commitment to a life of poverty, chastity and obedience in the Society of Jesus.Fr. Provincial Damian Howard SJ celebrated the Mass while Fr. Simon...
God continues to call young people today to discover that it is possible to live a consecrated life. This year 42 young people knocked on the doors of ten Jesuit novitiates in Europe.Each one of them has followed a different journey, some have known the Society of Jesus since childhood in Jesuit schools and churches, others have collaborated with social and pastoral works, and others have simply approached the Society in the different provinces from their web pages.However, all of them have in...
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...
150 years ago, on 7 September 1868, Gerard Manley Hopkins entered the Society of Jesus at Manresa, Roehampton. Born in Stratford, Essex in 1844, he received his early education at the Cholmeley Grammar School in Highgate. According to his obituary in Letters and Notices, “from earliest childhood he showed a great talent for drawing, and his work was distinguished for its remarkable delicacy… He had a very exquisite voice and took great interest in music. This, with art and literature, became...
Jacques St Laurent vows
The last few days have been joyful ones for the Society of Jesus in north west Europe as two new Jesuits made their First Vows.  Thomas Klein SJ and Jacques St Laurent SJ both joined the north west European Jesuit novitiate at Manresa House in Birmingham in September 2015. Yesterday Fr Damian Howard SJ, Provincial of the Jesuits in Britain, received Jacques’ first vows in the chapel at Manresa House, where he himself had made his first vows nearly 26 years ago.  Concelebrating...
Five novices
Please pray for our five novices as they embark today for their various "experiments", a key stage in their journey towards taking their First Vows.“Experiment” is a term Jesuits use to talk about the various activities (designed by St. Ignatius) that test a man’s vocation throughout the two-year novitiate period. All these 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,...

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