“For a Different World”: Jesuits of Canada and Haiti Welcome 13 New Novices
With great joy and gratitude, the Jesuits welcomed this summer thirteen new novices who entered the Society of Jesus; five in Canada and eight in Haiti. The novices have just completed their first period of probation. We thank God for the great blessing of their vocation to the Society.
Michelangelo, 51, is of Italian, Syrian, and Lebanese origin, and grew up on three continents. He studied mechanical engineering in Cleveland, Ohio, graduating in 1990, and then moved to Canada to work in computer sales, marketing, and support. His path of discernment towards the priesthood began when he worked for the Archdiocese of Newark in New Jersey. He studied philosophy for a year, applied for admission to the diocesan seminary, and was sent to Rome for theology studies. It was then that he began to consider a vocation to the Society of Jesus. He entered the local Jesuit novitiate but had to leave to attend to family matters. For the past twelve years, he has worked as a home care worker and as a teacher at the Collège Sainte-Marcelline in Montreal. Michelangelo speaks a number of languages and loves painting, photography, cooking, and gardening.
“While at mass at the Collège Sainte-Marcelline, I heard a clear calling to the priesthood… The nuns became my spiritual mothers who nourished and revived my vocation. This was the inspiration for starting my application process.”
Patrick, 29, was born and raised in Toronto. He lived in Montreal while completing degrees in political philosophy and English literature at McGill University. After attending law school at the University of Alberta, he practiced as a litigation attorney for two years. Midway through his work, he decided to work in a L’Arche community for five months. This experience strongly inspired his Jesuit vocation. Living with people with intellectual disabilities gave him a sense that there was a “different world out there.” Patrick is fully bilingual, and he enjoys creative writing and doodling.
“Law was very fulfilling in some ways, but it wasn’t very relational. It was more competitive and, in some ways, superficial. L’Arche was all about entering into friendship and building community. That’s the real world. Those are the things that matter most.”
“The influence of my dad helped me finally take the leap [to enter the noviciate]. The way he lived his life… There were times in his life when he was offered positions that were more lucrative, more status focused. But his conscience led him to turn them down. He was able to break away from what the crowd was doing. That’s not something that comes naturally to me. His example gave me a deep sense of love, of hard-won, bittersweet love that I knew was somehow connected to God. It was really difficult, but I followed it. It felt like scuba diving towards a light that was deep down in the ocean.”
John, 30, was born and raised in Toronto. He completed a bachelor’s degree in history at the University of Toronto, minoring in both Christianity and culture and East Asian studies. After graduating, he worked in Toronto’s financial district for a year and a half. He then joined the local diocesan seminary for a year before leaving. While pursuing a master’s degree in medieval studies, he began his vocational discernment to become a Jesuit, eventually joining the Jesuit House of Discernment. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and knitting.
“At the Come-and-See discernment weekend, we did an examen. During the prayer, as I was considering applying, I felt a rush of consolation and grace, which confirmed my thoughts. I also had similar consolations when learning about Ignatius and his early companions, such as Jerome Nadal. All this helped me make the decision to join.”
Luis Gabriel ALDE
Luigi, 21, was born in the Philippines and lived in Vancouver for most of his life. Prior to joining the noviciate, he studied chemistry for three years at the University of British Columbia. He then worked in two laboratories, including the National Research Council of Canada. During his university years he sensed a call to the priesthood and eventually left his studies to apply to enter the Society of Jesus.
“While I was at the Come-and-See weekend in Montreal, my desire to become a Jesuit only grew… What attracts me about the Jesuits is their ability to see God in all things—from the minute, little things to prayer and the world. The life of a diocesan priest is focused on the sacraments. A Jesuit, though, might teach at a university, engage in ministry, work as an engineer, or be involved in a variety of other things. I find that beautiful, to see God everywhere.”
Abin, 28, was born in Saudi Arabia, where he lived for twelve years. He then moved to India, where his parents are from, and stayed for four years before settling in Canada in 2009. After completing a degree in psychology in St. Albert, Alberta, in 2019, he began to discern a possible vocation to the Society of Jesus and joined the Jesuit House of Discernment in Toronto. His hobbies include cooking, watching movies and some television programs and, more recently, riding his bicycle around beautiful Montreal.
“I had been thinking about the priesthood since 2014 and only began to consider the Jesuits in 2019. I usually go on retreat when I visit India, and during one of my visits my spiritual director, who knows me quite well, recommended that I think about the Jesuits… I like the variety of missions. You can teach, do spiritual direction, work in different places…”
Stanley Frico JEAN CHARLES
I come from Port-au-Prince, in western Haiti (Fontamara), and I’m 21 years old. I graduated in 2019 from the Lycée Jacques Roumain in Martissant/Haiti. I have been volunteering at the community of L’Arche Carrefour. I am a man with a passion for reading and music.
“I decided wholeheartedly to enter the Society of Jesus, to follow Christ in the footsteps of St. Ignatius and to better serve others.”
I am 22 years old, and I come from Cap-Haïtien, where I was an altar boy in the parish of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima. After my formal studies, I completed a course in silkscreen printing and then began to study business administration (level three). I am certified as a level-two soccer coach, and I have taught physical education and sports. I am cheerful and easy-going. I like sports, music, and reading.
“I’m entering the novitiate because I want to experience a deep and transformative relationship with Christ. What motivates me to enter the Society is the desire to nourish my Christian faith and to be available to serve others, wherever they may be, in order to lead them all to God.”
I am 19 years old and come from Ducis, the third communal section of Torbeck. I finished my formal studies in 2019. I was an active member of the Kiro Catholic Youth Group and an altar server in the parish of Saint Pius X in Ducis. I love soccer and reading. Sometimes I write short poems to express my feelings.
“My motivation to enter the Society of Jesus is to put myself entirely at the service of the Catholic Church and to follow Christ in the manner of St. Ignatius of Loyola.”
Pierre Coeur-Saint JEAN-CLAUDE
I am 34 years old, originally from Saint-Jean in southern Haiti. I studied in Venezuela where I obtained a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering. I worked for more than four years at the Haitian Prime Minister’s Office as an analyst/programmer. I love listening to sacred music and reading.
“My long-held idea of embarking on an adventure with the Jesuits was finally decided after a 40-day period of spiritual renewal to celebrate my 33rd birthday.”
I am 24 years old and was born in Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. I studied Haitian civil law. I was a teacher at the Marie Esther Christine Blondin School, run by the Sisters of Saint Anne. Passionate about reading the lives of the saints, I also enjoy writing. I strive to work for peace and joy that will last. After a long discernment, I chose to follow Christ in the footsteps of Saint Ignatius.
“I fell in love with the Ignatian ways of seeking and finding God in all things.”
I’m 23 years old and from Pestel, in the department of Grande’Anse. I’m a graduate of Bac II, and I am passionate about music and reading.
“I appreciate the Jesuits for their way of praying and their way of relating to people. In fact, it is through these attitudes that I have felt challenged to experience life more deeply, so that in return I can bear witness to following Christ in the Society.”
Jean Isnaïder ADAM
I am 25 years old and was born in Port-au-Prince, more precisely in the commune of Croix-des-Bouqutes. During my formal studies, I took an English course at the Haitian American Caucus and then studied journalism. I also have experience in teaching languages and computer graphics. I am a former member of Kiro Catholic Youth Group and the Saint Ignatius Choir in Croix-des-Bouquets. I am passionate about sports, reading, and music.
“I entered the Society of Jesus to follow Jesus wholeheartedly by serving others through the vision of St. Ignatius.”
I am from Port-Magot, a department in northern Haiti. I am 22 years old and finished my formal studies in 2017. I have taught catechesis at Collège Saint Bertin and Collège Sainte Thérèse in Port-Margot. I love music.
“After much reflection and discernment, I decided to enter the Society of Jesus in order to respond freely, fully, and consciously to the Lord’s call to serve Him, serve the Church, and serve the world. Another motivation is to better know and live Ignatian spirituality and the Jesuit charism.”