Having recently completed my first year of guiding and accompanying our men in formation, I feel richly blessed with the opportunity to see our Jesuit mission and service through their eyes—while gently opening their eyes to the incredible opportunities for mission and service that still lie ahead of them.
Over these recent months, I have been blessed to see pictures of one of our newly ordained priests baptize a baby in the River Jordan, while also hearing how another scholastic approaching ordination to the priesthood is able to see “Galilee in Boston” through the course of his studies and ministries. One regent teaching and coaching at a high school conveys his joy at “seeing the excitement in the faces of his students when they improve their performance,” and another, serving in the remote mountains of a far-off land, finds that his mission there is the result of an earlier calling that led him to say, “I can see myself here someday.” A novice who just professed first vows shares how—upon seeing his parents at the vows Mass—he rejoiced in knowing that he was their son and the fact that he now gets to give himself entirely to God. Another young scholastic in first studies sees his summer serving immigrants at U.S.-Mexico border as “an expansion of heart that can only come through closeness with the poor.” These, and so many other “glimpses of the Kingdom,” give me an inspiring sense of hope for the future of our province, the Society of Jesus, and our Church, and I’m thrilled to share this hope with you, our dear partners who do so much to make this promising future possible.
This year the Midwest Province is blessed to have 16 young men studying at our novitiate in St. Paul, Minnesota; 10 are first year novices, and six are in their second year. Over the course of approximately a decade, these men will be educated, tested, and transformed to become salt, light, and leaven for our seemingly dark, wearisome world. As the Midwest Jesuits’ provincial assistant for formation, I feel richly blessed to accompany each Jesuit through this formative journey. What a grace to be able to humbly, yet genuinely, exclaim, “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of Our Lord!”
The cost of forming a Jesuit from the time they enter as novices to the completion of formation reaches $525,000 each. I encourage you to join the Midwest Province Jesuits in praying for our men in formation and supporting this program. Each Jesuit has opened his heart to God’s call and is ready to pray, “Thy Kingdom Come,” while offering their very lives to aid its arrival.
I am pleased to report that we again have more than 80 Jesuits in formation this year, and I am grateful that with your continued support we will be able to meet them with the necessary resources. I thank you for your gifts to and prayers for the Midwest Province. And I assure you of our prayers as well.
Yours gratefully in Christ,
Fr. Charles V. Rodrigues, SJ
Provincial Assistant for Formation