A Heart on Fire - Reflections

Thomas Bambrick, SJ
Thomas Bambrick, SJ
Entrance: August 28, 2010 Ordination: June 12, 2021

Thomas Bambrick, SJ, reflects on his Jesuit formation and the value of philosophy studies in preparing him to serve others.

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Jose "Chuy" Camacho, SJ
José “Chuy” Camacho, SJ
Entrance August 16, 2014

José "Chuy" Camacho, SJ, moved to the United States from Mexico when he was 10 and entered the US Navy when he graduated from high school. By the time he was 39, his faith was calling him to a new life.

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Adam DeLeon, SJ
Adam DeLeon, SJ
Entrance: August 24, 2004 Ordination: June 13, 2015

Adam DeLeon, SJ, first felt a call to the priesthood during his grade school years in Cleveland, OH. It continued throughout his years at Cleveland’s St. Ignatius High and at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA.

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Matthew Donovan, SJ
Matthew Donovan, SJ
Entrance: August 27, 2011

My vocation to the Jesuits initially unnerved me. One clear winter morning, a simple question floated into my consciousness: “Why not a Jesuit?”

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Dan Dixon, SJ
Dan Dixon, SJ
Entrance: August 25, 2012

My single greatest hesitation in entering the Jesuit novitiate had nothing to do with vows of poverty, chastity, or obedience. It was all the moving around that got me. “Can you really form lasting and loving relationships while constantly on the road?”

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Pierce Gibson SJ
Entrance: August 16, 2014

I had toyed with the idea of the priesthood and religious life for some years, but my discernment had grown much more serious of late. And while my attraction to the priesthood was sincere, so was my aversion to being a parish priest. I enjoyed academics, and I wanted to teach.

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Garrett Gundlach, SJ
Garrett Gundlach, SJ
Entrance: August 28, 2010 Ordination: June 12, 2021

Jesuit regent Garrett Gundlach's formation and work at Red Cloud Indian School helps him surrender his steps to God's desires.

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Luke Hansen, SJ
Luke Hansen, SJ
Entrance: August 20, 2005 Ordination: June 3, 2017

Luke Hansen did not even know what a Jesuit was until a game of darts in college, when he met a priest who encouraged him to apply to the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. Years later, Luke is preparing for ordination as a Jesuit priest after accompanying former Guantánamo Bay prisoners in Bermuda and serving all over the country.

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Br. Ken Homan, SJ
Br. Ken Homan, SJ
Entrance: August 28, 2010

Br. Ken Homan, SJ, recounts his journey to becoming a modern Jesuit brother and explores why God called him to this particular vocation.

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Eric Immel, SJ
Eric Immel, SJ
Entrance: August 27, 2011

Eric Immel, SJ, talks about his time serving the Lakota Sioux on the Rosebud Indian Reservation.

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David Inczauskis, SJ
David Inczauskis, SJ
Entrance: August 16, 2014

David Inczauskis, SJ, arrived at Oxford University with a deep love of the Gospels and St. Paul’s letters but little knowledge of how to pray in a personal way. Everything changed when a Jesuit priest entered the picture, bringing him to a personal relationship with Christ and helping him discover his own vocation in the Society of Jesus.

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Matthew Ippel, SJ
Matthew Ippel, SJ
Entrance: August 24, 2013

Matthew Ippel, SJ, reflects on how his encounters with others during his Jesuit life have laid a claim on him.

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Erin Kast, SJ
Erin Kast, SJ
Entrance: August 15, 2015

Ever since middle school I had loved science, but I also remembered many of the stories my mom told of the Jesuits she knew in India. So in high school when I first thought of a religious vocation the Jesuits came to mind immediately, even though I’d never met one!

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Daniel Kennedy, SJ
Daniel Kennedy, SJ
Entrance: August 25, 2012

We as a Church commemorate the moment Jesus went into the wilderness of the desert because the Spirit was leading him (Mk 1:12). I find the image of the Spirit leading Jesus powerful and true for all of us.  My vocation in the Society has been where I am able to see the Spirit leading me beyond my awareness in the moment.

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Lukas Laniauskas, SJ
Lukas Laniauskas, SJ
Entrance: September 11, 2004 Ordination: June 13, 2015

Lukas Laniauskas, SJ, explains how serving as chaplain to the Berkeley Fire Department is the perfect parallel to his life journey as a Jesuit.

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Minh-Hoang Le, SJ
Minh-Hoang Le, SJ
Entrance: August 24, 2013

Bugs and endless rain greeted Jesuit Minh-Hoang Le when he arrived to teach in Northeast India. Months later, he still carries his students' simple joy, an example that can transform each of our lives.

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Br. Mark Mackey, SJ
Br. Mark Mackey, SJ
Entrance: August 15, 2015

I have two early childhood memories, one of my mom waking me up with a simple prayer and the other of catching frogs and salamanders in our backyard creek. Interestingly, God was clearly present in both moments. Nature and spirituality have been intertwined in my faith journey since its beginning.

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Jack McLinden, SJ
Jack McLinden, SJ
Entrance: August 16, 2014

“If I saw You on the street / and You said come and follow me…” These words from the song “You Can Have Me” by Sidewalk Prophets came on the radio one summer day. I had just graduated from St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, Ohio, and the words spoke to me in a life-changing way.

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Bryan Y. Norton, SJ
Bryan Y. Norton, SJ
Entrance: August 23, 2008 Ordination: June 8, 2019

Jesuit Bryan Y. Norton reflects on his past years as a Jesuit, and the gratitude he has for his life in the Society of Jesus.

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Thomas O’Donnell IV, SJ
Entrance: August 16, 2014

While at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, I embraced many of the freedoms college offers, but I failed to develop my spiritual life in any way beyond an occasional prayer to God for a date to go well or for an A on an exam. After graduating, I moved to Chicago to work for a financial firm. I was achieving my goals, yet I felt deeply unfulfilled by life.

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Aaron Pierre, SJ
Aaron Pierre, SJ
Entrance: August 25, 2012

Aaron Pierre, SJ, reflects on his prison ministry and shares how God's grace enabled him to find those inevitable points of human connection that eclipse the imaginary chasms which separate us from one another.

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Conan Rainwater, SJ
Entrance: August 15, 2015

What can all happen while sharing a meal together? For Christ, it was when he gave of himself at the Last Supper; for me, it is where I realized I needed to give of myself and enter the Jesuits as well as experienced unity among diversity.

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Heart on Fire: Trevor Rainwater, SJ
Trevor Rainwater, SJ
Entrance: August 28, 2010 Ordination: June 12, 2021

Trevor Rainwater, SJ, attended Creighton University where he first encountered Jesuits. Delighted to meet this group of men who shared a deep love of Christ but, at the same time, were involved in a variety of professions, Trevor decided to enter the Society of Jesus in August 2010.

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Michael Rossmann, SJ
Michael Rossmann, SJ
Entrance: August 18, 2007 Ordination: June 3, 2017

A jack-of-all trades, Michael Rossmann, SJ teaches, coaches and gives retreats at Loyola High School in Dar es Salaam.

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Joe Simmons, SJ
Joe Simmons, SJ
Entrance: August 26, 2006 Ordination: June 3, 2017

Joe Simmons, SJ, offers a lighthearted look at what life is like as one of the "Men in Black."

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Christopher Staab, SJ
Christopher Staab, SJ
Entrance: August 20, 2005 Ordination: June 3, 2017

After studying philosophy in Lima, Peru and teaching at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago, Christopher Staab, SJ, finds himself a full time student of theology in the city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Read his reflection on finding beauty in simplicity on his journey through Jesuit formation.

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Vincent L. Strand, SJ
Vincent L. Strand, SJ
Entrance: August 20, 2005 Ordination: June 4, 2016

Vincent L. Strand, SJ, who entered the Jesuits after graduating from Marquette University in 2005, reflects on the experience of living and studying theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

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Jeffrey Sullivan, SJ
Jeffrey Sullivan, SJ
Entrance: August 29, 2009 Ordination: June 12, 2021

After nine years of Jesuit formation, it is still clear to me that my Jesuit formation actually started with my parents. Even before I joined the Society of Jesus, my parents’ quiet and steadfast persistence in their work, family, and faith had modeled the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

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Damian Torres-Botello, SJ
Damian Torres-Botello, SJ
Entrance: August 25, 2012

"What are the differences between a job, a career, and a vocation?" Damian Torres-Botello, SJ, reflects on his desire to serve others through his Jesuit vocation.

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Br. Matt Wooters, SJ
Br. Matt Wooters, SJ
Entrance: August 25, 2012

When I was in the third grade, I happened upon a book about St. Isaac Jogues, the 17th century Jesuit missionary, getting flogged, flayed, and having his fingers chewed off on a mission to “New France.”  It was perfect for an eight-year-old boy with a penchant for reading and dreams of being a world explorer. Though, at the time I couldn’t for the life of me understand why someone would choose to go through such an ordeal!

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