Become a Jesuit
The Society of Jesus is a community of priests and brothers dedicated to the service of God and the Church for the betterment of the world around us. No matter what our work, from university to infirmary to the service of refugees, it is for the glory of God and the help and salvation of souls. Within the Society of Jesus, there is a great variety of voices, an array of talents, but we are all at the service of the call and the mission. Some are gifted at social analysis, others at immediate and effective working with people at the margins of life or society. Many are scholars, many are missionaries. Whether teaching, preaching, giving the sacraments or praying for the society, our voices are as varied as the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, but there must be one message: to love God with all our hearts and to love our neighbours as ourselves.
To a young man who wishes to be a Jesuit, I would say
“Stay at home if this idea makes you unsettled or nervous. Do not come to us if you love the Church like a stepmother rather than a mother. Do not come if you think that in so doing you will be doing the Society of Jesus a favour.
Come if serving Christ is at the very centre of your life. Come if you have broad and sufficiently strong shoulders. Come if you have an open spirit, a reasonably open mind and a heart larger than the world. Come if you know how to tell a joke and can laugh with others and … on occasions you can laugh at yourself.”
Fr Pedro Arrupe SJ,
Superior General 1965–1983
So whilst Jesuits training for the priesthood (scholastics) undertake the study of philosophy and theology required for ordination (see the table below), and Jesuit brothers will do similar studies, both Jesuit scholastics and Brothers may also do a whole range of other sorts of formation that make them better servants of Christ’s Kingdom.
A typical pattern of formation
|Brother||Scholastic leading to ordination|
|Novitiate for 2 years||Novitiate for 2 years|
|1st Vows||1st Vows|
|Formation for ministry with studies in philosophy and Theology and other areas of Apostolic Work||Philosophy studies for 2 years|
|Regency – apostolic work for 2 or 3 years|
|Theology studies for 4 years often abroad|
|Diaconate Ordination after the 3rd year of Theology followed by Priestly ordination|
|Apostolic work to ground priestly ministry|
|Tertianship: the final part of Jesuit formation. Lasts for 6 to 8 months, and includes the 30 day retreat first done in the Novitiate||Final Vows|
If you are interested in learning more about being or becoming a Jesuit, please do contact one of the following vocation directors.