The call to be a Jesuit is a call to follow Jesus Christ in the footsteps of St. Ignatius Loyola:
- bringing faith to a world that is full of doubt
- witnessing to hope in an age which so often lacks vision
- reaching out in love especially to those forgotten or on the margins.
Becoming a Jesuit is a lifetime project, whose sole aim is to love and serve God. Pedro Arrupe, one of our last superiors general, said to a young man who wished to join de Society of Jesus:
“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.”
When we speak of vocation, we recall Jesus calling the apostles. Jesuits strive to live as Jesus did, answering his call to serve others and working to build a just world.
This was the experience of Saint Ignatius of Loyola and his companions when the Society of Jesus was approved in 1540. It is the call that today’s Jesuit brothers and priests all around the world follow.
Participating in this mission means working for the promotion of faith, which goes hand in hand with a concern for justice, in many countries and cultures. In the Jesuit tradition, this requires a good formation for deepening one’s spirituality and knowledge to better serve others.
The Jesuits invite you to imagine your life without limits. When someone is considering the possibility of following this vocation, prayer and reflection are vital to make a good decision. Some helpful questions you might already want to ask yourself are:
- Where do your desires and passion lead you?
- Are there any Gospel passages that motivate you to consider religious life?
- How is God inviting you to share your gifts as part of Christ’s mission?
- Could you help in serving faith and promoting justice in the Church?
- Is the Society of Jesus right for you?
“Have you sometimes heard the voice of the Lord which through a desire, a certain restlessness, invites you to follow him more closely? Have you had any desire to be apostles of Jesus?”