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When a man finishes the novitiate, he takes his vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Jesuits who are going on to studies that lead to priestly ordination are called scholastics. Some men are brothers, who serve the Church in a variety of ways, with the exception of sacramental ministry. The period of first studies allows the newly-vowed Jesuit a time to integrate his intellectual and spiritual growth.

In the United States, scholastics and brothers usually enroll at Fordham University in New York, Loyola University Chicago, or Saint Louis University. Others might study abroad. Some men may finish work on a bachelor’s degree, while most others work on a master’s degree in philosophy, and all begin their study of theology. While study is their principal apostolate during these years, they also serve the ministry needs of the local church, perhaps assisting in prison chaplaincy or staffing a homeless shelter.

Christopher Casaneda, SJ

Murrieta, California

Chris earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Cal Poly Pomona. Chris earned his professional engineering license in California and has worked as a design engineer, specializing in stormwater and water quality, for the past twelve years in the Inland Empire. He served as a sacristan and was involved in the Divine Mercy prayer group at his local parish. Chris enjoys playing/watching sports (especially soccer), fishing, and working out. He is currently in First Studies at Loyola University Chicago.

Cyrus Habib, SJ

Seattle, Washington

Cyrus earned a bachelor’s in English literature and Middle Eastern studies at Columbia University, a Master of Letters in English at Oxford and a law degree at Yale. Over the past decade he has practiced law, taught at Seattle University and served as a legislator and as the Lt. Governor of Washington state. An only child, his faith is rooted in the love he received from his parents, from the community of faith he found at Seattle’s St. James Cathedral Parish and from his desire to serve those on the margins. He enjoys music and books of all genres and traveling to new places. He is currently in First Studies at Loyola University Chicago.

Kevin Lee, SJ

Charlottesville, Virginia

Kevin is from Virginia, but has called five states home. After he graduated from the University of Virginia with bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and physics, Kevin joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, serving as the youth minister at Dolores Mission Parish in Los Angeles. Kevin enjoys board games, video games and turning whatever he can find into a percussion instrument. He is currently in First Studies at Fordham University.

Jose Oros Ponce, SJ

Santa Maria, California

Jose graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a bachelor’s in psychology. After graduation Jose worked at Catholic Charities as a client resources coordinator in assisting low-income families with basic needs and support. He volunteered in two of his local parishes, helping in confirmation, youth ministry and hospitality for Mass. Jose enjoys company with friends, grounding (a therapeutic technique for relaxation and reducing stress) at the beach and walking his pugs, Milo and Simba. He is currently in First Studies at Fordham University.

John Paul Kegod Sacedor, SJ

Centralia, Washington

John Paul graduated from Ateneo de Davao University in the Philippines with a bachelor’s in interdisciplinary studies and a minor in language and literature. There, he worked as a sacristan in the university chapel, where he also served as a choir member, lector and altar server. He was drawn to the Jesuits through the example of the priests at the Jesuit community in Davao. Previously, he volunteered as a catechist at St. Mary’s Parish in Centralia and as an assistant at the L’Arche community in Tacoma. He enjoys history, music and reading. He is currently undertaking First Studies at St. Louis University in Missouri.

Pierre Vu Thompson, SJ

Richmond, California

Pierre earned a bachelor’s in foreign service at Georgetown University and a master’s in peace studies at Uppsala University in Sweden. The Jesuits taught him a way of listening to God and walking with his people. Over the past decade, he has organized and advocated for community development, immigration services and integral disarmament. A Rotarian, he is drawn to diverse peoples, cultures and languages in the spirit of fraternity. He is currently undertaking First Studies at ITESO University of Guadalajara in Mexico.

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