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
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
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
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.
Travis Neuman, SJ
Travis earned a bachelor’s in history/social studies from Western Washington University, and most recently worked as a licensed practical nurse in Buckley, Washington. His first contact with the Jesuits was through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Boston back in 2004-2005. When not singing while passing meds to his patients, Travis volunteers in various roles at his parish, practices piano and explores day hikes near Mount Rainier. He is currently completing his First Studies at St Louis University.
Jose Oros, SJ
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.
Alexander Phan, SJ
Alex earned a bachelor’s in biomedical engineering from the University of California, Irvine and a master’s in physician assistant (PA) practice from the University of Southern California. He completed additional training at the Norwalk Hospital/Yale University PA Surgical Residency. Afterward, he practiced as a cardiothoracic surgery PA. He was active in the Vietnamese Christian Life Community, serving in the young adult ministry and training leaders for youth retreats. Alex enjoys cooking, hiking, and camping. He is currently completing his First Studies at Loyola University Chicago.
Collin Price, SJ
Collin grew up in Pasco, Washington, where he attended Tri-Cities Prep Catholic high school. He received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Gonzaga University in 2015 and worked in Spokane as a civil engineer for two years. His desire to become a Jesuit was sparked by a SEEL retreat through St. Aloysius parish, and he is attracted to the Jesuits’ commitment to stand with people on the margins. He has traveled to Zambia and Kenya assisting with community development projects and has played in a rock band for five years. He enjoys traveling, cooking, nature, craft beer, and watching Gonzaga basketball. He is currently completing his First Studies at Loyola University Chicago.
Nicholas Russell, SJ
Nick graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and a master’s degree from CSU, Long Beach. He has spent the last 14 years of his life teaching and coaching competitive speech and debate, first as a graduate assistant and then as a program director. A convert to Catholicism, Nick discovered the Jesuits through a Spiritual Exercises program at a local parish. His passions include reading, running, and learning to play the guitar. He is currently completing his First Studies at Loyola University Chicago.
John Paul Kegod Sacedor, SJ
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.