Become a Jesuit
The Jesuits West Province’s robust vocation team is made of up of eight Jesuits, led by director Fr. Radmar Jao, SJ. Fr. Julian Climaco, SJ, serves as a full-time promoter based in Los Angeles, and six other Jesuits serve as part-time promoters spread out across the Province. Meet the vocation team below.
Fr. Radmar Jao, SJ
Fr. Jao previously served in the former California Province as a vocation promoter for two years after he was ordained to the priesthood in 2011. He then served as a campus minister at St. Paul's Catholic Student Center at Boise State University in Idaho.
Before becoming a Jesuit. Fr Jao was an actor and appeared in “Seinfeld,” among other roles. He says he became a Jesuit because, “I think it taps into a deep desire for something more, for something greater.” He credits his great grandmother teaching him to pray in Spanish when he was just three years old as planting the seeds for his vocation.
Fr. Julian Climaco, SJ
Fr. Climaco was ordained in 2015 and then served as associate pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Seattle for three years. Fr. Climaco was born in the Philippines and immigrated to the United States with his family when he was 10. Before joining the Jesuits, he worked as a nurse.
Fr. Climaco discovered his vocation after watching the film “The Passion of the Christ” and realizing he wanted to give something more to the Church. On the eve of Palm Sunday 2004, Fr. Climaco received an email about the film, which included a link to the Jesuits in Asia website, where he read about the Society of Jesus and found his calling.
Mr. Kyle Baker, SJ
Baker is currently in his first year of Regency working at the St. Paul Catholic Newman Center at Boise State University, after completing philosophy studies at Fordham University in the Bronx, New York. Before joining the Jesuits in 2016, he worked as an elementary school teacher, a coach, an educational consultant and as chief of staff at Carroll College in Helena, Montana, his alma mater.
Baker described his own vocational discernment as “a process of acknowledging that God loved me and trying to figure out how I would live out my life in response to that love.”
Fr. Greg Celio, SJ
Fr. Celio was ordained in July 2020 and his first assignment as a priest is working at Seattle Preparatory School, in addition to assisting in vocation promotion. Fr. Celio has a bachelor's in history and a master's in education from the University of Notre Dame and taught at Catholic schools in Nashville before joining the Jesuits in 2009. During his Jesuit formation, he taught at Bellarmine Preparatory School in Tacoma, Washington, did first studies at Saint Louis University and studied Spanish in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Fr. Andrew Laguna, SJ
Fr. Laguna was ordained in June 2019 and then studied Spanish in Mexico for several months before starting his current assignment as an associate pastor at Most Holy Trinity Church in San Jose, California. As an undergrad at the University of California, Irvine, Fr. Laguna was pre-med but during his senior year began considering a vocation to the priesthood after learning more about Ignatian spirituality and the Society of Jesus at the University Catholic Community. During his Jesuit formation, he taught and coached at St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco.
Fr. Francis Nguyen, SJ
Fr. Nguyen was ordained in June 2019 and now serves as an associate pastor at Most Holy Trinity Church in San Jose in addition to promoting vocations. Fr. Nguyen was born in Vietnam and immigrated with his family to Seattle when he was 6. His desire to join the Jesuits was inspired by the lives of the Vietnamese Martyrs, the love of his grandfather and the joy of the Jesuits in the Seattle University community.
His Jesuit formation included giving retreats through the Ignatian Spirituality Project for people experiencing homelessness in Chicago and teaching math and theology and working in campus ministry at Seattle Prep.
Fr. Matthew Pyrć, SJ
Fr. Pyrć is completing his Tertianship in South Africa and will serve as a part-time promoter in Seattle. Before entering the Society in 2006, he worked for 10 years with the Spokane Public School System on a dropout prevention program for underserved youth. Since becoming a Jesuit, Fr. Pyrc has worked in campus ministry at Seattle University and taught and was director of liturgy at Jesuit High School in Sacramento.
Fr. Manh Tran, SJ
Fr. Tran currently serves as associate director of the Newman Center Catholic Community at the University of California San Diego. Ordained a priest in 2004, Fr. Tran has served as an associate campus minister at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and a campus minister at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California. Fr. Tran said that the greatest grace of his Jesuit vocation is being able to “encounter many faces of God” in his various ministries.