It’s a simple yet profound answer to the question, What’s the meaning of life? And yet, by the very fact that this statement is made at the beginning of the Exercises, it’s safe to say that discovering the meaning of our own unique existence still demands quite a bit of work.
But what our passions and desires reveal about the gifts God has given us, why we’ve been given these particular gifts for this precise moment in human history and how we might put these gifts to work for God’s greater glory — these are questions of meaning that are still very much on the table. God, in the person of Jesus Christ, extends to us a hand of friendship. We are invited to accept that hand, to allow Christ to accompany us in discovering the meaning of our life.
And the Jesuits, having spent nearly 500 years striving to know, love and serve Jesus, are passionate about helping others do the same — and in so doing, helping others discover God’s dream for their lives.
In this episode of “AMDG: A Jesuit Podcast,” Fr. Andrew Laguna, SJ, reflects on how his role as a vocation promoter brings him joy.
The USA East Province is one of the five provinces in the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, incorporating Eastern part of the United States from Maine to Georgia and the District of Columbia. Jesuits from the UEA Province also live and serve in Micronesia and Fiji. The province includes colleges & universities like the College of the Holy Cross and Georgetown University, high schools like Fordham Preparatory School and Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Baltimore, and a number of pre-secondary schools, parishes, retreat centers, and various other works.
Fr. Sean Hagerty, SJ, is the vocation promoter for the UEA Province. That means that Fr. Hagerty is responsible for accompanying men who are discerning a life in the Society of Jesus. He joined the Jesuits in 2012, after having served in the U.S. army. He has ministered in prisons, campus ministries and hospitals, and conducted research into just war, moral injury and the reintegration of soldiers into the Catholic community. He was just ordained a priest in 2022.
Fr. Hagerty is happy to answer YOUR questions about Jesuit life! Feel free to email him directly at email@example.com, or better yet, submit your information on the above form and someone from Fr. Hagerty’s team will get back to you ASAP.
The USA West Province is one of the five provinces in the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States. It comprises ten states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. Jesuits in the west are a diverse group of men who serve Christ and his Church in 19 educational institutions, 13 parishes, 2 retreat centers, and other social and pastoral ministries like Homeboy Industries, Jesuit Restorative Justice Initiative (JRJI), Kino Border Initiative (KBI), Native American Missions, and Christus Ministries for young adults, to name a few.
Fr. Andrew Laguna, SJ, is the vocation promoter for the US West Province. That means that he is responsible for accompanying men who are discerning a life in the Society of Jesus. He has been a Jesuit for thirteen years and a priest for two years. Over the course of that time he has taught high school theology and coached running; worked and traveled with Jesuits in Latin America; and served as a parochial vicar at parishes in San Diego and San Jose, CA.
Fr. Andrew is here to answer your questions about Jesuit life! Submit your information, and he will get back to you as soon as possible.
Fr. Robert Murphy, SJ, grew up in the suburbs of New Orleans, LA. He met the Society of Jesus at Jesuit High School. At the University of South Alabama in Mobile, he earned a Bachelors of Science in Physical Therapy. While working as a staff physical therapist in Laurel, MS, he became a Certified Athletic Trainer. In 2003, he entered the Jesuit novitiate in Grand Coteau, LA. After taking first vows in 2005, he earned his Doctor of Physical Therapy at Saint Louis University while also studing philosophy. In addition, he spent time in El Salvador studying Spanish. While in regency at Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas, he served as director of campus ministry, a teacher of Spanish, and a coach of soccer. In 2011, he was sent to Boston College where he earned a Masters in Divinity and License in Sacred Theology. He was ordained a priest in 2014 and spent his first year at a bilingual parish in San Antonio, TX. After he returned to Saint Louis University, to serve as the campus minister for health care students and coordinator of the retreat program. After time Ireland and Kenya, he joined the vocations team in 2020. He enjoys running as well as playing and watching sports. He also likes traveling, cooking, and watching comic book movies and shows.
Fr. Joseph Hill, SJ, was born in Phoenix, AZ, the third of four sons of an American mother and a Canadian father. At nine years old he moved to England. He met the Jesuits in high school at Stonyhurst College. He attended the University of Oxford, earning a degree in theology in 2003. In 2004 he entered the Jesuit novitiate in south Louisiana. After taking first vows in 2006, he studied a Master’s in philosophy at Fordham University in New York. For regency, he then spent three years teaching theology at Jesuit High School, New Orleans. In 2012 he was sent to study theology at FAJE in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, earning a master’s degree in 2014. He returned to Boston, MA, earning a MEd at Boston College in 2015. He was ordained a Catholic priest on June 13th, 2015. For one year he was associate pastor at Parroquia San Ignacio in San Juan, Puerto Rico and chaplain of the parish elementary school. From 2016 to 2021 he taught theology and directed campus ministry at St. Louis University High School in St. Louis. He joined the vocation promotion team in 2021. Fr. Joseph loves teaching, giving retreats and leading pilgrimages to holy sites. In his free time he enjoys reading, playing sports, hanging out with friends, and travelling to exotic places.
Fr. Michael Wegenka, SJ, was born in Midland, Michigan, lived briefly in Carmel, Indiana, and grew up in Katy, Texas. He attended Strake Jesuit College Preparatory school and entered the Society of Jesus when he was 18. He received a B.A. in Philosophy and English Literature from Fordham University in 2011. He taught British Literature and Sacred Scripture to sophomores at Regis Jesuit High School in Centennial, Colorado for three years and then received an M.Div. from Boston College in 2017. He completed an S.T.L. in Historical/Systematic Theology at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and was ordained a priest in 2018. After spending a year as an associate pastor at St. Charles Borromeo parish in Grand Coteau, Louisiana, he served for three years as the Pastoral Director at his alma mater, Strake Jesuit College Preparatory in Houston. He became a vocation promoter in 2022 and now lives in Denver. He enjoys reading and discussing a Catholic novel, skiing, beating his older brother’s time in half-marathons, and spending as much time as possible near the Great Lakes or the mountains of Colorado and Wyoming.
They are ready to answer your questions about Jesuit life. Submit your information, and Fr. Murphy, Fr. Hill and Fr. Wegenka will get back to you as soon as possible.
The U.S. Central and Southern Province is one of five provinces in the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States. The province encompasses 13 states from Florida to Colorado, the territory of Puerto Rico and the nation of Belize. We serve the people of God in seven retreat and spirituality centers and 14 parishes. We carry on the tradition of Jesuit education in six institutions of higher education, 12 secondary schools, a middle school and a social research institute.
The Province of Canada is one of the five Jesuit provinces in the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, incorporating all ten Canadian provinces and three territories. It includes Campion College in Regina, Loyola High School in Montreal, Manresa Jesuit Spiritual Renewal Centre in Pickering, and Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Toronto.
Fr. Edmund Lo, SJ, is the vocation promoter for the Canada Province and also Haiti. That means that Fr. Edmund is responsible for accompanying men who are discerning a life in the Society of Jesus. He’s been a Jesuit priest for two-plus years. Over the course of that time he’s mainly worked with young adults across Canada, busying himself with campus ministry in universities, directing retreats for young adults and giving workshops on Ignatian spirituality, particularly on St. Ignatius’ rules for discernment of spirits.
Brother Dan Leckman, SJ is a vocation promoter for the Canadian province. That means that Daniel is responsible for accompanying men who are discerning a life in the Society of Jesus. He’s been a Jesuit Brother for 10 years. Over the course of that time he’s acted as spiritual director, has run and developed retreats, and has taught catechism to children and adults. Daniel is here to answer YOUR questions about Jesuit life! Submit your information, and he will get back to you ASAP.
Fr. John O’Brien, SJ, is the vocation director for the Canada Province. That means that Fr. O’Brien is responsible for guiding men who are discerning a life in the Society of Jesus through the application process. He’s been a Jesuit priest since 2017. Over the course of that time he’s given many Ignatian retreats to young adults and professionals across the country
These Jesuits are here to answer YOUR questions about Jesuit life! Submit your information, and one of them will get back to you ASAP.
Br. Matt Wooters, SJ is a native of Washington, DC. He joined the Jesuits in 2012 after graduating from John Carroll University. After college, he served for two years with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Belize. His graduate degrees are in Social Work and Theology from Saint Louis University and Santa Clara University, respectively. Br. Matt has spent most of his life working with folks experiencing homelessness, migrants, and those struggling with addiction. He is an open water swimmer, a sometimes podcaster, and a lover of stand-up comedy.
Fr. Eric was ordained a priest in June of 2022, and his first assignment is working with the vocation team for the Midwest Province. A native of Green Bay, WI, Eric’s Jesuit life has taken him to Boston, Chicago, and St. Paul. He’s studied Education, Philosophy, and Theology at the graduate level, and is currently working toward a degree in Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University in New Orleans, LA. In his free time, he enjoys exercise, reading and writing, playing the drums, singing, and watching sitcoms (especially Brooklyn 99, New Girl, and Parks & Recreation). In the past year, he picked up two new hobbies: Spikeball and squash.
Br. Matt and Fr. Eric accompany men considering a life in the Society of Jesus, serving across 12 states in the Midwest. They are passionate about sharing information on Jesuit life, answering questions, and accompanying people in discernment. Reach out, and they’ll get back to you ASAP.
The Midwest Province is one of the five provinces in the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States. It comprises twelve states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Midwest Jesuits work at high schools, retreat centers, parishes, universities, and other ministries. If you watch March Madness, you probably recognize Midwest Jesuit universities like Creighton, Marquette, Xavier, and Loyola Chicago.