News Detail
“There is nothing as powerful as happy, fulfilled priests and religious. That is contagious. That attracts.” — Boston College president, Jesuit Father William P. Leahy
New Boston College Report Examines Influence of College Experiences on Vocations

July 7, 2014 — Twelve of the 19 Jesuit priests ordained in the U.S. this summer attended Catholic colleges, highlighting a trend found in a new Boston College study, “College Experience and Priesthood.”

According to the study, men who pursue vocations to the priesthood are likely to have been encouraged by a priest and are more likely to have attended a Catholic college or university. Students at these universities encountered priests as professors and had more access to Masses and spiritual directors, compared to those who attended a non-Catholic college.

Boston College, along with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, interviewed more than 1,500 seminarians and recently-ordained men across the United States for the study. Other key findings: 350,000 never-married Catholic men have “very seriously” considered the priesthood, a figure much higher than previously reported.

In light of these results, the report calls for greater cooperation and communication among members of the church community to encourage vocations to the priesthood. The study provides specific recommendations for developing a stronger “culture of vocations” on college campuses, such as encouraging more priests, brothers and sisters to teach courses; building more vibrant and welcoming campus ministry programs; offering more opportunities for spiritual direction; and increasing outreach to non-Catholic campuses.

Newly-ordained Jesuit Father Quentin Dupont joined the Society of Jesus as a direct result of his experience at Santa Clara University, where Jesuits live in dorms side by side with students. "Seeing those guys in the dorms and how happy and welcoming they were — that was huge,” he said. Jesuit Fathers Michael Rozier and Mario Powell, also ordained this June, came to know the Jesuits through their undergraduate years at Saint Louis University and Boston College, respectively. To provide an alternative way to get to know the Jesuits, the vocations website of the Society of Jesus in the United States features interactive conversational videos with Jesuit priests and brothers.

“There is nothing as powerful as happy, fulfilled priests and religious. That is contagious. That attracts,” wrote Boston College president, Jesuit Father William P. Leahy, in the report. “We, as a group, need to live in hope and with faith … It is critical that every diocese, archdiocese, or religious community have a strategic plan for fostering and promoting vocations.” [Source: Boston College]


Recent News

July 30, 2014 — The Society of Jesus in the U.S. is calling on Congressional representatives who graduated from U.S. Jesuit schools to protect children fleeing violence in Central America.

July 28, 2014 — Fr. Thomas Smolich, SJ, has been appointed International Director of JRS starting on November 1, 2015.

July 30, 2014 — The Institute of Jesuit Sources is moving from its longtime home in St. Louis to Boston College’s Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies.

July 29, 2014 — Jesuit Father Robert Hussey, an economics professor who’s also bilingual, is the new provincial of the Maryland Province Jesuits.

July 25, 2014 — The letter called for protection for the thousands of children fleeing violence in Central America.

July 21, 2014 — Jesuit Father Scott Santarosa is taking on a new assignment as the provincial of the Oregon Province Jesuits.

July 18, 2014 — More than 1,200 graduates of Jesuit schools are calling on fellow alumni in the U.S. House of Representatives to act on fair immigration reform.

view all news

Search news

Publications
Since St. Ignatius bought a printing press in 1556, the Jesuits have been involved in communications. Today the Society of Jesus publishes a number of award-winning journals and publications. Click below to access our latest issues.

America - 7/7/14

America - 6/23/14

America - 6/9/14



Our Lady of the Oaks Retreat House
Our Lady of the Oaks Retreat House, located in Grand Coteau, La., has provided a beautiful setting for retreats since 1938.