Society of Jesus in U.S. Welcomes Largest Group of Jesuit Novices in a Decade

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43 New U.S. Novices Join Largest Order of Catholic Priests and Brothers

A few of the novices entering the Jesuits in 2016

A few of the novices entering the Jesuits in 2016

The increasing number of novices is always an encouraging sign that faith is alive in a new generation.

This fall, the Society of Jesus (also known as the Jesuits), the largest order of priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic Church, welcomed 43 men as novices in the U.S., the largest group in the last decade. Of the 43 men who entered, 19 (or 44%) are Jesuit educated, having attended one of the Jesuits’ 28 colleges or 73 secondary and pre-secondary schools in the U.S.

Jesuit novices arrived at novitiates in Culver City, California; Grand Coteau, Louisiana; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Syracuse, New York, for a rite of passage known as Entrance Day. For the next two years, the novices will spend time praying, working and learning about God, the Jesuits, each other and themselves. The journey from novice to Jesuit priest or brother, a process called formation, can take anywhere from eight to 12 years. It involves years of study and service to the poor and marginalized — in homeless shelters, hospitals and prisons.

“This year, the Society of Jesus accepted one of the largest novice classes in the past decade. The increasing number of novices is always an encouraging sign that faith is alive in a new generation,” said Fr. Timothy P. Kesicki, SJ, president of the Jesuit Conference, the organization that represents the Society of Jesus in Canada and the U.S. “These new Jesuits join their brother novices from around the world, who give witness to the vitality of Jesuit life.”

Novices complete a number of “experiments,” experiences recommended by St. Ignatius, founder of the Jesuits, such as working in Jesuit ministries, serving the poor and marginalized and traveling overseas to experience the Society in another country. They complete some form of a pilgrimage and often serve at Jesuit high schools, colleges or retreat houses.

Following are the 43 men entering the Society of Jesus in the U.S.:

Christopher Alt (Oshkosh, WI)
Michael Bachmeier (Woodland, CA)
Kyle Baker (Helena, MT)
Mark Blancke (Monroe, MI)
Adam Bryan (Lima, OH)
Ryan Caesar (Palm Harbor, FL)
Anthony Cortese (Sacramento, CA)
Alexander DeWitt (Akron, OH)
Angel Flores Fontánez (Caguas, PR)
Alexander French (Morganfield, KY)
Mark Hakes (St. Paul, MN)
Newton Harris (Brown's Town, St. Ann, Jamaica)
Joshua Hinchie (Fulton, MO)
Douglas Jones (West Wyoming, PA)
Marco Machado (El Paso, TX)
Dennis Marzan (San Mateo, CA)
Gage Marzloff (Schenectady, NY)
Daniel Mascarenhas (Goa, India)
Christopher Meister (Chicago, IL)
Jeff Miraflor (Tampa, FL)
Vicktor Moberg (San Diego, CA)
Kevin Moebius (Toledo, OH)
Vincent Moore (Springfield, IL)
Henry Perez (Long Beach, CA)
Paul Phillipino (Falmouth, MA)
Robert Purgert (Sagamore Hills, OH)
Josef Rodriguez (San Francisco, CA)
Jorge Roque (Mission, TX)
Patrick Saint-Jean (Haiti)
Fernando Saldivar (Tustin, CA)
Cody Sandschafer (Effingham, IL)
Andrew Schilling (Burlington, IA)
Shaun Slusarski (Glenside, PA)
Connor Smith (Denver, CO)
Daniel Stracquadanio (Floral Park, NY)
Seandor Szeles (Harrisburg, PA)
Joshua Utter (Cross Plains, WI)
Fabian Valencia (Yorba Linda, CA)
An Vu (Portland, OR)
An Vu (Westminster, CA)
Matthew Waldoch (Greenfield, WI)
John Weinandy (Bowling Green, OH)
Victor Yanez (Bloomington, CA)

Read the biographies of each of the men who has answered God’s call to ministry by visiting and learn more about Jesuit formation at


About the Society of Jesus in Canada and the United States

Founded in 1540 by Saint Ignatius Loyola, the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) is the largest order of priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic Church. Jesuit priests and brothers are involved in educational, pastoral and spiritual ministries around the world, practicing a faith that promotes justice. In Canada and the United States, there are 30 Jesuit colleges and 80 pre-secondary and secondary schools with a shared goal of developing competent, compassionate and committed leaders in the service of the Church and society. Jesuits minister in parishes and at retreat houses and serve as chaplains at prisons, hospitals, nursing homes and in the military. In Canada and the U.S., the Jesuits are represented by the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, headquartered in Washington, D.C. For more information on the Society of Jesus, visit

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