The Jesuit Order
Ignatian spirituality is a distinctive approach to spiritual life based on the writings of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order. The handbook he created from his own spiritual experiences, called The Spiritual Exercises, serves as a guide to Ignatian retreat directors.
Several practices based on the experience of the Ignatian exercises are fundamental to Ignatian spirituality. They include the daily Examen, Ignatian contemplation and the discipline of looking for God’s presence in all things.
Though the book of the Spiritual Exercises is found in most book stores, it is not really a book to be read, but the basis of an experience. Just as reading a book that details physical exercises does not change your physique, reading the Spiritual Exercises won’t have much effect on your spiritual life. Instead, make an Ignatian retreat under the direction of someone who has experienced them for himself or herself and is trained to guide others. Every Jesuit priest, brother and scholastic has made the full Ignatian Spiritual Exercises of thirty days.
Ignatian Spirituality Websites
Loyola Press's exploration of Ignatian Spirituality with helpful prayer guides, retreat opportunities and further readings
Jesuit Residence and Priests
The Jesuits who work at Jesuit Dallas live together in a residence attached to the school building near the Advancement Office on the west side of the main school building. Each Jesuit has his own bedroom with his bed, clothes closet, washbasin, desk, and a couple of chairs. There is also a kitchen, recreation room, snack room, dining room, library, TV rooms, bathroom, and chapel. The chapel is open to the school through the senior courtyard and may be visited by students and faculty during the school day.
Not all Jesuit high schools have an attached residence as we do here. Sometimes the residence is a separate building or buildings on the campus; in other places, the Jesuits live in the neighborhood in a nearby house or houses.
Jesuits on Campus
Father John Edwards, S.J.
I am Father John Edwards, S.J. I was born in South Dallas. I am very grateful to God for, and very proud of my parents and my five siblings, one brother and four sisters. I went to grammar school at old St. Patrick School on Harwood Street and St. Joseph Central Catholic High School on Swiss Avenue. Father Charles E. Redfern, pastor of St. Patrick Church influenced my thoughts about the priesthood because of his concern for the poor and the needy. I learned about the Jesuits from the Catholic Encyclopedia and from a pamphlet entitled "Jesuits in the Southland" that I found in a wastebasket during my senior year of high school. I then joined the Jesuits and went through the regular course of studies. I celebrated 55 years in the priesthood on June 16, 2009. I thank God for calling me to be a companion of Jesus along with other Jesuits in the Society of Jesus. I am a retired member of the Jesuit Community of Jesuit College Preparatory School. I am edified and cheered by the other Jesuits in the community, truly "men for others", and grateful for the younger Jesuits who give great hope for the future of the Church and Society.
Father Billy Huete, S.J.
Fr. Billy Huete, S.J. was born and grew up in New Orleans, where he was the first-born of six sons. After graduating from Jesuit High School of New Orleans in 1970, he entered the Jesuit Order at Grand Coteau. He received his undergraduate degree from Spring Hill College, double-majoring in philosophy and English. He then taught English and geometry at Strake Jesuit in Houston for three years as a scholastic. He studied theology in Rome at the Gregorian University for three years, was ordained a priest in 1982, and followed up with one more year of theology studies in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After receiving his degree from Fordham University in Educational Administration, he was appointed principal of Strake Jesuit, a post he held for six years. From 1991 until 2008 he worked at the Jesuit Novitiate in Grand Coteau, first as the assistant to the Novice Director, and then as Director of Novices for thirteen years. At Jesuit Dallas, he is the Rector of the Jesuit Community and teaches freshman theology. He enjoys movies, reading, and music.
Brother Jerry Landry, S.J.
Jerry Landry was born in Jeanerette, Louisiana in 1933. He, along with his twin brother, grew up in Jeanerette and graduated Jeanerette High School in 1952. Following graduation, Brother Landry joined the United States Air Force. After the Air Force, he entered the Society of Jesus where he took his final vows in 1978. Throughout his tenure as a Jesuit, Brother Landry has served in various educational capacities at Spring Hill College, Loyola University, Strake Jesuit and Jesuit Dallas. He has been at Jesuit Dallas since 1997 and currently holds the position of Assistant to the Finance Office.
Father C.A. Leininger, S.J.
Mr. John Nugent, S.J.
I grew up in Houston and first felt a call to the Jesuits during high school at Strake Jesuit. I greatly admired the Jesuits there, and when some younger scholastics arrived at the beginning of senior year, I wondered what it would be like for me to follow in their footsteps. After studying biology at Texas A&M University, I entered the Jesuit novitiate and, feeling confirmed in my vocation, took vows in August 2006. Most recently, I earned a master’s degree in philosophy from Saint Louis University, and my philosophical interests lie primarily in existentialist themes of contemporary philosophy and ethics.
As a Jesuit scholastic, I have had the pleasure of serving in a variety of ministries such as a soup kitchen in Tijuana, a training restaurant for youth employment in New Orleans, and an inner-city middle school in Saint Louis. At Jesuit, I teach chemistry, assist with an adult spirituality program, and work in various extracurricular activities.
Fr. Anthony Wieck, S.J.
I was born in a small town in NE Oregon, the sixth of nine children. My parents had a hay and grain farm and so I grew up on tractors and motorcycles, with lots of fishing, duck hunting, and hiking on the side. Following graduation from public high school in 1986, I went to college at the Jesuit University of San Francisco. After completing degrees in philosophy and mathematics there, and spending my junior abroad in Innsbruck, Austria, I entered the business world in the Bay Area and imagined myself settling down into married life before long. But the more I deepened my prayer life the more I realized that I was not really open to God's plans as much as wanting God to come to my plans. I thought God was the Great Negotiator, but no... After subsequent discernment, I began religious life in Rome in 1994 and studied there for five years before entering the Jesuits of the South in 1999. Completing 11 years of formation with the Jesuits and three more theology degrees, I was ordained a priest in 2010 and have worked at Dallas Jesuit teaching Freshman Scripture since 2011. I am also the varsity football chaplain and help out with Masses and confessions both here at Jesuit and at neighboring parishes.
Mr. Sam Wilson, S.J.
I was born in Anaheim CA and moved around quite a bit, as my dad was in the military. I think the last time I counted I've lived in 21 different places. I've lived at Ft. Hood, Ft. Knox, Ft. Campbell and Ft. Leonard Wood. I went to high school at Calverton High outside of DC, then I went to college at St. Mary's College of Maryland and got my BA in History there. I worked for a finance company for a while in Mobile Alabama, then decided to get my Masters in English at the University of South Alabama. I ended up teaching there for three years. I decided after three years of teaching college to enter into a Christian community called L'Arche, a community that cares for the severely handicapped and forms a home with them. Here I met Jesuit Novices and began to think about joining the Jesuits. I joined in 2005. I spent time in New Orleans not long after Katrina, the Rosebud Indian Reservation, and spent some time working in south Texas. I also spent time living with a L'Arche community in the Dominican Republic, and studied Spanish in Guatemala. I am currently a Jesuit scholastic teaching English here at Dallas Jesuit.
Some men feel called to serve God and the Church in a religious order like the Jesuits, Dominicans, or Franciscans. If a man feels called to try out the Jesuit vocation, he contacts the local Jesuit Vocation Director, who assists him in his discernment. If the man and the Vocation Director both agree that this looks like something God may be calling him to, then the man makes a formal application to join the Society of Jesus by entering the novitiate. Such an application involves several steps. They are outlined in the vocation section on the New Orleans Province webpage.
If the man is accepted and enters the novitiate, he can expect to spend two years in this first phase of training before he makes his vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. After vows, the typical course of studies is three years of philosophical and theological training, followed by three years of ministry, and then three more years of theological study before ordination as a priest. Some men wish to belong to the Jesuits without becoming priests; such men are Jesuit brothers, and have a slightly different training.
To spend your life without your own family is certainly not an easy thing. But for those who are truly called to it, and who live according to the vows and with a strong habit of daily prayer, it can be incredibly rewarding and life-giving, both for the Jesuit and for the people he serves. Jesuits are often known for the great things they do, but what is not so easily seen is the personal experience of friendship with Jesus that makes any truly effective Jesuit who he is.
If you are in the Dallas Fort Worth area and are interested in meeting with someone to discuss a vocation to the Jesuits, please contact Mr. Robert Murphy, S.J 972-387-8700 x407.
Vocation Website for the New Orleans Province
Vocation Website for the Jesuits of the United States
"I credit the Jesuits for helping me discern my vocation while a junior. They helped me recognize it and respond to it."
— The late Rev. Patrick H. Koch, S.J. '44
"I learned about the Jesuits from the Catholic Encyclopedia and from a pamphlet entitled Jesuits in the Southland that I found in a wastebasket during my senior year at St. Joseph Central Catholic High School. I then joined the Jesuits and went through the regular course of studies"
— Rev. John Edwards, S.J.
"I was a Mass server and already had felt a "call" to the priesthood but was attending a public school. My Jesuit experience determined the rest of my life in that I joined the Society of Jesus upon graduation (at age 16) and continue after 63 years."
— Rev. Dick McGowan, S.J., '46