Frequently Asked Questions

If I don't live in the Maryland, New England or New York Provinces, can I still consider entering the novitiate there?

Jesuit Provinces are not religious communities that are independent of other Jesuit Provinces. Rather the Jesuits are one international religious order. Because of this, men typically discern with the Jesuits nearest to them, even though they may eventually enter any Province novitiate in the world. We encourage men who are interested in the Maryland, New England and New York Provinces to contact us, and we will help facilitate discernment opportunities within the man's local area. more...

Can I become a Jesuit if I am married, divorced and/or have children who are under the age of 18?

Men who apply for admission into the Jesuit novitiate must be free to make that election. Married life implies a commitment that would limit a man's freedom to enter religious life. Divorced men must be in possession of a canonical Declaration of Nullity (an annulment) for at least three years before they may apply to the Jesuits. Also, an applicant who has children who are still minors or who depend on the applicant financially is not free to enter religious life.

Can I become a Jesuit if I have recently converted to Catholicism?

New relationships take time. Faith is ultimately a relationship with God and a community, and it also needs time to become an integrated part of a person's identity. Therefore, we ask recent converts to wait three years before they are admitted into the Society of Jesus.

Do Jesuits wear a habit?

From our foundation Jesuits have always worn the garb of "a priest in good standing," and we do not have a distinctive religious habit.

Do Jesuits pray the Divine Office in common?

Saint Ignatius believed Jesuits were to be men on mission, contemplatives in action. Therefore, Jesuits pray the Divine Office privately and observe a rhythm of personal prayer, which includes the Ignatian Examen, and forms of Ignatian contemplation and meditation. more...

What is the difference between a diocesan priest and a Jesuit priest?

A diocesan priest commits himself to a specific geographical location and promises obedience to the bishop of the (arch)diocese. A priest who belongs to an order, like the Jesuits, commits himself to the special charism of the Religious Order.

What is the difference between vows and Holy Orders?

Holy Orders is a sacrament in which a priest is called forth from a community and is ordained by a bishop. A religious takes vows publicly in the presence of his or her Superiors. Both commitments are perpetual commitments.

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