Personal Introduction

Welcome! My name is John Roselle, SJ, and I took lifelong ("perpetual") vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience as a Jesuit on August 13th, 2011 after a two-year novitiate. I am now a Jesuit Scholastic for the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus. I will study philosophy and theology for the next three years at Loyola University in Chicago. At the same time, I will do part-time ministry in some capacity with the poor. After that, I will likely teach for three years before finishing three more years of theology. Then, God willing, I will be ordained a Roman Catholic Jesuit priest! It's a long road, but a blessed, fun, and enriching one. This blog exists as a resource for friends, family, and others who are interested in my progress through the Jesuit process of formation. Every day is its own adventure, and I am happy to have you along with me to share in this. This blog contains my own personal thoughts and should not be taken to speak for the entire Society of Jesus. Feel free to contact me. God bless you!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Reunion with my Brothers in Chicago

My Second-Year Novice Brothers

Jesuit life is filled with countless hello's, goodbye's, and see-you-later's.  Since the early days of the Society, St. Ignatius and companions wanted to be completely available for the work of God.  The early Jesuits made themselves totally obedient to the Pope in regards to mission (a fourth vow that fully-professed Jesuits still make today).  Hence, when St. Ignatius needed a Jesuit to go to India, his good friend St. Francis Xavier said "Here I am," and was sent by Ignatius.  That surely was a painful yet joyful goodbye, because they wouldn't see each other again until Heaven.  In the meantime Xavier corresponded through letters in the midst of his heavy apostolic works of baptizing tens of thousands and establishing the Church in India and Japan.  Here is an excerpt from one of Xaviers letters to his dear friend, St. Ignatius:

"If the Lord our God has separated us by these vast distances, we are still united by our awareness of these strong bonds that unite us in a single spirit and a common love, since I have judged aright, neither physical separation, nor estrangement, nor forgetfulness can have any meaning for those who love one another in the Lord.  For it seems to me that we shall always sustain each other as we were ever want to do before."

An essential part of Jesuit life is remaining united in dispersion.  Hence, my second-year brothers and I keep up a private blog together, to update one another on our lives, and trade phone calls. This weekend I was blessed to travel 6 hours from Cleveland to Chicago with one of my former novice brothers to meet up with 3 other second year novices (one of whom came down from Milwaukee).  We had a great time of much laughter, catching up, deep conversation, mutual support, and Chicago deep dish!  It was bittersweet for the weekend to end.  In fact, when I said goodbye to one of my bros, I thought for a second that I was going to get misty-eyed.  We all care for and love one another deeply as brothers. 

In Luke 22:31, Jesus says to Peter, "And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."  That is what it's about, strengthening one another as brothers in the Society.  It's the same gift of the spirit of faith-based camaraderie and companionship given to those first Jesuits.  One of the things that I really appreciate about Jesuit formation is that 3 times a year we have a reunion of some sort for all of the young guys (about 90 in our region of the country).  This is a sort of family reunion of the guys with whom we will be spending the rest of our lives, and it is a great honor and blessing to be alongside them. 

The First Companions of the Society

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