The Vocation Office provides here short weekly reflections by one of our Jesuits and we encourage you to use these to celebrate the unique gift of a Jesuit's vocation. The connecting theme of all of these weekly reflections will be, "What makes me happy to be a religious today?" May our hearts be joined in prayer for this special year of consecrated life and beyond.
Fr. Charles A. Frederico, SJ
Took Vows -- August 1997
Final Vows -- June 2006
Fr. Frederico is the Provincial Assistant for Vocation Ministry in the Maryland and Northeast Provinces.
During this past Year of Consecrated Life that began with the First Sunday of Advent, the Vocation Office has posted weekly reflections by our brother Jesuits from different apostolates, generations, and regions. When I conceived of this living storytelling project the concept was simple, tell us "What makes you happy to be a religious today?" This is vocation promotion in a traditional sense: to raise awareness of our life to others and invite them to consider joining our mission. However, this only served as a small piece of the intention behind my idea. Rather, more importantly, my hope was to truly provide reflections by our brothers across boundaries in an effort to build bridges, to better understand one another, and to appreciate more deeply our shared Jesuit vocation. Only then through experience and encounter can we encourage others to join this great common mission of love of Jesus Christ.
"So, what makes me happy to be a religious today?"
In the summer just prior to my entrance in 1995, Fr. Nick Rashford, the then president of my alma mater, St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia, invited my family over for dinner. After dinner Nick asked, "So are you getting nervous about entering the Jesuits?" My reply after thinking a moment was, "To be honest, yes, because I am leaving my family and friends and I'm not sure what that all means." Nick responded to me with words that have stuck in my heart and my mind ever since. He said the following, "Chuck, as a Jesuit, you will be involved in your friends and family's lives--and many others of whom you know not of yet, in their happiest and in their saddest moments. You will be the person they call when they meet someone they love; you will be the one that they call when they bring life into the world, when they have a loved one take ill, or when a loved one dies." He then paused and said, "Always remember this: be humble, love them and help them to see God in the moment."
My friends, on the feast of this great Jesuit, Bl. Miguel Pro, I stand in joy and never could have imaged how right Fr. Rashford was. The moments of ministry and care that this life has presented me have truly made my heart and soul happy. I can honestly say, God is good and at work to keep me focused toward Him in the encounters of my life.
Thank you for your time, your reflections and your generosity in continuing to promote vocations to the Society of Jesus.
God Bless and Many Thanks.
Chuck Frederico, S.J.
St. Ignatius Loyola & Companions ~ Pray for us!