Fr. Simisky teaches Spanish and is assistant to the principal at Fairfield Preparatory School. In the fall, he will become the President of Fairfield Prep.
"What makes me happy to be a religious today?"
Vocations are often described as the intersection between a person's talents and the world's needs. When that encounter occurs, God breathes joy and life into all those involved. This certainly rings true with my vocation to the Society of Jesus. Over these 11 years as a Jesuit, I have been blessed to meet many amazing people around the world. The exchange of talents and needs has been mutual.
During years leading up to priestly ordination, the Society has placed me with dying cancer patients in the Bronx, inmates in Syracuse, grammar schools students in Jamaica, boys imprisoned in Bolivia, homeless men and women living in the Hogar de Cristo shelters in Chile, high school students in Maine, orphans in Moscow, street alcoholics in Siberia, and children with disabilities in Kyrgyzstan. The context of each situation was very different. The outcome was identical: I was able to accompany and help some good people, while they all supported and formed me for ministry.
What's more, being a Jesuit allows God to "connect the dots" of my life. For instance, I taught high school Spanish in Boston before entering the Jesuits. Later, the Provincial asked me to spend 3 years in South America studying philosophy and doing apostolic work. Now I again find myself teaching Spanish at Fairfield Prep in Connecticut. Those varied years of formation not only made me a better language teacher, but also on Sundays I am able to celebrate mass and hear confessions in Spanish at St. Charles Borromeo parish in Bridgeport, CT. In following Jesus and letting Him guide my vocation, my own personal history is tied together in unexpected ways and I can serve as a bridge across cultures and geography.
Just recently, the Society has just given me a new and exciting mission. I will become the next president of Fairfield Prep in July. While this is a daunting and humbling opportunity, I know that it will work out well both for the school community and for me. When God calls us to do something, the grace is always provided. I also know that I'm pretty happy being a Jesuit priest and I trust that will continue if I stay true to my calling.