Reflections
Rev. Francis X. McAloon, SJ
Week 42 – September 14, 2015
Entered -- August 1982
Took Vows -- August 1984
Ordained -- June 1992

Fr. McAloon is a professor of Christian spirituality and Ignatian studies the Fordham University Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education.

"What makes me happy to be a religious today?"

I am the youngest of four children. My mother enjoyed telling the story that in the delivery room, when her Jewish obstetrician asked what name I was being given, he replied, "boy, you're really going Catholic on us this time."

Throughout my childhood, I was very pleased to be named after a famous Jesuit saint; however, Jesuits were not a part of my growing-up. In grade school, Philadelphia IHM's taught me. I graduated from a Marist Brothers high school. My undergraduate and law studies were at a university in the Southern Baptist tradition. It was not until I was 23 that I met a living, breathing Jesuit. His name was also Francis Xavier (Reese) and he directed me in an 8-day retreat, which transformed my life. My first response to this retreat was to explore a monastic vocation, because I had read a great deal of Thomas Merton; however, my experience of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola kept pulling me towards the Society of Jesus. After spending a year working as a Jesuit volunteer, during which time I met many Jesuits and visited many Jesuit apostolates, I realized that God was calling my "inner monk" toward the Ignatian charism of "a faith that does justice" and the spiritual ideal of a contemplative in action. 

When I entered the novitiate in 1982, I imagined that I would spend my Jesuit life engaged in social and pastoral ministry; however, it seems God had different plans for me. After ordination, I served as a parish priest for a couple of years, but with the encouragement of my superiors and former professors, I pursued doctoral studies in theology and Christian spirituality. For the past fifteen years, I've enjoyed teaching spirituality and Ignatian studies, first at Santa Clara University, then the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, and now at Fordham University. The faith/justice orientation I knew as a novice continues to motivate me, although in ways I wouldn't have imagined 30-plus years ago. Also, I'm the first to admit, that the "contemplative in action" ideal remains more an aspiration than a realization; however, I enjoy the faith-filled assurance that through my life and ministry as a Jesuit professor and spiritual director, the same Lord who years ago called me to enter the Jesuits, today continues to "lift me up" in faith, hope, and love, so that both my prayer and action are in service to Christ our Lord and his church.


Rev. Charles A. Frederico, SJ
Br. Christopher Derby, SJ
Rev. Thomas E. Roach, SJ
Mr. Kevin C. Hughes, SJ
Rev. Mario M. Powell, SJ
Rev. Thomas R. Slon, SJ
Rev. Donald M. Ward, SJ
Mr. Jason G. Downer, SJ
Rev. Christopher Fronk, SJ
Rev. John C. Wronski, SJ
Rev. Francis X. McAloon, SJ
Rev. John P. Bucki, SJ
Rev. Christopher G. Llanos, SJ
Rev. Ugo R. Nacciarone, SJ
Mr. Kevin C. Spinale, SJ
Rev. James W. Moore, SJ
Rev. Raymond J. Donaldson, SJ
Rev. James J. Miracky, SJ
Rev. George T. Williams, SJ
Rev. Cesare Campagnoli, SJ
Rev. Anthony P. SooHoo, SJ
Rev. William E. Stempsey, SJ
Rev. Bruce R. Bavinger, SJ
Mr. Patrick C. Nolan
Rev. William R. Campbell, SJ
Rev. Ignatius "Hadi" Sasmita, SJ
Rev. Brian Conley, SJ
Rev. Anthony J. Azzarto, SJ
Mr. Timothy W. O'Brien, SJ
Br. Jonathan J. Stott, SJ
Rev. Michael F. Tunney, SJ
Rev. Joseph J. Hayden, SJ
Rev. Thomas J. Kenny, SJ
Rev. Joseph M. McShane, SJ
Rev. Mark Hallinan, SJ
Rev. David J. Collins, SJ
Rev. Thomas M. Simisky, SJ
Rev. Daniel M. Ruff, SJ
Rev. Thomas L. Sheridan, SJ
Rev. Matthew S. Monnig, SJ
Rev. Charles L. Moutenot, SJ
Rev. Andrew N. Downing, SJ
Rev. Herbert B. Keller, SJ
Rev. Ramon A. Salomone, SJ
Br. Robert L. Carson, SJ
Rev. Francis X. Clooney, SJ
Mr. Vincent J. Marchionni, SJ
Rev. William A. Barry, SJ
Rev. John P. Mulreany, SJ
Rev. Bruce T. Morrill, SJ
Rev. Eugene M. Geinzer, SJ
Rev. Joseph G. Marina, SJ



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