In 1985 I began the application process to join the Society of Jesus. I remember then thinking that while I was open to doing any apostolic work, I believed that I might be called to work in secondary education or to work as a Chaplain in the Navy. While I was only beginning to understand the discernment process, I was reminded that while God certainly speaks to us through our authentic desires, I needed to trust in God and to allow the Holy Spirit to guide me. If I did that, all would be well.
After going through the normal course of studies, being ordained, and trusting in the Holy Spirit I was finally assigned to work as a Navy Chaplain. On active duty I have had the pleasure of serving with the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. With the Navy I have served on the USS IWO JIMA (LHD 7), the Chief of Chaplains office at the Pentagon and currently I am serving on the aircraft carrier USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77). With the Marine Corps I have served with 3rd Battalion 12th Marines in Japan, the USMC Command and Staff College, and with the 2d Marine Division which included a year long combat tour of duty in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. And with the Coast Guard I served at the USCG boot camp. In all of my assignments I have greatly enjoyed the real honor of accompanying young people as they grew in faith while making their way through their military service and life.
In the Fall of 2016, I will be completing my active duty service in order to begin the next chapter in my life as a Jesuit. I will be moving to Jesuit High in New Orleans where I will serve as the President. After having the experience of "accompanying" young people in their lives of service and faith, I am now looking forward to going to the high school to help "prepare" young people for their lives. Thirty years later, I can say that the advice I was given when I first joined the Jesuits was absolutely correct! Trust in God and allow the Holy Spirit to guide. All will be well.