Seven Jesuit Novices Profess First Vows

Seven Jesuit novices from the Maryland and USA Northeast Provinces professed their first vows in the Society of Jesus on Saturday, August 12, 2017, at Holy Cross Church, DeWitt, N.Y.

John Braithwaite (USA Northeast Province)
Brendan Coffey (Maryland Province)
John P. Pignone (Maryland Province)
Melvin Rayappa (USA Northeast Province)
Christopher Smith (Maryland Province)
Kenneth Tompkins (USA Northeast Province)
Christian Verghese (USA Northeast Province)

Seven Jesuit novices pronounced first vows on Aug. 12. From left to right are Fr. John Cecero, SJ, provincial, USA Northeast Province; Christian Verghese, SJ; Chris Smith, SJ; Melvin Rayappa, SJ; Brendan Coffey, SJ; Ken Tompkins, SJ; John Pignone, SJ; John Braithwaite, SJ; and Fr. Robert Hussey, SJ, provincial, Maryland Province.
The profession of vows comes as a Jesuit completes his first two years of formation in the novitiate and signifies his “entrance into religious life in a vowed way and his commitment to the Society of Jesus,” says Fr. Dave Godleski, SJ, former delegate for formation and Jesuit life at the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the U.S.

These seven men have experienced a wide-ranging introduction to Jesuit ministries. They have all taken part in the 30-day Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola and have had intensive training in Spanish. Next, they each deepened their faith while providing spiritual support for the sick and dying at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx. Finally, each novice immersed himself into the fabric of one of our Jesuit schools.

Unlike most other religious orders, the Society of Jesus’ first vows are perpetual, meaning the man is promising to spend the rest of his life living out poverty, chastity and obedience.

With their time at the novitiate complete, these Jesuits will move on to philosophy studies in the U.S. or Canada as scholastics on the path to be ordained to the priesthood.

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