Monday, August 21, 2006

Coming and going . . . and my new blog.

As longtime readers of this blog may have noticed, frequent moves are a hallmark of the Jesuit novitiate experience. After two years in which I've been frequently on the go, in the next stage of Jesuit formation I expect to be relatively stationary. This week I start First Studies in philosophy and theology at Fordham University, which will be my base for the next three years. Though First Studies does include occasional travel - particularly during the summer, which scholastics typically spend brushing up on languages or doing some kind of apostolic work - for the most part I expect to stay put in New York. I've enjoyed the diverse experiences of the novitiate, but I'm also looking forward to being in one place for a while.

Over the past week, I've been completing one final burst of travel before the start of orientation at Fordham. The day after vows, I headed east from Detroit in a rental truck packed with most of my earthly goods as well as those of the other Chicago and Detroit vovendi who'll be studying in the Bronx. I stayed over Monday night at McQuaid Jesuit High School in Rochester, New York, where I was hosted by the Chicago Province's own Father Bernie McAniff. A Rochester native, Bernie provided a fine tour of his hometown. Though I'm rather partial to my own Rochester, I was also very impressed with Bernie's - after all, it's one of the few cities I've visited that has a waterfall downtown. On Tuesday afternoon, I made it to Bronx and dropped off my cargo at Ciszek Hall, the Jesuit scholastic house at Fordham. After a night at Ciszek, I was on the move again on Wednesday as I caught a train to Providence, Rhode Island en route to my family home in Massachusetts. At the end of the week, I spent a couple days at Portsmouth Abbey, where I made a short retreat before entering the Jesuits. Returning to Portsmouth seemed a nice way to bookend my novitiate experience, and I appreciated the opportunity to spend some time in prayerful reflection and to renew my acquaintance with the Benedictine monks who make their home at the abbey. I spent this past weekend at home with the folks. As this home visit winds up, I find myself wishing I had more time here, as always. At the same time, however, I'm grateful for the time I've had.

I'm also grateful for the ways in which this blog has enhanced my experience of the novitiate. Originally intended as a means of keeping my family and friend posted on my current activities and whereabouts, Novitiate Notes has also become something of an apostolate for me. Blogging has been rewarding for me on an apostolic as well as a personal level, and I hope to keep it up. As I transition into life as a vowed Jesuit scholastic and as a student of philosophy, I'm starting a new blog, dubbed The City and the World. (Please note that the blog's name and its URL are different - as much as I like the name I chose for my new blog, I thought something shorter and snappier - something like "Jesuit Joe" - would make the URL easier to remember.) While I intend to keep Novitiate Notes online, I won't be posting any updates after today. If you want to know what I'm up to now, check out The City and the World. Thank you for being (virtual) companions on my journey through the novitiate, and please know of my prayers and good wishes. AMDG.


At August 22, 2006 10:10 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

Your novitiate blog has been an enjoyable and enriching experience for us who visit, and I personally am very happy that you'll continue blogging from Fordham. I'll keep the link to Novitiate Notes on my sidebar for visitors who might want more insight into the Jesuit Novitiate experience and will add your new one, too. Looking forward to more of your blogging! And again, congratulations and God's blessings on this important milestone in religious life.

At September 06, 2006 4:47 PM, Blogger Ricardo said...

Dear Joe:

The teachers and students of the "San Ignacio de Loyola" school of Piura, Perú, will be very happy if you could help us to make contacts with secondary students in jesuits americans schools. We want to make more relevant the English learning. Please see our web page: and write to: Walter Rodríguez:; Ricardo Riofrío:; or to Liliana Morales:

Regards from Piura

At January 31, 2007 7:11 AM, Blogger JR Orbeta, SJ said...

Hi Joe!

Indeed, the novitiate is a one-of-a-kind exprience! Moments of consolation and desolation hound the whole novitiate experience, but through it all, God's immense grace truly abounds!

God bless you in your vowed life!

At July 05, 2007 6:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Jesuit Joe,

Whoever desires to serve as a soldier beneath the banner of the cross of the Society, which we desire to be designated by the name of Jesus, and to serve the Lord alone and the Church, His spouse,under the Roman pontiff, the Vicar of Christ on earth, should, after a solemn vow of perpetual chastity, poverty, and obedience, keep what follows in mind. He is a member of a Society founded chiefly for this purpose: to strive especially for the defense and propagation of the faith and for the progress of souls in Christian life and doctrine, by means of public preaching, lectures, and any other ministrations whatsoever of the word of God, and further by means of the Spiritual Exercises, the education of children and unlettered persons in Christianity, and the spiritual consolation of Christ's faithful through hearing confessions and administering of the other sacraments.

At June 06, 2008 5:26 AM, Blogger students' papers said...

Dear Joe,
Nice reading your blog. But you don't seem to update it regularly? Completed your philosophy?
Good wishes to you.
Dr Richie Rego SJ; Dept of Mass Communication & Journalism,
St Aloysius College, Mangalore


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