September 14, 2016 — Of the 44 men who entered Jesuit novitiates in the U.S. last month, 19 (or 40 percent) are Jesuit educated, a fact not lost on Fr. Charles Frederico, SJ, vocation director for the Jesuits of the East Coast.
Fr. Frederico knows that the first seeds of a Jesuit vocation are often planted in Jesuit high schools and colleges, and that’s why this fall, he’s releasing a new Jesuit vocation video, specifically designed to reach young men and draw them to the Jesuits’ vocation site, www.BeAJesuit.org.
Fully 95 percent of vocation inquiries come to the Jesuits via the internet, so Fr. Frederico wanted a promotional vehicle that would resonate online, and he wanted an army of surrogates to help him spread the word.
The six-minute video produced in tandem with Jesuit production house, Loyola Productions, is titled “The Journey to a Great Life.” It features interviews with five Jesuits preparing to be priests. Of the five, Fr. Frederico says, “They’re articulate, dynamic and they’re always ready to help promote vocations to the Society of Jesus.”
Not coincidentally, all are graduates of Jesuit high schools and colleges.
In a joint letter to Jesuit apostolates, including schools, parishes, retreat centers and other ministries, Fr. John Cecero, SJ, provincial of the Northeast Province Jesuits, and Fr. Robert Hussey, SJ, provincial of the Maryland Province Jesuits, said, “The objective in disseminating this video is to not only stir the hearts of young men interested in discerning a vocation, but also to direct more traffic to our national vocation website www.BeAJesuit.org.”
The provincials asked apostolates to put the video on their websites, saying they would welcome “creative ways” to promote the piece. They’ve asked the same of the Jesuits from both provinces.
Fr. Frederico said, “The apostolates really want to help us promote vocations, and we want to help our apostolates be more active in vocation promotion. This video provides them with a tool that they can use. We really want to reach guys in their hearts and invite them to think about this life.”