November 26, 2013 — At the age of 17, Jesuit Father Chuck Frederico entered the Culinary Institute of America and noted the Jesuit motto AMDG, short for Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam (For the Greater Glory of God, in Latin) carved in marble at the front door — a reminder that the school had once been a Jesuit novitiate.
Although Fr. Frederico had plans to become a chef and run his own restaurant, his life took another turn when he answered God’s call and entered an actual novitiate in 1995 to become a Jesuit priest. Now, as vocation director for the Maryland, New England and New York Provinces of the Society of Jesus, he enjoys nothing more than traveling to Jesuit high schools and talking to students about his vocation.
“I think our high schools are the most important places to promote,” said Fr. Frederico. “These are young men who are learning how to respond to the world, whether it’s academically, athletically or spiritually.”
In the video below, Fr. Frederico celebrates Mass and meets with students at Georgetown Preparatory School, the nation’s oldest Jesuit high school, located just outside of Washington, D.C.
“Christ works in mysterious ways and pulls them to deeper places. It’s hearing about and seeing — quite frankly — seeing how happy the person who’s asking them to consider a vocation is,” he said, speaking about his role in young adults’ lives and in their potential calling to the Jesuits.
Fr. Frederico attributes the roots of his own vocation to the Jesuits at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, where he attended college after finishing at the Culinary Institute of America. Fr. Frederico said he initially noticed the Jesuits’ love of education at St. Joseph’s. “I met the Jesuits in spirit at the Culinary Institute and in the flesh at Saint Joe’s,” Fr. Frederico has said.
Talk about Christ working in mysterious ways.