Two-Minute Video Highlights Diversity of Ministries and Passions in Society of Jesus
For Immediate Release
(Washington, D.C., February 4, 2016) — The Jesuits of Canada and the U.S., in collaboration with nonprofit media company Loyola Productions, recently released a dramatic and artfully-produced new video highlighting the vocation of Jesuit brothers. The video commemorates the closing of the Year of Consecrated Life, which ended on Feb. 2, 2016, and can currently be viewed at jesuits.org.
In the video, twelve Jesuit brothers each deliver a line of the Anima Christi, a prayer especially beloved in the Society of Jesus. Each shot was filmed in a different location and conveys each brother’s own unique vocation and character. But collectively, they present a deeply moving image of the diversity and personality of the largest order of priests and brothers in the Catholic Church.
“The first thing you see is the forest, and the camera focuses on these beautiful old trees. They belong there, like the brothers belong in the Society,” said Jesuit Brother Michael Breault, director of the film. “Their feet are on the ground, you see them working with their hands … I wanted something expressionistic, emotional; something that displayed the commitment, variety of work and the passion of the Jesuits in it.”
Breault, who has won a Peabody Award and served as associate artistic director at Circle in the Square on Broadway, has an extensive background in producing, directing and writing for theater, television and film. Currently serving as the director of vocation promotion for the Jesuits, he hopes that the video helps create awareness of the vocation of Jesuit brothers. During National Vocation Promotion Month in November 2015, Breault distributed a Vocation Promotion Toolkit, created expressly for Jesuits and lay colleagues by vocation directors and promoters.
With the toolkit and now this new video, vocation promoters are better equipped to ask the vital question, “Have you ever thought about being a Jesuit?” According to Breault, studies show that interested young men must hear the question three times before they make an inquiry. The short film is his latest effort to make that question easier for anyone to ask.
“Doing vocations work, I often hear people saying, ‘Oh, there are Jesuit brothers? I thought the Jesuits only had priests,’” said Breault. The new video aims to remedy that misconception. “Not only are there brothers, but they are the backbone of the Jesuits,” he said, referring to the integral role that brothers played in the formation of the Society. Jesuit brothers are free to fully dedicate their lives and their service to others and to God in the Ignatian tradition. “That’s why they are called ‘quintessential Jesuits’: they have devoted their lives expressly to the mission of living the vows of the Society of Jesus and that is their sole occupation,” Breault said.
Learn more about Jesuit brothers at jesuits.org/brothers.
About the Jesuit brothers in the video:
Br. Mike Wilmot, SJ, is the president of the Omaha nonprofit Gesu Housing, which builds houses for low-income families.
Br. Ken Homan, SJ, is a theology teacher and wrestling coach at Marquette University High School in Milwaukee.
Br. Dan Leckman, SJ, is the director at Loyola House in Guelph, Canada.
Br. Jim Boynton, SJ, serves as the Jesuits’ vocation director for the states of Michigan, Ohio, southern Indiana and Kentucky.
Br. Ralph Cordero, SJ, is in the last stage of formation in the Jesuits before receiving final vows and is currently ministering at the Kino Border Initiative on the Arizona-Mexico border.
Br. Pat Douglas, SJ, is a Jesuit vocation promoter in the Midwest and also serves as a chaplain in a residence hall at Creighton University in Omaha.
Br. Joe Frias, SJ, teaches religion, works with faculty/staff in adult spirituality and coordinates the alumni volunteer program at St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco.
Br. Jonathan Stott, SJ, is a professor of physics at Fairfield University in Connecticut.
Br. John Fava, SJ, is the minister of the Jesuit community at White House Retreat in St. Louis as well as the chaplain of the St. Louis City Police Department.
Br. John Moriconi, SJ, is Secretary to the Provincial of the Chicago-Detroit Province of the Society of Jesus.
Br. Darin Mayer, SJ, is in the Master of Theological Studies degree program at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, California.
Br. Matt Wooters, SJ, is completing a master’s in social work at Saint Louis University and is currently working with Jesuit Migrant Services in Mexico.
About the Society of Jesus in Canada and the United States
Founded in 1540 by Saint Ignatius Loyola, the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) is the largest order of priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic Church. Jesuit priests and brothers are involved in educational, pastoral and spiritual ministries around the world, practicing a faith that promotes justice. In Canada and the United States, there are 30 Jesuit colleges and 80 pre-secondary and secondary schools with a shared goal of developing competent, compassionate and committed leaders in the service of the Church and society. Jesuits minister in parishes and at retreat houses and serve as chaplains at prisons, hospitals, nursing homes and in the military. In Canada and the U.S., the Jesuits are represented by the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, headquartered in Washington, D.C. For more information on the Society of Jesus, visit www.jesuits.org.
About Loyola Productions
Loyola Productions is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 film, video and multimedia production company encompassing a diverse team of all faiths with a common mission. LPI’s multimedia projects grapple with issues of cultural, economic, political and religious diversity, always focusing on the most compelling human stories, stories that entertain while touching minds and hearts. Visit Loyola Productions on the web at loyolaproductions.com.