Fr. Samuel M. Wilson, SJ
Fr. Samuel M. Wilson, SJ

Jesuit Father Samuel M. Wilson, 44, was born in Orange County, California. His father was in the military, so his family moved around every few years, including to Texas, Oregon, Tennessee and Germany. He received a bachelor’s degree in history in 1996 from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and a master’s degree in English from the University of South Alabama in Mobile in 2000. Fr. Wilson then taught English at the University of South Alabama for three years; during this time he began going to Mass regularly and getting more serious about his faith and prayer life. Thinking he’d done everything right — he had a good job and a nice house — he wondered why he wasn’t fulfilled and decided it was because he wasn’t doing anything for others. He began volunteering with a L’Arche community, where people with and without intellectual disabilities live together as peers. He eventually felt the call to move in full-time, leaving academia behind in 2003. While living at the L’Arche community, he explored his vocation to the priesthood and applied to the Jesuits, entering in 2005. During the novitiate, Fr. Wilson served at St. Francis Mission on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota, where he witnessed extreme poverty and was struck by the presence of God in Native American culture. He then studied philosophy at Saint Louis University before spending three very formative years at Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas, where he taught English and theology. In 2013, Fr. Wilson was missioned to the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, California, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree and served as a deacon at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Oakland, doing everything from preaching to teaching catechism to frying food for parish dinners. During his formation Fr. Wilson had the opportunity to study Spanish in Guatemala and to live with the L’Arche community in the Dominican Republic for a summer. Last summer, he walked the Camino Ignaciano in Spain. After ordination, he went to serve in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He celebrated his first Mass as a priest at St. Francis Xavier College Church at Saint Louis University. (Central and Southern Province)

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Jesuit Spirituality Center
Situated on 900 acres of farmland, the Jesuit Spirituality Center at Grand Coteau provides a quiet environment for those seeking God through the Spiritual Exercises.