Province: USA Central and Southern
Birthday: July 29, 1982
Hometown: Destin, Florida
Bachelor’s degree, mechanical engineering, University of South Alabama
Master’s degree, philosophy, Saint Louis University
Master of Divinity, Regis College, University of Toronto
Licentiate in Sacred Scripture, Pontifical Biblical Institute
Highlights of Jesuit Formation:
Served on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota
Taught philosophy and theology at Belen Jesuit Preparatory School in Miami and at Bethlehem University in Palestine
Served in several Oriental Catholic Churches throughout his formation, such as the Maronite Church, the Syriac Catholic Church, the Greek Catholic Church, and the Coptic Catholic Church, to which he belongs
Will continue with graduate studies in Sacred Scriptures in Jerusalem and Rome
Peter Gadalla, SJ, is a Coptic Catholic born in Houston, Texas, and raised between Cairo, Egypt, and Destin, Florida. After graduating from St. George College in Cairo, he began studying mechanical engineering in Mobile, Alabama. After graduating, he designed propulsion plants for the U.S. Navy. He began to discern his vocation to the Society of Jesus during that time while studying Ignatian spirituality at Spring Hill College. In 2008, Peter entered the novitiate in Grand Coteau, Louisiana. As a Jesuit novice, he served at the Rosebud Indian Reservation and Arrupe Cristo Rey High School in Denver, Colorado. He earned a master’s degree in philosophy from Saint Louis University. He taught philosophy and theology at both Belen Jesuit High School in Miami and the Bethlehem University in Palestine during his regency. At Bethlehem University in Palestine, he also served as the campus minister. Next, he completed his theological studies at the University of Toronto, Regis College. Subsequently, he was ordained a deacon by His Beatitude Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac in Cairo, Egypt. Currently, he is in Scriptural Studies at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. Throughout his studies, Peter always served at various oriental local churches such as St. Raymond’s Maronite Cathedral in St. Louis; The Virgin Mary Melkite Catholic Church in Bethlehem; Holy Family Coptic Catholic Church in Toronto; and St. Andrew Coptic Catholic Church in Rome. (USA Central and Southern Province)
Peter (left) with his uncle, Fr. Wafik Nasry, SJ, on a trip to Rome in 2006.
What’s one interesting fact about yourself not everyone would know?
I have an accent in the seven languages I know (Arabic, English, French, Italian, Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic), including my mother tongue (Arabic).
Who is one important mentor who has accompanied you on your journey?
What made them a good mentor?
My uncle, Fr. Wafik Nasry, SJ, because he is authentic and he is the happiest man I know.
How might you explain the Jesuit motto "ad maiorem Dei
gloriam" to someone who’s never heard it before?
It is the desire to do one's best to fulfill the will of the Father — namely to have life and have it to the fullest.
What is your favorite book, movie, music, or TV show?
“A Tale of Two Cities,” “Brothers Karamazov” and “Poverty of Spirit.”
Who’s your favorite saint, and why?
St. Peter because he was authentic.
Peter (shown here with his family and with Fr. Ron Mercier, SJ, provincial of the Jesuits' UCS Province) was ordained a deacon in the Coptic Rite in Cairo by Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak, the head of the Coptic Catholic Church.
What is one
hobby you’ve cultivated as a Jesuit and why is it important to you?
Interest in the various rituals of the Divine Liturgy.
What do you love about the Society of Jesus?
Jesus and the rigor of our formation.
What was one particularly meaningful experience you
had during your formation?
The support of my brother Jesuits.
How has your spirituality changed since entering the Society?
Increase of personal relationship with the persons of the Blessed Trinity.
Imagine you could travel back in time and meet
yourself the first day you entered the Society of Jesus. What’s one piece of
advice you’d give to yourself?
What brings you joy?
Love brings me joy.