Province: USA West
Birthday: October 17, 1986
Hometown: Chino Hills, California
Bachelor’s degree, biological sciences, University of California, Irvine
Master’s degree, philosophy, Saint Louis University
Master of Divinity, Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University
Highlights of Jesuit Formation:
Served as a live-in assistant for three months at the L'Arche community in Tacoma, Washington
Spent five months in Kingston, Jamaica, working at St. Anne's parish and primary school
Taught sophomore Scripture and worked as a campus minister at St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco, where he also coached track and cross-country
Served as deacon at St. Patrick's and St. Ambrose in Berkeley, California
Will serve at parishes for his first few assignments: Our Lady of Guadalupe in San Diego, California; a parish in Plátano y Cacao, Tabasco, Mexico; and Most Holy Trinity Parish in San Jose, California
Andrew Laguna, SJ, is from Chino Hills, California, where he attended St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church. After receiving the sacrament of confirmation during his junior year of high school, he became active in a retreat ministry of the parish known as Cross+Training. The seeds of his vocation were planted and nurtured over the course of five years in which he served and accompanied young teens on confirmation retreats as a retreat minister. Andrew attended the University of California, Irvine, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences. He met his first Jesuit at UC Irvine through the University Catholic Community. Upon learning more about Ignatian spirituality and the Society of Jesus, he discerned that Christ was calling him to serve and accompany others as a Jesuit priest. After entering the Society in 2008, Andrew was a novice for two years at the Jesuit Novitiate of the Three Companions in Culver City, California. In his second year, he served as a live-in assistant for three months at the L'Arche community in Tacoma, Washington, and spent five months in Kingston, Jamaica, working at St. Anne's parish and primary school. After taking first vows, he attended Saint Louis University where he earned a master’s degree in philosophy. Andrew then taught sophomore Scripture and worked as a campus minister for three years at St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco, where he also coached cross-country and track. From St. Ignatius, Andrew journeyed across the bay to get a Master of Divinity at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley. In his time there, he served as a spiritual director in Berkeley and taught confirmation classes at St. Patrick's in West Oakland. As a deacon, he served at St. Patrick's and St. Ambrose in Berkeley. After ordination, Andrew will continue serving at parishes for his first few assignments. (USA West Province)
Andrew with students at St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco, California.
What is your favorite book, movie, music, or TV show
you’ve encountered since entering the Society and why do you love it?
My all-time favorite book is “Lord of the Rings.” I've read it four or five times now, and Tolkien's story continues to feed me. Especially since joining the Society, I have found life-giving connections between my own journey and that of the characters in the world he creates.
My favorite show right now is “Parks and Recreation.” It's just a great show — super funny with endearing characters. I can re-watch episodes and laugh out loud every time.
What do you love about the Society of Jesus?
The quality of people who I am blessed to live and work with. I am in awe of the Jesuit brothers that I am connected to in this life. Their passion, giftedness and deep faith in Christ inspire me to be a better Christian and human being. I have also had many colleagues, especially at St. Ignatius College Prep in San Francisco, who I admire and who have taught me so much about Ignatian spirituality, dedication and service. I am surrounded by amazing people in the Society.
What is one hobby you’ve cultivated
as a Jesuit and why is it important to you?
In my time at St. Ignatius College Prep in San Francisco, I was asked to be an assistant coach for cross-country, which introduced me to the world of competitive running. I love running to this day. There are so many reasons why: It's a great way to connect with people; it gets me outside and in nature; it keeps me healthy; it's a source of discipline in my life; it allows me to set and achieve goals; you can run just about anywhere and at any time ... and the list goes on!
Andrew (third from left) with his family.
Tell your vocation story. One catch:
You must use only six words.
Only You make every day new.
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?
Trust! And don't be anxious. God is going to be so good to you, more than you can imagine.
What brings you joy?
Praying with the people of God on Sundays at the two parishes where I serve as deacon. Their faith inspires me to deepen my own. Also connecting with good Jesuit friends. My Jesuit friendships are one of the greatest gifts in this vocation. I have many brothers who accompany and support me in this life.