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Orlando Portalatin, SJ, kneels before the altar during the First Vows Liturgy in Grand Coteau on Aug. 12, 2017. Fr. Provincial Ron Mercier, SJ, celebrates.
Entrance Day and First Vows Combine for Big Weekend at the Novitiate

The weekend prior to the Feast of the Assumption (Aug. 15) is always the biggest of the year for the Jesuit Novitiate of St. Stanislaus Kostka in Grand Coteau, La. This year, the new class of novices arrived on Friday, Aug. 11, and five second-year novices made their first vows on Saturday, Aug. 12. 

The five men making first vows of poverty, chastity and obedience are Peter Bell, Alex Coffey, Jordan Jones, Orlando Portalatin and Ian Peoples. They entered the novitiate together in August 2015, and now each will begin philosophy studies at a Jesuit university.

Thirteen men, including one from the Antilles Province, were welcomed by Provincial Ronald Mercier, Novice Director Mark Thibodeaux and other members of the province and novitiate staff. Ranging in age from 21 to 47, the new novices are embarking on a lengthy period of formation, beginning with two years in the novitiate during which they will study Ignatian Spirituality and the history of the Society of Jesus. They will work in a variety of Jesuit ministries, learn to live in community and make a pilgrimage. Very soon, they will engage in the Spiritual Exercises, a 30-day retreat, as outlined by St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus.

The weekend of celebrations continued Sunday with a Mass and reception honoring Jesuits who are celebrating milestone anniversaries. (See the story on our 43 Jubilarians.)

Please pray for these men and for more men to respond to God’s call to serve as Jesuit priests and brothers. Click here for a vocations prayer card





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Manresa House of Retreats is located on the banks of the Mississippi River in Convent, La., midway between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.