I loved the experience of brotherhood, of living and working with people you depend upon. -Jordan Jones, SJ
Man In Formation: Jordan Jones, SJ

New Orleans born and bred, Jordan Jones, SJ, is a graduate of both Jesuit High School and the grade school at Holy Name of Jesus Parish, where his faith formation began. His is not a story of a lifelong calling to the priesthood, however. Instead, he always knew he wanted to serve in the military. He launched that career at the United States Naval Academy.

“The Academy was the first place I lived that was not culturally Catholic,” Jones said. “I began to get questions from my classmates – ‘Why do you worship Mary?’ – that sort of thing. It forced me to look at my faith in a different way and really take ownership of it.” Naval Chaplain and Jesuit Fr. Bob Keane supported Jones during this process as he grew in his faith.

As he drew near to graduation, Jones began to consider the possibility of a vocation to the priesthood, but he had places to be: he owed the country five years. He was accepted into the United States Marine Corps and completed additional training at Quantico Marine Base in Virginia before becoming an infantry officer in 2006. He was deployed to Iraq for seven months in both 2007 and 2008. He served as a rifle platoon commander in charge of 40 other Marines. He later served as a platoon commander in Okinawa, Japan, with yet another deployment, this time to Afghanistan.

He found his life in the Marines fulfilling: it was mission-oriented and completely absorbing. He also learned to be a servant-leader, he says, quoting the Marine saying of “Officers eat last.”

Through God’s grace, Fr. Keane was stationed in Okinawa for the same two-year stretch Jones was there. “He helped me gain better perspective on my life in the military and grow stronger in my faith,” Jones said.

After his 2010 deployment to Afghanistan, Jones began to feel a strong call to the priesthood, but ultimately determined the time was not yet right. He had opportunities for further service and advancement in the Marines.

Jones Receives Vow Cross
Jordan Jones, SJ, receives his vow cross from Provincial Ronald Mercier, SJ, during the First Vows Mass in August 2017

In addition to prayer and the sacraments, experiencing combat impacted Jones’ discernment of his vocation. “I saw true evil,” he said. “Seeing people do completely irrational things to harm other people made me realize that the force of evil is a real thing. And I began to wonder if God was calling me to combat this evil in a different way, through the priesthood.”

Jones left the Marines in November 2014 and attended a discernment retreat through this province. He entered the Society of Jesus in August 2015. He recognizes there are similarities between his life as a Marine and his life as one of “God’s Soldiers.”

“I loved the experience of brotherhood, of living and working with people you depend upon,” he said. “I learned in the Marines that mission accomplishment is my responsibility.

Just like in the Marines, when the mission was determined by others above me, now the mission isn’t mine, it’s the Church’s. We’re all in this together – priests, religious, laity.”

Jones finds Jesuit life every bit as compelling as his life as a Marine. “Walking with Jesus is the greatest adventure,” he said. “Seeing him in others … recognizing him in different faces in my ministry and my community – it’s just the greatest adventure.”

Jones is in his second year of philosophy studies at Saint Louis University.

Recent News

July 11, 2019 - Brother William J. Dardis, SJ, died Wed., July 10, 2019, in the residence at Jesuit High School New Orleans, where he had lived for 55 years. He was 79 years old, a Jesuit for almost 61 years and in final vows for 45 years.

July 5, 2019 - The province has two changes secondary education staff. Ronald Rebore has been appointed the new provincial assistant for secondary and presecondary education (PASE). Kenneth Leucke will serve the province as the new associate assistant for secondary and pre-secondary education.

This summer the Jesuit Grants Collaborative says goodbye to Director of Grants Katy Quigley, as she retires after 10 years of service.

The Encuentro Project is a new collaborative and inter-congregational ministry offering experiences of encounter along the U.S.- Mexico border in El Paso, Texas.

June 27, 2019 - Jesuit Social Research Institute, along with the ACLU of Louisiana and Solitary Watch on June 25, 2019, released a new research report on the incidence and impact of solitary confinement on inmates in Louisiana state prisons.

June 19, 2019 - Father Paul Osterle, SJ, died June 14, 2019, in Opelousas, La. He was 91 years old, a Jesuit for almost 73 years and a priest for 60 years.

June 5, 2019 —The Society of Jesus is proud to announce the ordination of 22 new priests in Canada, the U.S. and Haiti, including four from the Midwest Jesuits Province.

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The White House Jesuit Retreat Center is located on a beautiful 80-acre campus on the bluffs of the Mississippi River in St. Louis.