March 29, 2019 - Matthew Stewart, SJ, has been named the formation coordinator for the Alum Service Corps (ASC) for the USA Central and Southern Province. He will coordinate the summer training for new ASC teacher/mentors and plan the fall and spring retreats.
The Alum Service Corps provides college graduates with a year of teaching experience, while offering them a chance to serve in gratitude for their Jesuit education. ASC volunteers are teachers and mentors in six Jesuit schools in Denver, Kansas City, Mo. and St. Louis.
Stewart is an alum of the ASC program; he participated in the ASC12 “cohort” during the 2002-03 school year after graduating from Saint Louis University. He taught at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City.
“ASC is really about giving back,” Stewart said. “My role with the program is my chance to give back, too. I loved my year in ASC. I had a great experience, and I made some great friends.”
Stewart is in the second of three years of theology studies at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. He has been approved for ordination as a transitional deacon this September and looks forward to being ordained a priest in June 2020. He has a bachelor’s degree in music, and master’s degrees in theology, philosophy and music (choral conducting).
ASC is an important program for the Jesuit province. “ASC is a big part of what we do in the Secondary and Pre-secondary Education office,” said Ron Rebore, Ph.D., (ASC8) associate provincial assistant for secondary and pre-secondary education and the director of ASC. “It’s a huge investment of time and resources for the province, but one that has tremendous impact.”
ASCs adopt a simple lifestyle during their year in the program. They live in community and focus on their spiritual growth. In addition to planning the retreats, Stewart will be available to the teacher/mentors for conversation and guidance, aiding them in their faith formation.
“This program has a piece of my heart, Stewart said. “It’s one of the few faith-formation programs for people who are outside our (Jesuit) schools.”
Stewart replaces Fr. Vincent Giacabazi, SJ, who has served as the formation coordinator for ASC since 2016.
Now in its 28th year, the program boasts over 300 alums, with more than 25% of them using this unique and formative experience to become full-time teachers and leaders in Jesuit schools throughout the country. The next cohort will be announced in May.
The Ignatian Spirituality Program of Denver offers Ignatian group retreats, individual spiritual direction, the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life, and trains spiritual directors and guides of the Spiritual Exercises.