Two Australian Jesuits, Kieran Gill and Andy Nguyen, will be ordained to the priesthood on 15 June. As they prepare to embark on the next stage of their journey with God, here’s a look at where their calling has taken them so far.
Kieran Gill SJ
Kieran entered the Society of Jesus in 2008. He did his first cycle of ecclesiastical studies at Jesuit Theological College in Melbourne and was a member of the Jesuit community at Newman College while studying secondary education.
He undertook regency at Saint Ignatius’ College Adelaide, and then moved to Boston College in August 2016, where he is about to complete his studies.
‘When I was studying at university I met Jesuits and learned about the spirituality, history and ministries of the Society of Jesus’, he said in an interview before his diaconate ordination. ‘I felt inspired by the Jesuits’ spirituality of companionship with Jesus and by their availability to serve where the needs are greatest.
‘I think my understanding of religious life has deepened through my experiences of living and working with a variety of people. I have known older Jesuits as they come to the end of their lives and I have been grateful to see how fruitful their lives have been.
‘Earlier in my life I barely knew any young members of religious congregations. Since I joined the Society of Jesus, I have come to meet many young men and women religious. I have been inspired by the ways in which they serve people in the Church and in the world today.
Andy Nguyen SJ
Andy completed a Masters of Philosophy in Architecture and worked as an architect before entering the Jesuit novitiate in 2009. After spending time in regency in various places including Loyola Senior High School, and Holy Family Parish at Mt Druitt, NSW, and also East Timor (putting his architectural knowledge into practice, supervising the final stages of Jesuit building projects there), he went to Boston in 2016 to study theology.
He is currently completing a Licentiate in Sacred Theology, specialising in liturgy, which he expects to finish in May 2020.
‘I first encountered the Jesuits through their publications’, he said in an interview before his diaconate ordination. ‘In fact it was a postcard that I found among other free postcards at university. After some research on the internet, I was intrigued and found a particular attraction to the Jesuits’ diverse apostolates and ministries. I was happy to see the possibilities of putting my gifts to use in the Society in the service of others.
‘Before I entered, my understanding of the vowed life [religious men and women generally are those who have professed three vows, poverty, chastity, and obedience] was limited to the legalistic aspects of the vows. In that sense it seemed more like obligations rather than something that would give me life and greater freedom.
‘But for me, knowing that I am a loved sinner, my vowed life is that of constant reliance on God, on companionship with Jesus, with my brother Jesuits in the community in which I live, and with those whom I serve and work with.
‘In my years of Jesuit formation, I have lived and worked with many Jesuits who have inspired me a great deal, particularly in their ways of living out their priestly life. The common strains I have found in these men are their availability for the mission, their availability and closeness to the people they serve, and the depth of their prayer life.’
Kieran Gill SJ and Andy Nguyen SJ will be ordained to the priesthood on 15 June 2019 at 9.30am at St Ignatius’ Church, Richmond, Vic. You are invited to join us for the ordination. Please pray for both of them as they prepare for the occasion.
Visit www.jesuit.org.au/vocations to find out more about whether God might be calling you to Jesuit life.