Submitted by Joseph Sands, S.J.

Seven Jesuit novices pronounced their first vows in the Society of Jesus on Saturday, Aug. 12, at Holy Cross Church in DeWitt.

About 350 people, including family, Jesuits, and friends, gathered to witness John Braithwaite, Brendan Coffey, John Pignone, Melvin Rayappa, Christopher Smith, Kenneth Tompkins, and Christian Verghese commit their lives in service to the Church and the Society of Jesus. The men took perpetual vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience during a Mass celebrated by Father Robert Hussey, S.J., Provincial of the Jesuits’ Maryland Province. USA Northeast Provincial Father John Cecero, S.J. and Father James Carr, S.J., Director of Novices, were the principal concelebrants. Father Carr delivered the homily. The Ignatian Schola, a group of lay persons and Jesuits, led the congregation in song.

Braithwaite and Smith will continue their formation for Jesuit priesthood in the First Studies program at Loyola University Chicago. Coffey and Tompkins will continue their formation at Fordham University in the Bronx. Pignone, Rayappa, and Verghese will study at St. Louis University.


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