Become a Jesuit
The first stage of Jesuit formation, the novitiate is a two-year experience of prayer, community living and apostolic service as men start their journey in the Society of Jesus. The novitiate of the U.S. Central and Southern Province is located in southern Louisiana.
The Jesuit Novitiate of St. Stanislaus Kostka at St. Charles College provides a location for both prayer and service in the surrounding community. Novices spend a good part of each year away from the novitiate, but it offers them a base for their reflection and growth in understanding their vocations. The building also houses a spirituality center and an infirmary for senior Jesuits.
Matthew Brazzolotto, nSJ
Matthew, 27, hails from Cropwell, Ala. After arriving on the campus of Spring Hill College in fall 2012, he was introduced to Ignatian Spirituality. After graduating in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in theology, he earned a Master of Divinity at Boston College. His decision to enter the Society follows a variety of influences and experiences, including service as a hospital chaplain intern and as a Vincentian Volunteer in England, as well as simply learning from and being around Jesuits. In his free time, he enjoys reading, traveling and following college football and the NFL.
Gus Hardy, nSJ
Gus, 28, is from Aurora, Colo., where he taught theology at Regis Jesuit High School. Born in Japan, he grew up in Berkeley, Calif., where he was received into the Catholic Church in 2012. Gus holds a bachelor’s and master’s in theology from Santa Clara University and Boston College, respectively. His formative travel includes time in the Philippines, Rome, Brazil and the Holy Land, which shaped both his education and his vocational discernment. Gus lived his faith through service to the homeless as a Jesuit Volunteer in Montana. He enjoys swimming, cooking and hiking.
Will Hayes, nSJ
Will, 30, is from Denton, Texas, and graduated from St. Mary’s University School of Law in May 2022. He is a mock trial national champion and worked as a law clerk dealing with human trafficking. Will earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Texas A&M University, then attended the Mexican American Catholic College in San Antonio, Texas. He went on to study theology at The Catholic University of America. An Eagle Scout, Will enjoys backpacking, kayaking, reading, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
Joe Laughlin, nSJ
St. Louis, Missouri
Joe, 22, is a graduate of St. Louis University High School and Saint Louis University. At SLU, he served as a campus ministry intern and helped create an online module to help students adjust to campus life during the pandemic. In summer 2019, he served at a migrant shelter in El Paso, Texas, and cites this experience as particularly influential in his decision to enter the Society of Jesus. He likes to run, draw, write and play board games.
José Lopez, nSJ
Boynton Beach, Florida
José, 32, grew up in Boynton Beach, Fla. He earned an associate’s degree in the arts and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. His exposure to various Catholic thinkers, as well as professors in college, instilled in him the idea that he could build a meaningful life around a framework of service. He also worked with Catholic Charities. In his free time, he enjoys watching movies and TV shows.
Carlos Martinez-Vela, nSJ
Carlos, 48, was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico. He entered the Catholic Church in 2002 and for several years has been an active member of Sacred Heart Parish, a Jesuit parish in El Paso, Texas. Carlos last worked as executive director for Pioneers 21, an organization whose mission is to unleash the creative and economic potential of the U.S.-Mexico border. He is interested in public affairs and urban issues, reading and conversing with friends. He completed a Ph.D. at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2007.
Scott McKillip, nSJ
Scott, 27, is a native of Davenport, Iowa. After graduating from Truman State University with a degree in finance, he worked for Edward Jones before joining the Colorado Vincentian Volunteers. For the past three years, he has worked at Arrupe Jesuit High School in Denver, serving in the school’s Corporate Work Study program as a training and curriculum manager and program associate. In the process, he found himself attracted to the Society of Jesus. He enjoys TED talks, hiking and skiing.
Hai Nguyen, nSJ
Fort Worth, Texas
Hai, 30, is from Fort Worth, Texas. He was born in Nha Trang, Vietnam, and came to the U.S. at age 13. He later earned a bachelor’s in architecture from the University of Texas at Austin. Hai continued his studies at St. Joseph Seminary College in Covington, La., and assisted with youth ministry at Our Lady of Fatima Parish. He has been involved with the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Movement for many years. In his spare time, Hai enjoys designing houses and furniture, drawing and painting, and reading theology. He participated in Three Weeks a Jesuit last summer.
John Nuttli, nSJ
New Orleans, Louisiana
John, 23, hails from New Orleans. He graduated from Jesuit High School of New Orleans, where he was a member of the Sodality, National Honor Society and the tennis team. John also participated in campus ministry, peer support and choir, and recently received his bachelor’s in political economy from Tulane University. While attending Tulane, he was an active member of the Catholic Center, belonging to the pro-life club and the student leadership team. His interests include reading and writing poetry, studying languages and literature and conversations with friends.
Reed Proctor, nSJ
Reed, 23, is from Grapevine, Texas. He graduated from Nolan Catholic High School, where he was in the jazz, marching and concert bands, as well as the choir. He was also involved in musical theater and served as a Kairos leader. Reed later attended St. Joseph Seminary College and, in May of this year, completed a degree in philosophy from Holy Apostles College & Seminary. His pastimes include singing, hiking, rock climbing and playing guitar, bass guitar and drums. He also enjoys deep conversations.
Christopher Ross, nSJ
New Orleans, Louisiana
Christopher, 22, is a 2018 graduate of Jesuit High School in New Orleans. Service trips to Virginia and a pilgrimage to Italy and France showed him the beauty of the Catholic faith. It is here that he began to sense a duty to assist God in works of charity. He enters the Society of Jesus after completing a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and theology at the University of Notre Dame. He was deeply influenced by the writings of the first companions of the Society of Jesus. He likes to spend time outdoors, read, garden and cook.
Paolo Taffaro, nSJ
New Orleans, Louisiana
Paolo, 23, grew up in the suburbs of New Orleans, where he was homeschooled. After graduating in 2020 from St. Joseph Abbey Seminary College, Paolo spent the past year teaching freshman theology at Jesuit High School in New Orleans. A visit to the tomb of St. Ignatius and a great experience with a Jesuit priest who taught him how to discern a vocation contributed to his decision to enter the Society. He likes to spend time reading, cooking, singing and playing various sports.