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.
Joseph Benton, nSJ
Joseph, 21, graduated from the University of South Carolina last spring with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He was active in FOCUS and at the St. Thomas More Church on campus. A Lafayette, La., native, Joseph was familiar with the Jesuits through reading about them as a child. His interest solidified when, on a mission trip to Haiti in 2018, he realized the importance of missionary work. He is deeply influenced by his Acadiana heritage and, in his free time, reads, travels, and sings Irish and Cajun folk songs.
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.
Jason Britsch, nSJ
New Orleans, Louisiana
Jason, 26, is a native of the New Orleans area and a graduate of Jesuit High School, New Orleans. He completed his undergraduate education at the University of Dallas, earning degrees in history and politics. After graduation, Jason returned to Jesuit High to teach English and assist in campus ministry as a member of the Alum Service Corps. He then continued to work at Jesuit High, helping coordinate a capital campaign. He enjoys collecting vintage books, duck hunting and raising chickens.
Beau Guedry, nSJ
Sugar Land, Texas
Beau, 26, grew up in the Houston suburbs and attended Strake Jesuit College Preparatory before pursuing a degree in biology at Saint Louis University. After college, Beau was a member of the Alum Service Corps at De Smet Jesuit in St. Louis before being hired at Strake Jesuit, where he worked as a science teacher and liturgy coordinator. His experience on immersion trips working with people with disabilities and the imprisoned led him to commit to a life of serving others. He is pursuing a master’s degree in theology at the University of Notre Dame and is interested in piano, hiking and cooking.
Michael Horn, nSJ
St. Louis, Missouri
Michael, 31, is from St. Louis. After graduating from St. John Vianney High School in 2008, Michael attended Fontbonne University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in biological and physical sciences. Over time, he became acquainted with the Jesuits, and is entering the novitiate after nearly a decade of service trips, teaching theology at a Catholic high school, and furthering his education with a master’s degree in theology. He enjoys running, praying and traveling.
Fr. Max Landman, nSJ
Fort Worth, Texas
Fr. Max, 33, is a priest ordained for the Diocese of Victoria, Texas. He most recently served as parochial vicar of Our Lady of the Gulf Catholic Church in Port Lavaca, Texas. Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Max attended Texas Christian University before entering Holy Trinity Seminary. He enjoys golf, following the news, travel and hiking. His experience of Ignatian Spirituality led him to discern his vocation to the Society of Jesus.
Stephen Lauer, nSJ
Des Moines, Iowa
Stephen, 32, grew up in Des Moines, Iowa, and is an Eagle Scout. He recently received his Ph.D. in sociology at Kansas State University, where he conducted research to help farmers better manage groundwater. A 2014 convert to Catholicism, Stephen has studied abroad in Egypt, South Africa and Uganda. In 2016, his parish priest encouraged him to be more intentional in his discernment, and he began to consider a Jesuit vocation. He enjoys hiking outdoors, reading and discussing philosophy and working with difficult social issues.
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.
Edgardo Morales Snyder, nSJ
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Edgardo, 41, has a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a master’s degree in computer information systems and worked as a project manager and application analyst and developer in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He has a private pilot’s license and is an Eagle Scout. Edgardo enjoys movies, reading and exercise and has traveled to Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Japan, Panama and several places in the U.S.
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.