Become a Jesuit
Meet Our Novices

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. 

 “Come and join us if, for you, serving Christ is at the core of your life. Join us if you possess broad shoulders, a free spirit, an open and prudent mind, and a heart bigger than the world. Join us if you have a sense of humor and you know how to share a joke... and if, on certain occasions, you are also able to laugh at yourself.”  - Fr. Pedro Arrupe, S.J., former Superior General of the Society of Jesus

 

First Year Novices

Michael Bachmeier

Michael Bachmeier
Woodland, California

Michael, 25, attended Jesuit High School in Carmichael, California and graduated from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles with a bachelor’s degree in Theology. For the past two years, Michael worked as support staff at a residential facility for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Davis, California. Michael’s vocation is grounded in his spiritual formation at Jesuit High and at LMU, and nurtured by the love and support of his family, friends and the Jesuits. He enjoys playing and watching sports, reading and eating especially tacos.

Kyle Baker

Kyle Baker
Helena, Montana

Kyle, 33, earned a bachelor’s degree from Carrol College and a master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame through the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program. He was first introduced to Catholicism at Carroll during team Masses as a member of the football team, and joined the Catholic Church during his senior year. He has worked as an elementary teacher, coach, educational consultant, and returned to Carroll in 2013 as the College’s Chief of Staffs. He loves eating breakfast tacos, the state of Montana, family, friends and neighbors who have so deeply impacted his life.

 

Tony Cortese

Tony Cortese
Sacramento, California

Tony, 31, received a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from California State University of Chico, and a master’s degree in the same field at Sacramento State University. Throughout his university studies, he worked in campus ministry. For the past three years he has served the youth and young adults of Saint Ignatius Parish and School in Sacramento, California. These experiences in ministry stirred a deeper desire to serve and love God’s people as a Jesuit. Tony enjoys traveling the world, cheering on the San Francisco Giants, playing ultimate Frisbee, and eating exotic foods, especially weird tacos.

Daniel Mascarenhas

Daniel Mascarenhas
Santa Clara, California

Daniel, 29, moved to the United States from Goa, India to attend the University of Minnesota where he received a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. Later he worked as a design engineer for a semi-conductor equipment company in the Silicon Valley. Daniel was actively involved with the Young Adult Ministry at Saint Martin of Tours Parish in San Jose diocese. He had attended the Jesuit school in India and rediscovered the Ignatian spirituality through the Caritas Retreat organized by Christus Ministries in the States. He enjoys biking and backpacking and finds God in nature. His favorite foods include hard shelled tacos and desserts.

 

Dennis Marzan

Dennis Marzan
San Mateo, California

Dennis, 38, studied history at the University of San Francisco and earned a master’s degree in political sociology at the London School of Economics. He worked in non-profit organizations for over ten years, most recently for Mission Hiring Hall, an organization helping people find jobs in San Francisco. An Eastern Orthodox Catholic, Dennis first encountered the Jesuits growing up in the Philippines and discovered Ignatian spirituality at USF. He enjoys tacos and ramen noodles, but not at the same time.

Fernando Saldivar

Fernando Saldivar
Tustin, California

Fernando, 40, studied Latin American History and Economics at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. He received his JD from Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles in 2005 and has been a member of the State Bar of California since that time. Fernando has spent the last decade practicing law in Southern California as a civil litigator with emphasis in commercial, real estate and construction law. He credits his Georgetown experience for firing the Jesuit spark within him and inspiring him to ultimately join the Society. His interests include tacos, turtles, and Hawaiian shirts.

 

Henry William Perez

Henry William Perez
Long Beach, California

Henry, 49, grew up at Saint Bernard’s Parish in the Long Beach area. Upon graduation from Saint John Bosco High School, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve while attending Long Beach State majoring in Business Management. After working in the printing and advertising industry for most of his career, he decided to pursue his passion for cooking and graduated from Le Cordon Bleu as valedictorian in 2011. Henry has traveled from Japan to Europe and has exercised his culinary skills while living in the West Indies spreading his love for tacos. Being involved with the Catholic community in Los Angeles, Henry enjoys teaching catechism and singing in the choir. He enjoys family gathering, nature, art, cooking, snowboarding and scuba diving.

Fabia´n Valencia

Fabia´n Valencia
Yorba Linda, California

Fabia´n, 30, holds a bachelor’s degree in International Business Administration with emphasis in Spain and Latin America, and has completed graduate coursework for a master’s degree in Spanish Literature and Linguistics. He has studied abroad in Mexico, Germany, and Switzerland. He is involved with a Spanish speaking community in Southern California in the last five years. He is committed to promote vocations via World Youth Day through the diocese of Orange. He is attracted to the Society of Jesus’ mission to the marginalized particularly ministering to the people in hard-to-reach places of the heart. Fabia´n loves all kinds of food, but tacos always have a fond place in his palate.

 

An Nguyen Vu

An Nguyen Vu
Portland, Oregon

An, 34, moved with his family to the United States at the age of 9 from Vietnam. He graduated from Portland State University with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. He completed further studies in pre-dentistry and evolution before discerning religious life. He taught Vietnamese in the local parish school and participated in the local diocesan discernment group before applying to the Society of Jesus. His interests include sports, history, travel, and contemplative reflection.

An Hoang Vu

An Hoang Vu
Westminster, California

An, 23, graduated from the University of California of Irvine with a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Educational Sciences. He was born and raised in Saigon, Vietnam until his family moved to the United States in 2010. He spent the last five years teaching catechism at his local parish. He discovered Ignatian spirituality from a Catholic faith sharing group at the university and it changed his life. He enjoys classical music, volley ball, reading, and Ignatian contemplative prayer.

 

Victor Yanez

Victor Yanez
Bloomington, California

Victor, 26, graduated from the University of California of Los Angeles with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. He was a member of the United States men’s national under-17 soccer team, and played Division I soccer for UCLA. After college, he worked at Wabash College as an assistant soccer coach. He was inspired by Saint Ignatius of Loyola’s conversion after suffering a career-ending injury on his left ankle. Victor enjoys praying the rosary, playing sports, weight lifting, and eating tacos.


Second Year Novices

Nicholas Collura

Nicholas Collura
Boston, Massachusetts

Nicholas, 29, studied film and literature at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, and the University of Sorbonne in Paris and holds a Master of Divinity degree from Boston College. He entered the Jesuit novitiate in 2010 after serving as a Jesuit volunteer in Texas and is happy to be returning after further discernment. Nicholas has blogged for the National Catholic Reporter, walked in Europe along the Camino de Santiago and is working on several screenplays.

Shane Liesegang

Shane Liesegang
Santa Monica, California

Shane, 33, has a bachelor's in cognitive science and theater from the University of Virginia and a master's in entertainment technology from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. For the last decade, he was a video game and theme park developer in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. He was excited to discover the spirituality and work of the Jesuits, as he looked for ways to combine his faith and his daily work.

 

Jason McCreery

Jason McCreery
Grass Valley, California

Jason, 23, graduated from Jesuit High School in Sacramento, California, in 2010 and then earned his bachelor's in Buddhist studies from the University of Chicago in 2014. He taught math and religion to junior high students at his Catholic grammar school. In addition to choir, Jason worked behind the scenes in theater and dance performances in high school and college. He has taught RCIA and confirmation classes.

John Meyers

John Meyers
Mission Viejo, California

John, 24, holds a bachelor's in civil engineering from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, where he was a resident assistant in the dorms. He participated in summer study abroad trips to Zambia, and following graduation, he lived in rural villages in the Copperbelt Province of Zambia, teaching residents how to obtain clean water, as well as basic computer skills. He enjoys cycling, hiking and spending time outdoors.

 

James Millikan

James Millikan
Tulalip, Washington

James, 29, holds a bachelor's in philosophy with a minor in economics from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, and a master's in teaching from Seattle University. He played varsity soccer at Whitman and was active in campus ministry. After college, he lived with undocumented farm workers while serving with Intermountain AmeriCorps in Wenatchee, Washington, and coached soccer and taught for three years at Eisenhower High School in Yakima, Washington.

Raymond Parcon

Raymond Parcon
Orange County, California

Raymond, 45, earned a bachelor's in mechanical engineering from Ateneo de Davao University in Davao City, Philippines, a master's in software engineering from National University in Costa Mesa, California, and an advanced computer security certificate from Stanford University's Center for Professional Development. He taught catechism classes to eighth grade students and fed the homeless at Christ Cathedral in Orange County, California. His interests include movies, basketball, computers and hiking.

 

For information on other men from around the country who who joined the Society of Jesus this year, check out our national vocations page.

If you are interested in the Society of Jesus and would like more information about discerning a vocation, please contact Fr. Chanh Nguyen, S.J. at vocations@calprov.org or 424-220-0511.

To make a gift to support the education and training of these novices and other future Jesuit priests and brothers, please click here.


Publications

Mission Magazine - Fall 2016

Mission Magazine - Spring 2016

Mission Magazine - Summer 2015


Update
Spring, 2017

Update
Winter, 2016

Update
Fall, 2016



Meet the Jesuits in Formation Novices First Studies Regency Theology Special Studies
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Jesuit Retreat Center of the Sierra
The Jesuit Retreat Center of the Sierra is an adult, youth, and family retreat center in Applegate, Placer County, California, for nonprofit groups of 20-130 (105 guests overnight; +25 additional beds in summer only).