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

Dominic Heesang Chai

Dominic Heesang Chai
Whittier, California

Dominic, 38, was born in Seoul, and grew up in Southern California. He received his BA from UC Berkeley and PhD from the London School of Economics. He taught International Business Ethics and Strategy at the Universities of Manchester, Seoul National, and London. He also worked as a corporate executive advisor. Recently, Dominic walked the Camino de Santiago, made pilgrimages to Yamaguchi and Loyola, and volunteered at CAFOD. He is a novice chess and tennis player, and oboist.

Frederico G.B. Gianelli

Frederico G.B. Gianelli
San Francisco, California

Frederico, 40, is a Brazilian-Uruguayan. Before entering the Novitiate, he worked at Stanford Medical Center as a Board Certified Chaplain specializing in Palliative Medicine Chaplaincy. He earned an equivalent of a master of divinity from the Facultad de Teologia Monsenor Mariano Soler in Uruguay. As a minor seminarian, he was inspirited by the Jesuits working on social justices ministries. Frederico enjoys being connected with people, long drives on PCH, and fixing church tower clocks.

 

Myles Kelley

Myles Kelley
Dallas, Texas

Myles, 26, attended Jesuit College Preparatory in Dallas, and graduated from Boston College with a bachelor's in Management. While at BC, he was confirmed at Saint Ignatius Church. After graduation, Myles returned to Jesuit Dallas to serve in the Alumni Service Corps. For the last two years, he has pursued a master's in Counseling at Loyola Marymount University, where he also worked in Campus Ministry. Myles enjoys traveling, learning languages, and spending time outdoors.

Chris Chinh Nguyen

Chris Chinh Nguyen
San Jose, California

Chris, 41, earned his BS in biochemistry at UC San Diego and his MSIS at Santa Clara University. He's worked in IT at many startups in the Silicon Valley as well as a Sales System Engineer. He has volunteered as a catechist in the San Jose Vietnamese Community since 1998, working with youths and young adults. He enjoys backpacking, cooking, reading, gardening, and traveling to exotic destinations. He also enjoys the company of new and old friends over a cold pint of beer.

 

Kevin Rosetti

Kevin Rosetti
Anaheim, California

Kevin, 24, graduated from The King's College in New York City with bachelors in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. After graduation he worked in retail as a sales associate. In his free time, Kevin enjoys listening to Delta blues, and having casual political and philosophical debates over fine bourbon.

Danilo Mendoza Rugama

Danilo Mendoza Rugama
Oakland, California

Danilo, 31, moved to the United States from Nicaragua in the year 2000. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a bachelor's in Psychology. For the last several years, he worked as a librarian at the UC Berkeley and ministered to the Hispanic Young Adults ministry at his parish. Danilo discovered the Ignatian spirituality when he attended the Instituto Hispano of the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara. He enjoys spending time outdoors and reading.

 

Michael Thomas

Michael Thomas
South Ogden, Utah

Michael, 40, earned a bachelor's in political science at Santa Clara University and a Juris Doctor degree from Boston College Law School. He represented the State of Utah in the prosecution of felonies and misdemeanors as a Deputy District Attorney. He also practiced as a civil litigator with an emphasis in product liability and medical malpractice. Michael enjoys running, praying the rosary, watching sports, and has a devotion to Our Lady.

Vincent Truong

Vincent Truong
Los Angeles, California

Vincent, 23, graduated from Washington University in Saint Louis in 2016. There he sang in an a cappella group, directed films and a play and lead retreats. He majored in Psychology. After graduation, he worked as an intern at the Newman Center at Washington University. His hobbies include singing, playing piano, movies, and playing all kinds of games and sports. He also enjoys witty puns and jokes.

 

Second 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.

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.


Publications

Mission Magazine - Fall 2017

Mission Magazine - Fall 2016

Mission Magazine - Spring 2016


Update
Summer, 2017

Update
Spring, 2017

Update
Winter, 2016



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Jesuit Retreat Center of Los Altos
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