Richard H. Nichols, S.J., 40, grew up singing in the choir at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore. He first met the Jesuits as a seventh-grade student at Loyola Blakefield in Towson, Maryland, and studied with them again at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. After earning a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1998, Nichols spent six and a half years in the Navy, mostly on nuclear submarine duty in the north Pacific Ocean. During this time, he was making monastic retreats and bringing spiritual reading on the sub with him. He was assigned to Northern Virginia in the last few years of his service, where he met a few priests from the Archdiocese of Washington. They inspired Nichols to enter the seminary, although he wasn’t yet sure if he wanted to become a diocesan priest or join a religious order. The Archdiocese reassured him he could continue his discernment process in the seminary, which he did for three and a half years, until he made a 30-day Spiritual Exercises retreat at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. The retreat finalized his discernment, and Nichols entered the Society of Jesus in 2008. As a novice, he taught chemistry and religion at Cheverus High School in Portland, Maine, before being missioned to Saint Louis University, where he earned a master’s degree in philosophy in 2012. At Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C., Nichols taught math and served as the chaplain of several sports teams. Missioned next to the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, he earned a Licentiate in Sacred Theology while serving as a deacon at the churches of Sacred Heart and Our Lady Help of Christians, both in Newton, Massachusetts. Highlights of his formation include traveling to MAGIS and World Youth Day in Brazil in 2013, learning Latin in Milwaukee in 2011 and participating in clinical pastoral education at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. After ordination, Nichols will be missioned to St. Anthony’s Church in Oceanside, New York. His first Mass will be celebrated at the Fordham University Church. (Maryland Province)
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