Thomas J. Flowers, SJ, grew up in Morgan Hill, California, near San Jose. His family was active at St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish, where Thomas altar served and his parents taught catechism. He first met the Jesuits as a student at Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, where he immersed himself in campus ministry, leading retreats by his senior year. At the University of California, Santa Barbara, Thomas studied history while volunteering at the campus Newman Center. After graduating in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree, he taught religion for a year at Archbishop Riordan High School in San Francisco, while discerning his vocation with a Jesuit spiritual director. In 2007, Thomas entered the Society of Jesus and, as a Jesuit novice, published his first book of poetry, “Walking Humbly: Scripture Meditations in Verse.” He also spent six weeks in Uruguay in a Spanish language immersion program. Missioned next to Saint Louis University, Thomas earned a master’s degree in early modern European history and published his second book, “God’s Invitation: Meditations on a Covenant Relationship.” In 2012, he returned to his alma mater, Bellarmine College Prep, to teach world history and religion for two years before serving for a year at the U.S.-Mexico border with the Kino Border Initiative, a bi-national humanitarian aid organization co-founded by the Jesuits. In 2015, Thomas was missioned to Rome to study theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in sacred theology. Thomas, who lived at the International College of the Gesù in Rome just steps away from the rooms of St. Ignatius of Loyola, considered his years in the city an immersion in the history of the church and the Society. Ordained a deacon this spring, he will serve at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in San Jose this summer before beginning doctoral studies in history at the University of York in England. Following ordination, Thomas will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving with his brother Jesuits at St. Joseph Cathedral in San Diego. (USA West Province)
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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).