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. 

 Pray for the novices on the long retreat.

 

First Year Novices

Christopher Castaneda

Christopher Castaneda
Murrieta, California

Chris, 34, earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Cal Poly Pomona. Chris earned his professional engineering license in California and has worked as a design engineer, specializing in stormwater and water quality, for the past twelve years in the Inland Empire. He served as a sacristan and was involved in the Divine Mercy prayer group at his local parish. Chris enjoys playing/watching sports (especially soccer), fishing, and working out.

Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee
Charlottesville, Virginia

Kevin, 23, is from Virginia, but has called 5 states home. After he graduated from the University of Virginia with bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and physics, Kevin joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps serving as the Youth Minister at Dolores Mission Parish in California. Kevin enjoys board games, video games and turning whatever he can find into a percussion instrument.

 

Jose Oros

Jose Oros
Santa Maria, California

Jose, 27, graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. After graduation Jose worked at Catholic Charities as a Client Resources Coordinator in assisting low-income families with basic needs and support. During his free time Jose volunteers in two of his local parishes, helping in Confirmation, Youth Ministry, and hospitality for Mass. Jose enjoys company with friends, grounding at the beach, and walking his pugs, Milo and Simba.


Second Year Novices

Brett Helbling

Brett Helbling
Coeur D' Alene, Idaho

Brett, 28, met the Jesuits at Gonzaga Prep in Spokane, Washington and attended the University of Portland earning a BBA in accounting. Hoping there was more to life than financial statements and unqualified audit reports, Brett became a professional volunteer in the Peace Corps and the Jesuit Volunteer Corps where he respectively served in Costa Rica and at Dolores Mission Parish in Boyle Height, Los Angeles. Brett enjoys eating (always), running (sometimes) and sharks (never).

Travis Newman

Travis Newman
Buckley, Washington

Travis, 37, earned a bachelor's in history/social studies from Western Washington University, and most recently worked as a licensed practical nurse in Buckley, Washington. His first contact with the Jesuits was through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Boston back in 2004-2005. When not singing while passing meds to his patients, Travis volunteers in various roles at his parish, practices piano and explores day hikes near Mount Rainier.

 

Alexander Phan

Alexander Phan
Alhambra, California

Alex, 32, earned a bachelor's in biomedical engineering from the University of California, Irvine and a master's in physician assistant (PA) practice from the University of Southern California. He completed additional training at the Norwalk Hospital/Yale University PA Surgical Residency. Afterward, he practiced as a cardiothoracic surgery PA. He was active in the Vietnamese Christian Life Community, serving in the young adult ministry and training leaders for youth retreats. Alex enjoys cooking, hiking, and camping.

Colin Price

Collin Price
Pasco, Washington

Collin, 25, grew up in Pasco, WA where he attended Tri-Cities Prep Catholic high school. He received a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Gonzaga University in 2015 and worked in Spokane as a civil engineer for two years. His desire to become a Jesuit was sparked by a SEEL retreat through St. Aloysius parish, and he is attracted to the Jesuits' commitment to stand with people on the margins. He has traveled to Zambia and Kenya assisting with community development projects and has played in a rock band for five years. He enjoys traveling, cooking, nature, craft beer, and watching Gonzaga basketball.

 

Nicholas Russell

Nicholas Russell
Long Beach, California

Nick, 36, graduated with a bachelor's degree from Arizona State University and a master's degree from CSU, Long Beach. He has spent the last 14 years of his life teaching and coaching competitive speech and debate, first as a graduate assistant and then as a program director. A convert to Catholicism, Nick discovered the Jesuits through a Spiritual Exercises program at a local parish. His passions include reading, running, and learning to play the guitar.




Publications

Jesuits West Magazine - Fall 2019

Jesuits West Magazine - Spring 2019

Mission Magazine - Fall 2018


Companions
Summer, 2019

Companions
Fall, 2018

Companions
Summer, 2018



Meet the Jesuits in Formation Novices First Studies Regency Theology Special Studies Special Assignment
Want to Become a Jesuit? Contact a Vocation Director


Jesuit Retreat Center of Los Altos
The Jesuit Retreat Center of Los Altos has offered prayerful solitude and inspiring vistas to those seeking spiritual rejuvenation since 1925.