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On Being a Jesuit Reader By Anthony J. Fejfar, B.A. , J.D., Esq., Coif ©Copyright 2010 by Anthony J.

Fejfar In Jesuit formation, the typical course of study, at least in theory, is that the Jesuit cantidate goes to undergraduate school, typically at a Jesuit University and then enters the Jesuit Novitiate as a Novice in one of the Jesuit Provinces. The Novitiate is not the seminary, rather, it involves the formation of the novice in Jesuit Religious Life. The Jesuit Novitiate involves prayer, volunteer ministry work, classes involving the Jesuit Constitutions, spiritual retreats, and certain long experiences outside the Novitiate which are sort of Jesuit adventures. After the Novitiate, the Novices take temporary vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience, in the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits). The Novices are now Scholastics, and typically spend two years studying philosophy, and three years teaching in a Jesuit High School, and then 4 years seminary training to be a Priest, at a Jesuit Seminary. After Ordination to the Priesthood, many Jesuits then do graduate work and obtain a Doctoral Degree in an academic area in which they intend to teach and do research and writing. During the early 40’s of age, each Jesuit is required

to go through the Tertianship process. In Tertainship, what typically happens is that the Jesuit’s temporary vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience are dispenses or cancelled, and the Jesuit must consider what final vows to take, if any. Some Jesuits leave the Order at this point. One school of thought is that a Jesuit cannot take a final vow which was one of the original temporary vows. Thus, many Jesuits take a celibacy vow rather than the original chastity vow. Additionally, if the Final Vow or Perpetual Vow is taken

to the Pope, then the Jesuit is eligible to be a Jesuit Superior or Novice Master. Now, what is not typically known, is that a Jesuit Novice, during the first semester in the Novitiate, can take a Perpetual Vow to the Pope, and skip the whole formation process. However, such a Jesuit must have some Office in the Church, so that it is required that the Jesuit Novice who takes such a Vow must be a Lay Reader. Under Canon Law, a Lay Reader is entitled to say a Private Mass as a lay person, and function as a Priest, under the standard of “Great Need.” Now, the sophisticated Jesuit Novice takes a

Perpetual Vow which gives him the maximal amount of freedom as a Jesuit. The Vow often taken, is: “I vow to serve Jesus Christ as my Liege Lord and Saviour, in perpetuity, Amen.” At this point, the Jesuit Novice is now a Jesuit Reader, and is a fully formed Jesuit. Typically, the Jesuit Reader would then go to graduate school and then be placed as a Jesuit Professor at a Jesuit University. Thus, the Jesuit Reader Scholar is not subject to the censorship rules for Jesuits found in the Jesuit Constitutions, which operate under an Obedience Vow. Finally, there is also some thought that since the Jesuits were reconstituted in the 1830’s, it is not permissible for a Jesuit to be a Roman Catholic, after Tertainship. Thus, the Jesuit Reader would typically be considered to be an Episcopalian Catholic, Freeman Anglican Reader, and thus, technically not Roman Catholic. In fact, after taking the Perpetual Vow to serve Christ, under Episcopalian Catholic Canon Law (House of Stuart), the Jesuit Reader would be consider to be a member, as his primary religious order, of the Knight Templar, of the Holy Cross of Jesus Ressurected (The Anglican Templars). As you may know, the Roman Catholic

Templars were disbanded during the Medeival Period by the Pope at that time.