Located on 50 Quincy Rd., three undergraduate men who are considering life as a Jesuit have lived in the Loyola House for the past semester. Equipped with a chapel, a full kitchen, a living room, a dining room, a washer and dryer, and other living accommodations, the Loyola House hopes to attract more graduate or undergraduate men who are considering becoming Jesuits.
According to The Chronicle, the Loyola House is the first of its kind at any Jesuit college or university, and is entering its second year this fall. As a residential program, the Loyola House exists as a place for men who are considering priesthood to come together as a community to explore their faith, friendship, and vocation. Currently, there are three undergraduate men living at the house after one left after the first semester.
“BC has a very strong Jesuit presence, but I think all of us are concerned about fewer and fewer Jesuits,” said Rev. Casey Beaumier, S.J., the director of the Loyola House residential program. “So, at a place like BC, there’s a good spirit for touching points for Jesuits to meet students, but we would love to have some students at BC think about becoming Jesuits.”
Life at the Loyola House features two dinners that the housemates will cook for one another three times a week, have the chance to meet and speak to Jesuits from around the world, and delve deeper into what becoming a Jesuit means, all while leading the life of a normal student at BC. Beaumier hopes that this program will spread to other universities across the globe.
“Guys who are thinking about becoming Jesuits, there aren’t many, but there are always some, and we want to do whatever we can to provide a good support for them,” Beaumier said. “Knowing that there are a lot of choices today, a lot of different ways people can choose to spend their lives, and we want this to be a viable possibility because it’s a good life, it’s a happy life.”
Next year, Beaumier hopes to attract six students to the Loyola House, which can comfortably accommodate up to eight. Currently, two students may plan to return to the Loyola House—however, the program is not sustainable for only two or three participants, Beaumier said.
“Right now, [the program isn’t] having very many takers, so everything is very fragile,” he said. “So, we need people to want to be a part of it to help make it grow. But we can’t force that.”
He partially attributes the minimal participation to BC’s housing process. Having lived on Upper Campus for nine years, Beaumier understands the hardships that many face during the housing selection process, and acknowledges that urging students to jump into this residential program is a big ask, especially for one that is so small. Beaumier encourages any interested students to contact him anytime throughout the housing process.
With a successful first year, Beaumier hopes to expand the program more next year to include social outreach, a house service project, and to be incorporated more with the University.
Students do not need to be completely certain of their interest in becoming a Jesuit upon entering the house. Rather, Beaumier only expects participants to be men of Catholic faith who have thought about entering the priesthood.
“It’s not a seminary, but it’s a house that supports the possibility, and it’s a house of information,” Beaumier said. “We meet people where they are, and then we try to help inform them about the gift of the Jesuits as a possibility for them and the way they spend their lives.”