Celebrating Ignatian Day, Interview with Sc. Aaron William Pierre, SJ

21 April 2024

Related: Pastoral

Ignatius spirituality it is a pathway to deeper prayer, good decisions guided by keen discernment and active life of service to others.

The above description is shown by Aaron William Pierre, from the United States of America. Aaron is a Jesuit from the Midwest province from the Society of Jesus. He decided to join the community of Jesuits in 2012 and he has been in the formation for ten years now.

As part of the formation, he is currently doing his theology studies at Jesuits school of theology in Brooklyn California where he is finishing his second year.

Aaron is in Kenya currently because their community has a theology centre called Hekima University College in Nairobi. He was given a chance to come to Kenya and do his one semester studying here in Nairobi and that’s how he started working with JRS which he enjoyed and learnt a lot in the process.

“It’s been a fantastic experience because I love experiencing new cultures, ways of life, food, beautiful places, different languages and also meeting different Jesuits from all over Africa ” according to Aaron.

Reason for joining the community;

“After college, I had the chance to do a year of volunteer work in a country in South America, and before that I thought I would be a doctor someday… but having a chance to step away from my career for a moment showed me that there are other beautiful ways of living life and it doesn’t always mean it’s all about making money, earning a big pay cheque, having a lot of power and social standing,” as he narrates.

When he moved back to the States, Aaron met Jesuits who were really passionate about their calling and that’s when he decided to start his own calling in 2012. On this journey as Jesuits, they are given different assignments to experience different things, they are also required to study a lot of philosophy so as to under what the calling is all about. Aaron also got the opportunity to work in a high school where he was a teacher teaching the youths.

Challenges that I face as a Jesuit as he explains during the interview;

  • The movement is a lot because of the different assignments given so as they can experience things along their formation, which makes it hard for them to make friends or deeper connections with people because of the moving from one country or city to another after two to three years.
  • Living with people from different countries in the community who also have different ways of dealing with things, their norms and cultures are different too but one has to just adopt.

Above all, he enjoys meeting other people despite the differences and the Jesuits brothers who he gets to call his family which is a beautiful way of life. Aaron had an amazing time working in JRS together with the staff. He was inspired by how the colleagues are passionate in serving people which was a rejuvenating experience. With all the experiences he has received so far, he hopes to be ordained in 2023.

What keeps Aaron going even when he faces challenges is the fact that, he meets different people especially when doing ministry, listening to people hence connecting with them on a deeper level which all of us as human beings are looking for in this life.

What have you always wanted to do in the community as a Jesuit?

Aaron wants to accompany people in different areas where they feel they are struggling, be their listening ear and offer support.  Sometimes he tends to think, he is not qualified to be a Jesuit but he believes God will strengthen him in each and every step.

Aaron believes that being called as a Jesuit it means always willing to give back to the community which is an act of humanity itself. He definitely enjoys being in his calling despite everything.

Aaron is indeed a good example of helping others wholeheartedly and giving without the expectation of receiving anything in return.