Enthusiasm uncurbed: profile of Juan Ruiz, S.J.

It seems hard to dampen the excitement Juan Ruiz has for religious life. This new Jesuit says that entering a community “has already brought 100 times the fruitfulness I had ever expected.” And he isn’t exactly working in a cushy job: He ministers with Hopeworks ’N Camden, an agency in inner-city Camden, New Jersey dedicated to job-readiness and education of poor youth. Juan blogs at jesuitnovice.blogspot.com about his experiences as a Jesuit novice, a two-year part of the process of entering the Society of Jesus.

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Nicknames?
Spaniard—earned by my Hispanic roots and my knack for weaving in and out of English when speaking to my parents.

What first drew you to religious life?
From a young age I felt I had so many blessings in my life that the only appropriate response was to share those blessings with others. I also have an uncle, whom I deeply respect, who is a Jesuit priest in the Dominican Republic.

Favorite way to pray?
Sitting in silence and speaking directly with Christ. It is not only peaceful and quiet but it helps my extroverted personality process, through the conversation, see how God is working in my life and the lives of others.

What do you do for fun?
Two favorites are to go for long runs, accompanied or alone, and to watch movies with other novices.

Best part of living in community?
I begin and end every day surrounded by men who have also committed themselves to living the will of God in their lives and helping others to do the same.

Most fun you’ve had with your community?
Playing soccer. We have a healthy blend of competitiveness and support for each other.

People would be surprised to learn . . .
I’ve spent 30 days in silence. Most would not think this possible.

2014 © TrueQuest Communications

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