Former Loyola theology teacher Jack Krouse, SJ, was ordained a deacon at Saint Ignatius Church in Paris, France on June 20.
Over the past 10 years, Krouse has felt the Lord’s call to join the Jesuit priesthood. Krouse credits much of his inspiration to follow this path to his pastor at St. Christopher Church in San Jose. Krouse recalls the pastor being a kind, generous and fun-loving priest who demonstrated what it means to be a joyful disciple of Jesus.
Krouse recalls, “When I went to Bellarmine, the Jesuit high school in San Jose, I met several Jesuits who were my teachers and cross country coach. The choice they had made for their lives, to become Jesuit priests and to serve the Church and the world while also teaching, intrigued me. I wondered why they had decided to pursue such a life and wanted to know more about it. There was something admirable in the way they listened to people, and treated people, and how they talked sincerely but naturally about God and faith. I never forgot that.”
After graduating high school and earning a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College, Krouse moved to Washington, D.C., to work at the White House and Department of Homeland Security. While he wanted to serve his country, Krouse felt that God was inviting him to a different life of service, one in prayer and community.
Krouse says, “While I did enjoy my work at the White House and then at Homeland Security for close to 4 years, it was also a fruitful time of reflection and discernment for me. As time went on, I began to feel that there was something deeper lacking in my life and relationship with God. I found it harder and harder to imagine a lifetime career in the political world, which can often be quite polemical and aggressive and can demand a kind of loyalty that did not fulfill the deeper desires of my heart.”
Krouse entered the Jesuit novitiate in Culver City in 2010 with the dream of one day becoming a priest. As part of his Jesuit formation, Krouse taught Loyola students for two years. While at Loyola, he participated in many of the retreats offered by Loyola such as the Kairos Retreat, the Freshman Retreat and the Junior Leadership Retreat.
Krouse remembers his experience at Loyola, saying, “Teaching at Loyola for two years confirmed my desire to continue onward with the Lord in this vocation to the priesthood in the Society of Jesus. Those were such incredibly happy years in my life, teaching in the classroom and working alongside such kind, dedicated, talented and supportive colleagues. The intellectual curiosity and work ethic of those Cubs I taught in Theology 3 and Theology 1 was always such a joy to witness, along with the sincere desire they showed to be gentlemen of Loyola, ready to serve the greater good.”
In the summer of 2018, Krouse moved to Paris to start the last stage of his training in becoming a priest. Krouse was inspired by Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Saint Francis Xavier and the first Jesuits to study theology in Paris.
Currently, Krouse volunteers weekly to celebrate mass in French each Thursday night at Saint Ignatius Loyola Church with university students at Sciences Po in Paris. Krouse enjoys preaching the Gospel and offering the homily there. Krouse will serve as a deacon for a year before his ordination to the priesthood next June.
When asked about coming back to America to teach, Krouse said, “I would love to have the opportunity to teach again as a Jesuit priest and I look forward to wherever the Lord might lead me on the path ahead, carrying with me wonderful memories of all the good people met along the way and the special blessings He granted during those incredibly happy years at Loyola. I look forward to visiting campus again soon!”