Fr. Jason LaLonde, S.J., Ordained a Jesuit Priest
Fr. Jason LaLonde, S.J., who worked at Jesuit during the regency period of formation from 2012-2015, was ordained into the priesthood of the Society of Jesus on Saturday, June 9, in St. Louis.
Following his ordination LaLonde visited New Orleans to say Mass for the many students, parents, and alumni he encountered while serving at Carrollton and Banks. All members of the Jesuit community were invited to the Mass of Thanksgiving on Tuesday, June 12, in the Chapel of the North American Martyrs. LaLonde also said Mass for the Mothers’ Rosary Group on Wednesday morning, before heading downtown to the Jesuit Church of the Immaculate Conception on Baronne St. for the noon Mass.
Born and raised in Lakeland, Fla., LaLonde experienced a call to the priesthood during his childhood but put discernment on hold during high school and college. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University in Tallahassee in 2002, majoring in English and history. During college, he developed an interest in music and hosted an opera program on FSU’s public radio station. After graduation, he worked in arts administration for the Santa Fe Opera in New Mexico for two seasons and for the Sarasota Opera in Florida for a year. He then attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, earning an MBA in 2005 while also working for a software company in marketing. He entered the Society of Jesus in 2007. As a novice, he served in a village in El Salvador, assisting in the Jesuit parish and teaching English in an elementary school. Missioned next to Fordham University in the Bronx, New York, he earned a master’s degree in philosophical resources in 2012. LaLonde did his experiential formation in New Orleans, where he taught English, Latin, and Greek at Jesuit High School; during that time, he also accompanied students to World Youth Day in Brazil in 2013 and on a service trip to Panama in 2015. At the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, he earned a Master of Divinity degree and is working toward a Licentiate in Sacred Theology. He served as a deacon at the South Boston-Seaport Catholic Collaborative, ministering at three churches, including the new Shrine of Our Lady of Good Voyage. His first assignment as a priest will be at Immaculate Conception Church in Albuquerque, N.M.
LaLonde joined four other members of the Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province ordained to the priesthood this summer. All five men have undergone extensive formation in the Society of Jesus, training that integrates spiritual, personal, and professional development. A Jesuit’s preparation for ordination can take anywhere from eight to 12 years. They are among 27 new Jesuit priests to be ordained in the United States and Canada this year.
With more than 16,000 priests, scholastics, and brothers worldwide, the Jesuits are the largest male religious order in the Catholic Church. Jesuits are widely known for their colleges, universities, and high schools, but Jesuits also minister in retreat houses, parishes, hospitals, and refugee camps. The USA Central and Southern (UCS) Province serves in 12 states, Puerto Rico, and Belize and has approximately 400 men who serve as pastors, administrators, educators, spiritual, and retreat directors. Jesuits have served in this area of the United States and the Caribbean as early as the 16th century and continually since the restoration of the Society in 1815.