Jesuit Novitiate
Novitiate of the Euro-Mediterranean Province of the Society of Jesus
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Nicholas Cassar

An ambition … that gives life

A journey that began on the sunny island of Malta, marked by study and ambition. A story that, after a strong experience, takes a sudden turn to start again in Genoa.

Five years ago, absorbed by the infinite tomes of medicine that I breathed at University, I would have laughed at the suggestion that instead of becoming a medical researcher I would have ended up in Genoa, to become a Jesuit.

My journey began 25 years ago: firstborn among five brothers, on the island of Malta. A context in which I developed a great love for sun, sea and landscapes, expressed in trekking and snorkeling. A fascination for creation that determined not only the way I spent my free time, but also my education, formation and relationship with God. I attended St. Aloysius College, where I met Jesuits for the first time and I started studying the natural sciences.

With their support I tried to reach the heart of my faith and discover who God is. A life of prayer and a personal relationship with Him started to take shape. At Sixth Form I joined a Christian life community. I started attending mass almost every day, but I interrupted regular spiritual guidance.

After Sixth Form, I started my medical studies, hoping to be one day at the service of others as a researcher. I studied with ambition: I passed my exams and took part in university life. I got involved in cancer research projects and in opportunities oriented to a future career in the field.

I would pray but without direction. I felt my conscience pushing me to something more … but what exactly? In the fourth year of studies, the Chaplaincy of the University of Malta organised the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life. I did not know what they were. I signed up and everything changed.

I began to savour a truly personal relationship with Jesus and of growth in intimacy with Him.

But was it really the beginning of a call or a noble desire? Or even an escape? Through prayer and the awareness of my sentiments I understood that Jesus is inviting me to religious life, oriented to Him in everything, to know, to love, to serve Him more and more. To be a fire that ignites other fires, to defend the poor and the marginalised. To learn to seek and find God in all things. True ambition that gives life.

I completed my studies, graduated and started working full time: the first year in a hospital in the United Kingdom in Bristol, and the second in Malta.

At the hypothesis of entering the novitiate came the fear of wasting all the years of study pursued. Then the simple and sincere answer: I wish to live for whatever God’s will is for me. Leaving everything in His hands, I welcome this new adventure with joy.

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