Brother Nico recently joined the Society of Jesus as a novice, and is currently visiting Belen Jesuit for several weeks. We caught up with him to ask him a few questions and get to know more about his life and journey. Please join us in welcoming him to the Belen community.
Where are you originally from? I was born and raised in the great city of Houston, Texas. My parents are originally from San Luis Potosi, Mexico. I grew up with an abundance of Mexican cultural traditions that are very dear to my heart.
What brought you to enter the seminary, and when did you enter it?
At a very young age there was a desire to live religious life that later was lost as I got older. The Jesuit education I received in high school revived this desire that persisted during my college years and afterward led me to enter the novitiate in August of 2020.
What has been your experience so far as a novice?
Ignatius is famous for saying “whatever you are doing, that which makes you feel the most alive…that is where God is”. I have certainly felt fully alive since entering the novitiate. Being able to simply be with the people of God is truly satisfying and filled with graces.
Where were you before Belen?
The last two months before arriving I was in a class experiment with my other brother novices in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas helping migrants and refugees at the border.
How long will you be at Belen, and what are your plans after?
I am blessed with being at Belen for the next two months as part of my high school experiment. My mission is to be available to the students and school community as well as my fellow Jesuit community. This experience would be best described as a “2nd Week” experience of the Spiritual Exercises. Afterward, the rest of my novitiate brothers and I will reunite in Grand Coteau, Louisiana for our yearly retreat.
What lasting impression do you hope to leave with the Belen students?
I pray the students find a need and desire for discernment. I hope that the students will be able to find in their own experiences moments where they feel “most fully alive” and how discernment can help us do that.
Belen Jesuit Preparatory School was founded in 1854 in Havana, Cuba by Queen Isabel II of Spain. The task of educating students was assigned to the priests and brothers of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), whose teaching tradition is synonymous with academic excellence and spiritual discipline. In 1961, the new political regime of Cuba confiscated the School property and expelled the Jesuit faculty. The School was re-established in Miami the same year, and over the next decade, continued to grow. Today, Belen Jesuit sits on a 30-acre site in western Dade County, only minutes away from downtown Miami.