Mr. Christopher Krall, SJ (Wisconsin Province)
Theology Studies: Boston College School of Theology and Ministry
Hometown: Marshfield, Wisconsin
Entered the Jesuits: August 20, 2005
Education: Boston College
Interests: scuba diving, skiing, and long-distance running
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I am a Jesuit scholastic from the Wisconsin Province. I studied in Toronto, Ontario, attending the University of Toronto and Regis Jesuit College for Philosophy and Theology. I am now teaching at Marquette High School.
I took first perpetual vows August 11th, 2007, marking the end of the two year novitiate program in Saint Paul, MN. I grew up in the town of Marshfield, Wisconsin and attended the small Columbus Catholic High School, graduating class of forty five students. After that, I felt like I needed to see what else there was in this world, so I headed east to Boston College for studies in Physics and Philosophy.
When I was a student in the small Catholic high school, I played tennis and soccer. We competed against the Jesuit Marquette University High school teams. They consistently blew us out of the water. We were never a competition for them. They also performed with such camaraderie, enjoyment, and peace. That made me ask, “What is it about those Jesuits that makes these guys so good?” I was able to attend several “Come and See” weeks at the Jesuit Villa (in Waupaca, Wis.) and talk with these Marquette High guys as well as other Jesuits. They spoke of the Kairos experience, the ‘cura personalis’ mentality, and finding God in all things. That struck a cord deep within. I realized that there is more going on in this world than can be grasped by the five senses. I talked with Jesuits like Tim Mannatt and Philip Cooke, both scholastics at the time, who told me about the formation process of the Jesuits and ways they were challenged bodily, mentally, and spiritually. That eventually lead me to the great school of Boston College where I was able to meet many more amazing Jesuits like Fr. Stephen Schloessor, a brilliant and world renown historian, Fr. William Neenan, vice president, and Fr. William Leahy, president. Even though these inspiring men had such prestigious positions and important functions, they were so willing to meet with me, a lowly freshman from Marshfield, encourage me to seek a deep relationship with Christ, and provide a living witness to Christ in this world. The stories they had and things they accomplished in their lives astonished me. If I could do half of what they did in their lives, my life would be satisfied.
“a part of something so much bigger…“
They inspired me to engage in Jesuit Apostolic works each summer of my years through college. I went to South Dakota to work with the Lakota Sioux on the reservations with Jesuits like Tom Lawler, John Hatcher, Bill Pauly, George Winzenburg, and Ray Bucko. The next summer I spent in Florence, Italy with Jesuits from Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. My third summer was with Fr. Jose Funes, George Coyne, and the Jesuit Astrophysicists of the Vatican Observatory. They became true heroes for me! It became increasing clear to me that my passion and my family was with the Jesuits. These men were alive and changing the world. These men were a part of something so much bigger than themselves, on a divine mission. “To where else can we go Lord?”
Since joining the Society of Jesus, I have ‘fallen in love.’ Pedro Arrupe, S.J. wrote: “It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you will read, who you know, what breaks your heart, what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love. Stay in love, and it will decide everything.” Through the novitiate I was blessed to have the experience of the thirty day silent retreat of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. It is a time to probe the depth the soul and establish a true, real, lasting relationship with Christ. It is this that sustains me through the rough times, like on ‘pilgrimage’ where we novices were given thirty bucks and sent to the road for a month. But this relationship is the pure joy of the good times, like working for the Archdiocese of the Military and having the opportunity to travel all over the country helping to give retreats to military personal.
God is too good. There is no way we can thank God enough or give back enough. But that is the point. We must put our entire trust in Him. Holding back nothing, we make ourselves completely vulnerable, throwing ourselves completely at the mercy of God and somehow, in someway God divinely provides with an over-abundance of grace and love. Nobody can make this decision for you. You have to walk this road by yourself. It is a road worth walking. It is a life worth living. It is a love life-giving