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Christopher J. Schroeder, S.J., M.Div. ’14, 32, has been ordained a Jesuit priest. This summer, he will serve at St. Martin de Porres Parish in Belize before returning in the fall to Berkeley to finish his Licentiate in Sacred Theology.
He is the nephew of a Jesuit brother and two diocesan priests, and was born and raised in St. Louis. A product of Catholic education, he attended his local parish grammar school and De Smet Jesuit High School, where he came to know and appreciate Jesuits as teachers, mentors and friends. The Jesuits at De Smet were some of the happiest, most successful people he knew, so after graduating from high school in 2000, Schroeder headed to Saint Louis University, where he started actively discerning his call to the priesthood. Recognizing very early that his call to the Society of Jesus was so strong that he didn’t want to wait a moment longer, Schroeder left college after finishing his sophomore year and entered the Jesuits in 2002. After two years at the Jesuit novitiate in St. Paul, Minnesota, he returned to Saint Louis University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and humanities and, later, a master’s degree in philosophy. During this time, he also spent five months in El Salvador for intensive Spanish language study and to work for Fe y Alegría, a Jesuit network offering education, training programs and development services primarily in Latin America. It was an unforgettable and soul-nourishing experience. For his three-year regency assignment, Schroeder taught theology at Arrupe Jesuit High School in Denver, where he also directed the school’s Kairos retreat program. Missioned next to the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, California, Schroeder earned a Master of Divinity degree while serving as a deacon at San Quentin State Prison. The experience of providing spiritual direction to incarcerated men has been transformative, he says, and has helped fortify his own spiritual life.