Stephen Jakubowski, C.S.C.



Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI

Year in Formation: Deacon

High School: Catholic Central High School (Grand Rapids, MI), 2013

College: University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, IN), 2017

College Major: Mathematics, Philosophy

Graduate School: University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, IN)

Graduate Degree: M.Div.

Patron Saint: St. Paul — his conversion, his relentless work to preach the Gospel, his willingness to accept hardship and persecution, and his love of God all inspire me.

Favorite Movie: In Bruges, On the Waterfront

Favorite Books: Markings by Dag Hammarskjold, most books by David Foster Wallace

Favorite Music: Chris Thile, Mark Knopfler, Neil Young, Paul Simon

Hobbies: Playing music, playing sports, birding, chess

Place of Pilgrimage you Most Want to Visit and why: The Holy Land — I want to see and be present in the physical places where Jesus accomplished our salvation.

Favorite Way to Pray: Sitting alone in a chapel

Favorite Devotion: Rosary

What Drew you to Holy Cross: Seeing the zeal, joy, and brotherhood shared by members of the Holy Cross community was a huge source of inspiration for me.

Your Vocation Story: I grew up in a Catholic family that gave me a strong foundation in the faith, and the example of my parish priest at home sparked a desire to share with others what I had received. I came to Notre Dame for school and met a number of Holy Cross priests there who showed me another model of priesthood shaped by their common life and vows. I found myself drawn to the rhythm of prayer and community in Old College and decided to enter formation in 2015. Since then, I have been overwhelmingly happy on the whole and have come to know Jesus much more closely. While there have been questions I’ve needed to address over the course of my discernment after entering formation, it has become increasingly clear to me that Holy Cross is where God is calling me, and I’ve been richly blessed in trying to follow that call.

Ways that you resonate with the Holy Cross charism, “Educators in the Faith”: Part of what drew me to Holy Cross was the type of apostolic work we do and the opportunity to teach in an academic context. Over my years in formation, though, I’ve come to appreciate the depth and importance of this charism beyond teaching in a classroom setting. Education in the faith means working to help others uncover “the pearl of great price,” the Gospel, in their life and in their situation. And this is at the heart of what I hope to do as an apostolic religious.

One aspect of Holy Cross spirituality that speaks to you the most and why: Our motto, “Ave Crux, Spes Unica,” has become important to me over the last few years. Of course, the Cross is at the center of all Christian spirituality. But I’ve come to recognize more and more how that Cross figures in my own life and to understand it as not simply a challenge to be overcome or a burden to be carried, but the means by which I can be conformed to Christ. The Cross is a sign of sin and evil, yes, but like St. Paul I can “know him and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by being conformed to his death” (Phil. 3:10).

Favorite Verse: “From my flesh I will see God. I will see for myself: my own eyes, not another’s, will behold him: my inmost being is consumed with longing.” – Job 19:26-27

Favorite Quote: “”How can we last – even one day living our life without hearing Jesus say “I love you” – impossible. Our soul needs that as much as the body needs to breathe the air. If not, prayer is dead – meditation is only thinking. Jesus wants you each to hear Him – speaking in the silence of your heart.” (from a letter by Mother Teresa)