America intern Sean Salai has a nice brief interview of one of my favorite Catholic writers here. On Jesuit influence in his life:
I pretty much hated school until I encountered Jesuit teaching in high school, I learned to love retreats with them, and I sought out Jesuit professors whenever I could at Creighton University. My first taste of the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J., occurred there in a Modern British Poetry class, and he’s been a great influence on me and my writing ever since. My twin brother Rob was a Jesuit in the Wisconsin Province for quite a while so his novitiate and various assignments became familiar to me. I became acquainted with Ignatius’s autobiography, which led me to a 19th Annotation Retreat, and finally to the 30-Day Retreat with the Spiritual Exercises at Eastern Point in Massachusetts.
I’ve blogged about the best novel I’ve read in the past decade. When I was at retreat/classes earlier this summer, I encountered his short bio, “The Pilgrim: Saint Ignatius Loyola.” Absolutely luminous writing.