They are between 22 and 43 years of age. They are graduates in Economics, Philosophy, Medicine but also in Electrical Engineering and Nuclear Engineering, Physics, Entertainment Disciplines, Jurisprudence. Among them there is also a craftsman, specialized in colouring canvases. This desire for a profound search is found in all of them, a desire to pursue something "better".  It is not ambition that these people are after but a certain quality of life that can generate serenity. They came in touch with the Society of Jesus, a religious institute to which Pope Francis also belongs, in the parishes or on the recommendation of friends, teachers and acquaintances. They were fascinated by the inner freedom of the religious who form part of it, "by their style of spiritual accompaniment, their approach to reality, the depth of their prayer life and the principle of finding God in all things" Nicola, 32 years of age who is currently with another 16 young people in the Novitiate of Genoa for two years of discernment explains. Many succeed in going through this important experience of the Spiritual Exercises: "My relationship with the Lord has changed as I feel that it is intimately linked to my emotions and my desires, a relationship that will continue to grow, no matter what happens during my journey" Nello, who is 43 years of age has shared. Some are already priests such as Giovanni: "I was experiencing a certain uneasiness. Then the experience of the Exercises and a conversation with two young Jesuits put me back on my journey, which is a vocation within a vocation ".

In Genoa, the Jesuit house that welcomes young people for a discernment process is located in Castelletto.  The windows and the terrace overlook the big harbour and the open horizon. The young people spend two years here seeking to understand well whether their deepest desire can be fulfilled by joining the Society and journeying within it. Fr. Agostino Caletti, master of novices together with Fr. Raymond, Br. Paride and Fr. Ignazio are available to help them in this discernment process. "This is a two-year experience of the interior life and community living so that one can confirm in a profound way one’s desire to follow the Lord," Fr Caletti explains. This experience is based on three foundations: " The most important foundation is personal, communal and daily prayer, which is profoundly structured, consisting of the month of the spiritual exercises, a month of service in a hospital, a pilgrimage in poverty and insertion within a community that makes preparations for Lent. The second foundation is community life, "this includes studying and serving, free time to build relationships and Sports.  Finally, the formation within the Jesuit charism is carried out through the reading of the most important Ignatian texts.

These young people are attracted to this vocation through experiences offered by Jesuits such as courses for young people in Selva, Bologna, Milan, MEG and other ways, "including the network, which they access in order to ask how to fulfil their desire". They make contact at the territorial level with the various vocation promotors before arriving at the novitiate. "Ours is not just a novitiate for Italians" Fr. Caletti highlights " but it welcomes novices from other European countries such as Malta, Slovenia and Romania. This Novitiate has been in this city for 30 years after the old novitiates of the former Italian Province were united into one". These two years are a privileged time of formation.  "In order to help young persons to discern their vocation well, it is important to allow them the freedom to be themselves, to talk about themselves and to know their strengths and limitations.  It is necessary that together we encourage them and challenge them to grow to be able to confirm their vocation which is beautiful but also demanding.”

The formation process is indeed long and demanding. The basis of this process of formation is the discernment of spirits. "Through it, we learn to recognize the good in each situation and to choose the one that leads to the greater good". This formation process consists of two years in the novitiate, three years devoted to the study of philosophy in Rome and from one to three years dedicated to apostolic work. Three more years are devoted to the study of theology, two years for the licence and six months of Tertianship which is the last stage that confirms this journey that continues with ongoing formation.

Pope Francis himself entered the Society as an ordained priest, after a time of ill health which culminated in the removal of the upper part of his right lung. He had a strong desire for missionary work. Discernment is the most precious inheritance that he fosters as a Jesuit, searching to learn more what the will of the Lord is and to follow him more closely, looking

upon reality with the eyes of Jesus.

This art of choosing is also appreciated by the parents of the young men who are on this journey. In March they spent a day together with their sons in the novitiate. "The practice of Ignatian spirituality is particularly necessary nowadays, considering the situation of the world," one of the dads highlighted. "I am very happy because with the help of their Novice Maser they are learning to understand through the Holy Spirit what is really important and what they are called for."

Knowing how to choose every day. This is what the Jesuits of the future dream. This is a great gift for the religious but also for the many lay people, who are being formed within this charism and who collaborate with them in the various works. This is a treasure that needs to be disclosed and shared urgently with many contemporary women, men and young people in search of a direction for their life.