A 36-year-old man who was raised in Portland has been ordained a Jesuit priest in Los Angeles.
Father Sam Conedera, who grew up as a member of St. Philip Neri Parish, attended All Saints School and Lincoln High School.
Father Conedera’s first assignment will be at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Phoenix. He celebrated his first Mass with his fellow Jesuits at Loyola Marymount University.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in history and Spanish from St. Louis University in 2002. In college, he worked in the campus library, was a member of Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit honor society, and got to know Jesuit scholastics who were studying philosophy.
After graduation, he moved to San Diego to teach with AmeriCorps at Nativity Prep Academy and then entered a doctoral program in history at the University of California, Los Angeles. In 2005, it became clear that “the Jesuit charism was being offered to me by God,” Father Conedera recalls.
He entered the Society of Jesus in August of the following year. As a novice, he taught at Santa Clara University in California and then spent a year researching and writing his dissertation, which took him to Madrid and New York. Missioned next to Fordham University in the Bronx, New York, he earned a master’s degree in philosophical resources before returning to Santa Clara University to teach history and serve as a dormitory chaplain. In 2014, he began studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, receiving a bachelor’s degree in sacred theology in 2017. Ordained a deacon this spring, he has traveled for formation to Uruguay, Argentina and Mexico, as well as France and Germany.
He says his friendships with other Jesuits are the most meaningful part of his formation.
The ordination comes just as the Oregon and California provinces of Jesuits are consolidating into a single West Coast province.