Father Eric Sundrup, SJ
, is a calculated risk-taker, tech nerd, imperfect Spanish speaker, and Jesuit through and through.
A Cincinnati native, Fr. Sundrup met the Jesuits as a student at Xavier University. His experience with Ignatian spirituality on a sophomore retreat was so profound that he considered leaving college and joining the Society of Jesus before graduation. He continued his discernment, remaining active in service groups and earning a bachelor’s degree in biology before entering the Jesuits in 2003.
As a novice, Fr. Sundrup discovered a love of Spanish language and culture during a trip to Peru. He was later missioned to the Instituto de Idiomas Maryknoll in Bolivia, for intensive Spanish study, followed by a teaching assignment at Colegio Miguel Pro in Peru. Sent next to teach biology and serve as a college counselor at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago, Fr. Sundrup found his ability to communicate with students’ parents in their native Spanish tremendously valuable.
||Fr. Eric Sundrup, SJ, was ordained a Jesuit priest in 2014.
“My Spanish is ‘good enough,’ certainly not great,” he laughs. “It continues to be a humbling experience, but people are wonderfully accepting of my imperfections.”
During his formation, Fr. Sundrup earned master’s degrees in philosophy at Loyola University Chicago and divinity at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University, also serving as a deacon at a bilingual parish in California.
It was during his formation that he and two other young Jesuits founded The Jesuit Post
), a website that discusses the intersection of faith and culture for a young adult audience.
“We had been talking about this idea for years,” he says. “By the time I started theology studies, I said, ‘This is it; we need to move this thing from theory to practice.’ That night, I bought the domain names and a year of server hosting.”
The calculated risk became a sensation. Over the past four years, the website has averaged 48,000 unique visitors a month.
“It’s obvious people are still searching for God,” says Fr. Sundrup. “We just need to talk to them about faith with the normal tools they’re using to communicate, in the everyday language they’re speaking, about the experiences in their daily lives. We trust God is already working where they are.”
Engaging in this digital world comes naturally to Fr. Sundrup, who has applied a fascination with complex biological ecosystems to his ministry on social media. It also flows from his vocation.
"It's obvious people are still searching for God."
“The Jesuit Post takes its lead from St. Ignatius’s Spiritual Exercises: speaking to readers, to each other, and to God ‘as one friend speaks to another,’” he explains. “The Jesuits have always been pragmatic. Saint Ignatius bought a printing press in 1556, and sent his companions to engage people in relatively secular spaces like classrooms — evangelizing by the way they found God in all things.”
Following his ordination in 2014, Fr. Sundrup was assigned to St. Mary Student Parish at the University of Michigan. This summer, he became associate editor and the first director of audience development for America magazine. Founded in 1909, America is known for a unique brand of relevant and impactful coverage of faith and culture, exploring topics ranging from theology and spirituality to politics, international relations, and social justice. “This is a dream job for me,” says Fr. Sundrup. “Working with people to tell their stories, and witnessing how God is moving them to express their faith, is a great privilege."
Men like Fr. Eric Sundrup, SJ, dedicate their lives to the works of the Church. Only with your prayers and support can they bring God’s love to the world. Please consider giving today.
"For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them." — Matthew 18:20
Saint Ignatius and a small group of his companions founded the Society of Jesus — the Jesuits — in 1540 to serve ad maiorem Dei gloriam
, “for the greater glory of God.”
From the beginning, this “company of Jesus” has worked together with lay women and men. The root of the word company
refers to people who shared bread — an ancient symbol of life and essential part of the Eucharist.
Company encompasses ministry, mission, and community. The Jesuit company includes students and alumni, parishioners and retreatants, and people like you.
With your prayerful support, our Circle of Companions
in Christ finds God in all things and serves where the need is greatest.
Saint Ignatius was inspired
when he began teaching his students exercises to help them grow closer to God. His example was the beginning of the Jesuits.
Whether educating students,
serving the poor, or sharing the depth of God’s love, the Society of Jesus works tirelessly in Christ’s name.
The Chicago-Detroit and Wisconsin Provinces
are approaching a much-anticipated unification, creating a Midwest Province
Jesuits know that experiencing Christ’s love
is a gift to be shared. The new province will allow them to better serve those in need in our communities.
You can help the Jesuits through this transition with a gift of your own.