Province: USA West
Birthday: November 4, 1987
Hometown: Sacramento, California
Bachelor’s degree, theological studies and political science, Loyola Marymount University
Master’s degree, political science, Saint Louis University
Master of Divinity, Regis College, University of Toronto
Highlights of Jesuit Formation:
Taught at St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco
Worked in the legal department at Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles
Ordained to the priesthood on November 24, 2018, in Sacramento due to family circumstances
Will complete Licentiate in Sacred Theology at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University
Alex Anthony Llanera, SJ, was born in San Jose, California, but grew up in Sacramento. He graduated from Saint Patrick’s School in 2001 and from Jesuit High School in 2005, where he first met the Jesuits. His exposure to Ignatian spirituality in high school led him to continue his Jesuit education at Loyola Marymount University, where he graduated in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in theological studies and political science with a minor in ethics. In the fall of that same year, he entered the Jesuit novitiate in Culver City, California. After professing first vows in 2010, he was sent to Saint Louis University for philosophy studies. During this time, he was also able to complete a Master of Arts in political science in 2013. For his regency, Alex was sent to teach at St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco, where he coached junior varsity golf, taught U.S. government and Scripture and led student retreats. In 2015, he moved to Los Angeles and worked in the legal department at Homeboy Industries. The following year Alex traveled to Regis College in Toronto to work on his Master of Divinity degree, graduating in 2018. He was ordained to the diaconate in May 2018 at St. Paul’s Basilica in Toronto. In the fall of 2018, Alex began his Licentiate in Sacred Theology at the Jesuit School of Theology (JST) of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, California. Due to family circumstances, Alex was ordained to the priesthood on November 24, 2018, in Sacramento and celebrated his first mass at the Chapel of the North American Martyrs at Jesuit High School. He will return to JST and is set to complete his degree in fall 2019. (USA West Province)
Alex with students at St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco, California.
What is your favorite book, movie, music, or TV show you’ve encountered
since entering the Society and why do you love it?
When I was in theology studies, I started watching a BBC Series called “Father Brown” based on the series by G.K. Chesterton. The story is based on a British diocesan priest who doubles as an amateur detective solving crimes and murders. It was great seeing a religious figure portrayed on television who was smart, caring, faithful, compassionate and had a good sense of humor.
Who’s your favorite saint, and why?
St. Aloysius Gonzaga's bravery and conviction to give up a life of privilege at such a young age and follow God's will was very inspiring. His persistence to be a Jesuit went against his family's expectations, but he knew in his heart that God was calling him to live a life of service. He gave his life ministering to plague victims and died caring for the sick. His example led me to choose him as a personal patron saint and to take Aloysius as a vow name.
Alex gives a blessing to his mother after being ordained.
What do you love about the Society of Jesus?
I am very grateful for our formation. The various experiments, apostolates, classes and experiences lend us to meet a wide variety of people in order to be more available to serve the church. Specifically, the opportunity to study and to explore topics of philosophy, theology, the humanities and other areas of academia allow us to analyze the complex issues of our time and to hopefully offer solutions to our world.