Stefanus Hendrianto, SJ
Stefanus Hendrianto, SJ

Province: USA West

Birthday: April 13, 1974

Hometown: Bangka Island, Indonesia

Bachelor of Laws, Gadjah Mada University
Master of Laws, Utrecht University
Doctorate, law, University of Washington
Master of Theology, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry
Master of Divinity, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry

Highlights of Jesuit Formation:
Worked with the Yupik Eskimo people in Alaska
Taught law and political science at Santa Clara University
Led a spiritual direction program for women in the Maternity Home for Pregnant and Homeless Women in Boston

Pastoral year at Saint Agnes Church in San Francisco

Stefanus Hendrianto, SJ, was born and grew up in Indonesia. He earned his Bachelor of Laws degree from Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta. During his college years, he was involved in the student movement against the military dictatorship. After the fall of the military regime in 1998, Hendrianto began soul searching and decided to leave the country to pursue graduate studies in the Netherlands, where he earned his Master of Law degree (LLM) at Utrecht University. He went back to Indonesia and started working at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the Jakarta office as the assistant of the IMF legal representative. Desiring a more meaningful life, Hendrianto left the country again and went to earn his Ph.D. in law at the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle. He experienced a profound conversion of faith in the University of Washington Catholic Newman Center. It was the Dominicans at the Newman Center that planted the seed of vocation to the priesthood, but in the end, Hendrianto decided to join the Society of Jesus after meeting with Fr. Robert Spitzer, SJ. Upon the completion of his Ph.D. program, Hendrianto entered the novitiate in 2009. As a novice, he worked with the Yupik Eskimo people in Bethel, Alaska, and assisted in campus ministry at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. Next, he was missioned to Loyola University Chicago, where he studied philosophy and did an internship in spiritual direction. Hendrianto then spent two years at Santa Clara University where he taught at the law school and in the political science department. He also served as an academic advisor, assisted in campus ministry and helped found the Catholic Law Students Association. After Santa Clara, Hendrianto moved to the University of Notre Dame, where he wrote and researched at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies. In fall 2016, he enrolled at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, where he earned both a Master of Divinity degree and Master of Theology degree. While in Boston, he led a spiritual direction program for women in the Maternity Home for Pregnant and Homeless Women in need of shelter and support. He also served at the Massachusetts Correction Institution at Concord. After his ordination as a deacon, Hendrianto served at St. Michael Parish in Bedford. (USA West Province)

Hendri’s first birthday with his grandparents, parents, aunt and cousin.

Who’s your favorite saint, and why?
My favorite saint is St. Edith Stein, also known as St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. I love her because she is a brilliant woman who was in love with the truth and sought new paths for philosophy and theology. But more importantly, she is the exemplar of extraordinary courage. Through her martyrdom, she shows a willingness to give away even one’s life out of love for Christ and his people. St. Edith Stein is especially dear to me because she is the one who constantly prays for me in my life journey, especially in my journey as a Jesuit, as I entered the novitiate on October 11, 2009, the day of her canonization (October 11, 1998).

Who is one important mentor who has accompanied you on your journey? What made them a good mentor?
Fr. James V. Schall, SJ, was an important mentor in my life because he taught me how to acquire an excellent intellectual foundation and build a life based on this foundation. Fr. Schall showed me that we can lead a rich intellectual life if we have the habits, discipline, productivity and the desire to pursue the truth. He also taught me that a priest needs to continue reading and studying — for the sake of his pastoral work — and that study is the "eighth sacrament" in priestly life. A priest must have good knowledge of what he teaches first before he can tend the pastoral needs of the Christian people.

Hendri with Fr. James V. Schall, SJ, his Jesuit mentor.

What is your favorite book, movie, music, or TV show you’ve encountered since entering the Society and why do you love it?
My favorite book is “Memoirs of a Happy Failure” by Alice von Hildebrand because it teaches us about God’s love, grace and resiliency. From her youth, she had to face many “sacred frustrations” along the way. She survived the terror of World War II and ventured to America. After completing her Ph.D. in philosophy at Fordham University she was repeatedly being turned down by Catholic colleges that did not accept women as philosophy teachers. She ended up in an unexpected place, Hunter College. She waited 15 years just to receive her own desk and experienced the difficulty of gaining a foothold in what was then a male-dominated profession. Moreover, she faced the often-hostile ideological battles as a Catholic and a witness to the existence of objective truth. Despite having a difficult life, von Hildebrand says God supported her through every challenge.

What are three words a family member or fellow Jesuit would use to describe you? (Ask someone.) Do you agree with his or her selections?
Brilliant, resilient, faithful. Yes, I agree with the selections.


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Sioux Spiritual Center
The Sioux Spiritual Center, nestled amid the hills of western South Dakota, is the heart of the Diocese of Rapid City’s efforts to develop native clergy and leadership on the reservations.