We Are SI
New Man on Campus
Sam Bernstein '14
Mr. Llanera collaborates with his students.
Seen a Roman collar on the third floor? In all likelihood it belongs to Jesuit scholastic and government teacher Mr. Llanera, S.J. In just one semester, he’s already had a tremendous, positive impact on our school.
Even before entering the order, Jesuits heavily influenced Mr. Llanera’s life. He attended Jesuit High School in Sacramento where he participated in football, wrestling, and track and field). He saw the Jesuits surrounding him as excellent role models. After being “in- spired by their joy and their witness,” he attended Loyola Marymount (LMU) before joining the Society of Jesus as a novice. New members serve as novices for the first two years, scholastics for the next eight, and then they become priests. Currently, Mr. Llanera is in his sixth year of the process.
But why bother with all that work? Is priesthood still a viable career option in the 21st century? Mr. Llanera acknowledged that “it’s a very challenging time [for those considering life as a priest], especially post sex-abuse.” However, he views this not as an inhibition, but an excellent opportunity to “revamp the priestly image.” He sees great examples in not only public figures such as Pope Francis, but also in personal mentors such as Fr. Dennis Recio, S.J. ’89 and Fr. Charlie Gagan, S.J. ’55.
However, Mr. Llanera clearly does not confine his adult life to religion. Out of all the subjects at SI, he teaches Government! According to him, he has always loved politics, and he studied Political Science in college.. After college, he worked for a time in the Labor Party in the United Kingdom, which provided him with some hands on government experience. At SI, we always hear the advice to “follow your passions,” but I think it is rare to see as perfect an example as Mr. Llanera. He followed his calling to become a Jesuit, but through his teaching he has followed yet another passion: politics.
Sadly, Mr. Llanera will only be at SI for a few years before continuing to study theology before his ordination; however, the ardor and enthusiasm he brings to his work will not be lost. “He always brings a positive vibe into the room and is always there encouraging you to learn,” remarks Brian Wollitz ’14. “He makes the classroom atmosphere an environment where you feel free to express your opinions. He’s extremely knowledgeable, making learning fun.”
Choose groups to clone to: