jbraithwaitesj

All posts by Jake Braithwaite, SJ

A native of Villanova, PA, Jake was raised at the Augustinian St. Thomas of Villanova parish before meeting the Jesuits at St. Joe’s Prep and then Fordham University. After a short stint on Wall Street and three years working at Fordham, Jake entered the Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus in August 2015. He’s currently the 7th and 8th grade math teacher at Brooklyn Jesuit Prep.

Joined in 2018   /   15 posts   /   jbraithwaitesj@thejesuitpost.org

How Seventh Graders Taught Me to Pray

How Seventh Graders Taught Me to Pray

It’s easy for me to offer Jesus a litany of tragedies I’ve read about in the news. I know plenty of dying parents and sick friends and incarcerated brothers worthy of my attention in prayer. But it’s amazing what young lives can teach about life and prayer when I pay attention to God at work around me.

In a Field Hospital Church, We Need Healers Like Carlos

In a Field Hospital Church, We Need Healers Like Carlos

Our first meal was at a loud bar with gloriously cheap food. Our second meal was at our beloved parish, St. Ignatius Loyola on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. We kept having these two meals over and over again. On Sundays, though, the food didn’t change. His distribution of Communion was never an isolated sacramental act, but the moment that gave clarity to the rest of our encounters. Meet my friend Carlos, a dear friend who helped redirect my life.

Jesus Found Me off-Broadway in Row K

Jesus Found Me off-Broadway in Row K

I love musicals. I love watching them, discussing them, debating about them, criticizing them, comparing them. I work out listening to soundtracks from esoteric musicals from the 1960s. I appeared in musicals every year from when I was 5 to 22, and wrote a musical in lieu of a philosophy final. God can find us wherever we are, and God found me right where I love to be: in a theatre.

What 7th Graders Taught Me About Prayer

What 7th Graders Taught Me About Prayer

I might be exhausted from the pandemic, or frustrated that I can’t control a math class, or anxious about the election, but that all pales in comparison to everyone I’m praying for. What my students have taught me, though, is that behind this faux-humility is my false belief that I can probably resolve my exhaustion or frustration or anxiety by myself. My students have taught me so much about prayer. Read and reflect with me about wisdom that can arise from seventh graders.

Did you know? It’s OK to Curse in Prayer.

Did you know? It’s OK to Curse in Prayer.

I had helped to COVID-proof the school with the other faculty members. I had hustled my way through the first weeks teaching a new subject. I had experimented with masks to be sure my voice could be heard over New York City traffic. Suddenly, none of that mattered. I was thrust into something totally new. I no longer needed to wear a mask, but wrangle a group of thirteen-year-olds I could barely see through their tiny on-screen boxes. As soon as I finished my first online lesson, I complained to Jesus in prayer. And that prayer was raw and real. Find out happens when you start getting real with Jesus.

What I Missed the Most in Quarantine

What I Missed the Most in Quarantine

It took two weeks of monotony and uncertainty to realize what I really relied on. And in my most recent quarantine, I experienced what millions around the world have been going through since March. And it’s something I pray we can all return to again, in person, to celebrate the ultimate celebration.

When COVID Cancelled My Plans, God Showed Up in A Scarf

When COVID Cancelled My Plans, God Showed Up in A Scarf

On a bitterly cold Thursday night in February of 2019, I was sitting on the ground hanging out with a group of folks experiencing homelessness down by the Chicago Art Institute. I spent most Thursdays this way, as chaplain to the student-run Labre Homeless ministry. Despite the bitter cold, we laughed a lot. After a particularly icy burst of wind rushed through, one of the men, named Wiz, looked at me and said “Gimme a scarf.” Jake Braithwaite, SJ, offers us a compelling parable about death and resurrection.

What God Promises During a Pandemic: My Month at The Pope Francis Center

What God Promises During a Pandemic: My Month at The Pope Francis Center

The Pope Francis Center in Detroit–a place where folks on the margins can get meals and other essentials–needed workers. Accustomed to relying on volunteers to help serve meals, stay-at-home orders put the Center in a bind. The pandemic had increased demand just as the staff was reduced to a handful of full-time workers. The head of the Center reached out and I was sent with another Jesuit brother to fill in the gap for a month.