John O'Brien was born in McBride, British Columbia, and did undergraduate studies in theology and journalism at Franciscan University of Steubenville, graduating in 2000 with a degree in communications from the University of Ottawa. He worked for several drama, film and publishing companies in the U.S. and Canada, and has written for numerous publications, including The Catholic Register, and was the founding editor of The Catholic Herald, the newspaper of the Diocese of Peterborough. In 2000-2001 John served as Dean of Men during the inaugural year of Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy, a liberal arts college in Barry’s Bay, Ontario. The following year he became the principal of Wayside Academy, an independent Catholic school in Peterborough, Ontario that specializes in a classical curriculum, serving there for five years. In 2006, John became a resident at the Casa Balthasar in Rome, an institute of study and vocational discernment founded in 1995 by a group that included then-Frs. Marc Ouellet and Christopher Schonborn. During the next two years he completed a degree in philosophy at the Pontifical Gregorian University, and in 2008 he joined the Society of Jesus in Canada. In 2012, John completed a Master’s degree in theology at Regis College (University of Toronto), focusing on the implications of digital environments and internet-literacy for the Church’s evangelical mission. His academic interests include Hans von Balthasar and the Communio school of theology; Marshall McLuhan, Albert Borgman and the philosophy of media and technology; education and pedagogy, and Ignatian spirituality. Having grown up in Mission, B.C., John is delighted to be back in the Great Vancouver area.