During my almost six months in this blessed land, I have discovered and learned how the Jesuits, who arrived here many years ago, have been doing wonderful work in Canada. It has been a privilege for me to see how passionate they are about their mission. The work of Brebeuf and his companions in the 17th century among the native people continues today. In our time, part of this work consists of the Jesuits being involved in the Truth and Reconciliation process.
The Jesuits’ work in spirituality, which is done in collaboration with many lay people, is an important contribution to the Church. During my retreat I saw first hand just how very well prepared lay people are in giving spiritual direction. I had the pleasure of meeting Carmen, a lay woman from Bolivia, who was my spiritual director during my retreat. It was a blessing to hear and share with her our spiritual experience. Canadian Jesuits have retreat centres in Pickering, Guelph, Montreal.
Ecology, a priority for Pope Francis, is also addressed by Canadian Jesuits with a very good balance between faith, work and reconciliation with nature. One of the first ministries of the Jesuit order at its founding was education. Canadian Jesuits are working in Canadian high schools. Regis College, which is part of the University of Toronto, is a priority for the Canadian Jesuits. It is a main theological and philosophical formation centre for them. About ten Jesuits teach at Regis and Jesuits from Canada, The United States, England, Ireland, and India are doing their formation there.
Finally, the Jesuits serve in parishes accompanying the spiritual journey of their parishioners. For instance, Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Toronto brings together people of many different backgrounds to share their faith in community. There is also a shrine in Midland in honor of the Canadian Martyrs.
In all my experiences in Canada, I have felt how the Lord is showing his love and mercy through the people and the work of the Jesuits - Mission, Passion and Action. Mission because we are called by the Lord, Passion because it is Jesus with his love who inspires us, and Action because as Saint Ignatius said: Love is shown more in deeds than in words. May the Lord continue to bless these Apostles, who work for the greater glory of God.