“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”
(1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1)
August 8, 2019 — On July 31st, the Jesuits of Canada celebrated with two special Masses the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus. At the same time, this date marked the first year of the newly formed Canadian province. Jesuits, colleagues and friends came from all over.
Provincial Fr. Erik Oland, SJ, presided one mass at the Martyrs’ Shrine in Midland.
In his homily, he played with songs and words to then compare God’s grace to the work a music coach performs when helping shape up a young voice. “The key to a good teacher is the ear he or she needs in order to hear the natural talent of an aspiring singer. It’s not a matter of building a voice, but about chipping away what gets in the way of what’s already there.”
Fr. Oland connected this type of experience with St. Ignatius of Loyola’s life and spiritual journey. “Ignatius knew this. God needed to work hard, first to have his attention and then to begin the task of sculpting Ignatius into who he already was. Who was he? Ignatius saw himself as a latter-day apostle, a spreader of the Good News, a beacon of hope for the Church in crisis. Once he accepted God’s light, there was no looking back.”
Another mass was celebrated by Fr. Gilles Mongeau, SJ, at Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Toronto, Ontario.
Making reference to the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians and to one of St. Ignatius’s deepest spiritual experiences, the vision at La Storta, he urged Jesuits and colleagues to keep Christ at the centre: “We celebrate today the first anniversary of our new Jesuit province of Canada… All of this (work) will be for nothing if we do not seek together the foundational grace of being placed with the Son, if we do not eagerly and generously seek to be a body that sorrows with Christ sorrowing in his migrant people, in his indigenous people, in his refugee people, in his Haitian people, in all our marginalized sisters and brothers, and to be a body that rejoices with the joy of the risen Christ among them.”
Below are a few photos from both celebrations and a recording of the mass at the Martyrs’ Shrine.