April 25, 2019 — The second issue of the magazine Canadian Jesuits features the new universal apostolic preferences of the Society of Jesus. The various authors present us with different aspects of these preferences: discernment and the Spiritual Exercises; to walk with the marginalized; to care for our common home (ecology); and to accompany young people.
Jesuits in Canada, collaborators and their works bring these preferences to life. Fr. Peter Bisson, SJ tells us about his participation in a challenging meeting of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the subsequent pathway traced by Jesuits since the 1980s in the reconciliation process with indigenous people.
“During these efforts,” he writes, “Canadian Jesuits have been evangelized by indigenous peoples.”
Frédéric Barriault reviews the history of the Centre justice et foi and the magazine Relations. The Centre was able to make itself heard in a secular society, to incarnate the prophetic questions of the Gospel, and to engage with others in favour of justice and human dignity.
Two future Jesuit priests, Ted Penton, SJ and Adam Hicks, SJ, tell us about the way in which they discerned that God was calling them to religious life, to a deep union with God and with others: Ted, through working for social justice, and Adam, in creating a bridge between faith and science.
To the south, Savien Doblas gives us an update on the work of the Jesuit Development Office in Haiti with victims of hurricane Matthew.
Canadian Jesuits Abroad
Jesuits overseas are not lax in putting the Apostolic Preferences into practice.
For example, Fr. Pierre Bélanger, SJ carries on the work of the Jesuit Refugee Service created by Fr. Pedro Arrupe SJ — who is now on the pathway to beatification.
Marc-André Veselovsky, SJ tells us of his formation at the Centre Sèvres in Paris, with an international group of young religious and lay people. It was based not on learning by heart, but on a personal understanding of the philosophy and theology presented.
Not to mention the missions in Vietnam among marginalized indigenous peoples, the Jesuit commitment to Islamic-Christian dialogue in Dakar, or the 50th anniversary of the Secretariat for Social Justice and Ecology.
Finally, in this Easter season two texts are particularly appropriate. The first is a biblical meditation by Fr. Artur Suski, SJ on the paschal mystery in Saint Paul. This saint searched his Jewish and Hellenist heritage in order to explain this mystery, and was thus the first Christian author to give a sense to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The second is by Jean-Claude Ravet about the Cross, that paradox at the heart of faith which presents on one hand a violent, humiliating death, and on the other hand Christianity and the love of God.