Jesuits are taught to see God in all things. This makes Jesuit photography a little more intense than family snapshots.
This year four Canadian Jesuits will show their photographs as part of the 17th annual Contact festival. With more than 1,000 venues spread around Toronto and as many as 1.8 million sets of eyeballs taking in the work of an international lineup of photographers through the month of May, Contact is the largest photography event in the world.
The Jesuit show at Regis College on the campus of the University of Toronto is called “In All Things.” It runs May 10 to 26.
Second-year theologian Marc Aristotle de Asis loves the process of discovery inherent in photography. The Contact show will be the first time the 29-year-old Jesuit will see his photographs hung for a gallery crowd.
“I let myself be amazed by what the camera captures,” said de Asis of the fireworks photos he will show.
His photos will hang along with nature and abstract photography by Jesuit Fathers Gilles Mongeau and Teo Ugaban, and Jesuit Trevor Scott.
De Asis has been playing around with cameras since he was very young. Growing up in the Philippines, de Asis’s father had a darkroom. Though he claims to have been a haphazard photographer and printmaker in those days, he loved seeing what would come out of the trays of chemicals.
Photography wasn’t part of his spiritual life until his novice master, Fr. Philip Shano, urged him to channel some of his energy into photography. In the context of the initial two years of Jesuit life photography took on new dimensions.
“It’s all contemplation,” he said. “It’s a way to enter into the whole experience.”
To capture a moment requires the kind of attentiveness that is at the very heart of Ignatian spirituality, according to de Asis.
Find out more about the Contact photography exhibit and the works by the Jesuits which will be on display in this article from The Catholic Register.