Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

Jesuit Taking a Scientific Approach to Prayer

Jesuit Father Chris Rupert brings a systematic mind to prayer. // Photo by Michael Swan

Believers in every religion and through every century of human history have done something they can’t quite describe, justify or do without. They pray.

They may meditate, contemplate, recite, babble or immerse themselves in silence. They may seek solitude or seek company to pray with others. They may follow the rules of a liturgy, improvise or seek a simple, direct encounter with God.

Jesuit Father Chris Rupert brings a systematic mind to the subject. His PhD combined Scripture studies with statistical modelling and social sciences. For the last 30 years as a pastor, theologian and retreat leader, now at Manresa Jesuit Spiritual Retreat Centre in Pickering, Ontario, Canada, Rupert has thought scientifically, systematically and precisely about what people are doing when they pray.

“When people get a sense of God in prayer, it depends on their social situation,” Rupert told Canada’s Catholic Register in a wide-ranging discussion of his research. “If my life situation changes, prayer will change.”

As Rupert taught people classic Ignatian prayer techniques he began to think about the way expectations and terminology were predetermining how people experience prayer.

“The question I ask myself in my examination of conscience determines often what I get out of it — or what I don’t get out of it,” he said.
Read the rest of this entry »

Canada’s Mi’kmaq Tribe Ask Jesuits to Help Preserve their Language

Port_Royal_RizzettoAs Canada’s Jesuits remembered their first steps on North American soil and the welcome they received from Mi’kmaq people 400 years ago, the Mi’kmaq asked for a favor.
“Maybe it’s time for the Mi’kmaq to ask for your help in preserving our language,” Grand Keptin Antle Denny told three dozen Canadian Jesuits and about 100 guests who had gathered to mark the 1611 landing of two Jesuits at Port Royal in what is now Nova Scotia.

Denny said about 70 percent of Mi’kmaq speak English and very few young people are comfortable in their own language. Linguists have told Denny the language will be extinct in 20 years.

“We need your help,” Denny told the Jesuits.

“We want to be with them in spirit,” said the Jesuits’ English Canadian provincial superior, Father Jim Webb. “We would be happy to cooperate.”

Father Webb told The Catholic Register it’s difficult to say what practical steps today’s Jesuits could take to help preserve the language, but he noted that work on languages has been part of Jesuit history in Canada. Canadian Jesuits translated Ojibwa stories into English and the Bible into Ojibwa in central Canada. A Canadian missionary to Nepal was responsible for translating the liturgy into Nepali.

Nova Scotia’s Lt. Gov. Mayann Francis praised the Jesuits’ 400 years of faith and zeal.

“God has blessed us. Let us not squander that in an age of distraction,” she said. “Let us embrace those blessings we enjoy in this province.”

The reconstructed settlement on the shores of the Annapolis Basin, near the Bay of Fundy, provided a backdrop for a brief dramatic re-enactment of the Jesuits’ landing at the site. The original settlement had been built by French fur traders in 1604 but was abandoned to Mi’kmaq control when the Jesuits arrived. It became the base for two years of missionary activity before the Jesuits returned to France.

“Their mission was the Jesuit mission to find God in all things,” said Father Webb in a homily at a thanksgiving Mass.

“They recognized the spirit of Christ present among the native people they came to serve,” he said. “That’s a legacy that continues to this day.”

The arduous, expensive and dangerous journey to North America in 1611 was typical of what Jesuits have always done, and still do, said Father Jean-Marc Biron, provincial superior of the Jesuits in Quebec.

“Even in those times, Jesuits had to work to the frontiers,” Father Biron told The Catholic Register. “We still, as Jesuits, work on the frontiers — not just the geographical ones.”

[Catholic News Service]

Canada's Mi'kmaq Tribe Ask Jesuits to Help Preserve their Language

Port_Royal_RizzettoAs Canada’s Jesuits remembered their first steps on North American soil and the welcome they received from Mi’kmaq people 400 years ago, the Mi’kmaq asked for a favor.
“Maybe it’s time for the Mi’kmaq to ask for your help in preserving our language,” Grand Keptin Antle Denny told three dozen Canadian Jesuits and about 100 guests who had gathered to mark the 1611 landing of two Jesuits at Port Royal in what is now Nova Scotia.

Denny said about 70 percent of Mi’kmaq speak English and very few young people are comfortable in their own language. Linguists have told Denny the language will be extinct in 20 years.

“We need your help,” Denny told the Jesuits.

“We want to be with them in spirit,” said the Jesuits’ English Canadian provincial superior, Father Jim Webb. “We would be happy to cooperate.”

Father Webb told The Catholic Register it’s difficult to say what practical steps today’s Jesuits could take to help preserve the language, but he noted that work on languages has been part of Jesuit history in Canada. Canadian Jesuits translated Ojibwa stories into English and the Bible into Ojibwa in central Canada. A Canadian missionary to Nepal was responsible for translating the liturgy into Nepali.

Nova Scotia’s Lt. Gov. Mayann Francis praised the Jesuits’ 400 years of faith and zeal.

“God has blessed us. Let us not squander that in an age of distraction,” she said. “Let us embrace those blessings we enjoy in this province.”

The reconstructed settlement on the shores of the Annapolis Basin, near the Bay of Fundy, provided a backdrop for a brief dramatic re-enactment of the Jesuits’ landing at the site. The original settlement had been built by French fur traders in 1604 but was abandoned to Mi’kmaq control when the Jesuits arrived. It became the base for two years of missionary activity before the Jesuits returned to France.

“Their mission was the Jesuit mission to find God in all things,” said Father Webb in a homily at a thanksgiving Mass.

“They recognized the spirit of Christ present among the native people they came to serve,” he said. “That’s a legacy that continues to this day.”

The arduous, expensive and dangerous journey to North America in 1611 was typical of what Jesuits have always done, and still do, said Father Jean-Marc Biron, provincial superior of the Jesuits in Quebec.

“Even in those times, Jesuits had to work to the frontiers,” Father Biron told The Catholic Register. “We still, as Jesuits, work on the frontiers — not just the geographical ones.”

[Catholic News Service]

400 years of Canadian Jesuit Archives Now Under One Roof

The Jesuit Archive in Canada, a witness to the activity of all the Jesuits who worked both in English and French Canada and its foreign missions since the arrival of the first Jesuits to Canada in 1611, has been joined under one roof in Montréal, to better serve historians, researchers and those interested in Canadian Jesuit history from the 17 century until today. The Archive includes rare books, works of art, documents and publications relating to Canadian Jesuit and early Canadian history.
A celebration of the official opening of the Jesuit Archive in Canada will take place from September 22 – 23 in Montréal. For the schedule of events, please visit jesuit.org.
For more information, (including bios, photographs, and historical material), contact:
• Pierre Bélanger, S.J. – service des communications – les jésuites at:
514-387-2541, ext. 339 – email: pierre.belanger@jesuites.org
• Céline Widmer – Directrice, Archives des jésuites au Canada at:
514-387-2541, ext. 238 – email: cwidmer@jesuites.org
• Erica Zlomislic – Communications Officer – Jesuits in English Canada at:
416-962-4500 ext. 225– email: communications@jesuits.ca

njn_canada_archivesThe Jesuit Archive in Canada, a witness to the activity of all the Jesuits who worked both in English and French Canada and its foreign missions since the arrival of the first Jesuits to Canada in 1611, has been joined under one roof in Montréal, to better serve historians, researchers and those interested in Canadian Jesuit history from the 17 century until today. The Archive includes rare books, works of art, documents and publications relating to Canadian Jesuit and early Canadian history.

A celebration of the official opening of the Jesuit Archive in Canada will take place from September 22 – 23 in Montréal. For the schedule of events, please visit jesuit.org.

For more information, (including bios, photographs, and historical material), contact:

• Pierre Bélanger, S.J. – service des communications – les jésuites at:

514-387-2541, ext. 339 – email: pierre.belanger@jesuites.org

• Céline Widmer – Directrice, Archives des jésuites au Canada at:

514-387-2541, ext. 238 – email: cwidmer@jesuites.org

• Erica Zlomislic – Communications Officer – Jesuits in English Canada at:

416-962-4500 ext. 225– email: communications@jesuits.ca