Celebrating the gift of Ignatian spirituality throughout Canada

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On September 25 took place the first online meeting of the “Ignatian family” in Canada! In several parts of the world, this term designates the religious communities and movements whose inspiration and charism are grounded in the spirituality of Saint Ignatius Loyola, who founded the order of the Jesuits in the 16th century. This celebration was part of the series of events organised by the Jesuits in Canada to mark the 500th anniversary of Saint Ignatius’ conversion in 1521. Sister Laurence co-organised and facilitated the event.

The Ignatian family in Canada gathers about 20 religious orders and lay movements whose members are spread throughout the country. Some communities have been present in Canada for over a century: the Jesuits, the Loretto Sisters, the Sisters of Saint Joseph, the Institut Notre-Dame du Bon-Conseil de Montréal, les Soeurs de la Charité de Quebec, Religieuses de Jesus Marie… while some were founded or have arrived in the last decades: Christian Life Communities, Communaute Vie Chrétienne, Institut du Christ Seigneur, Eucharistic Youth Movement, our own community of Xaviere sisters…

The general theme was “Seeing all things new in Christ”. The morning session was a workshop/colloquy organised in two parts. A first series of speakers presented how Saint Ignatius, Saint Francis Xavier and the first Jesuits in Canada had to open up to new ways of living out the mission based on the new contexts they were faced with. A second series of presenters spoke about new mission paths emerging in the areas of primary and post-secondary education, spiritual accompaniment, and relationships between indigenous and settler communities in Canada. The afternoon took the form of an online celebration during which short presentations of the participating movements and communities were shown.   It was a beautiful day of encounter, reflection, sharing, prayer, rejoicing and thanksgiving for the gift of the Ignatian spirituality which remains to this day so life-giving and relevant to discern God’s loving presence and action in all things!

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