Welcoming Migrants in the Age of Populism
A Journey into Exile flyer“My name is James and I am 14. I am an Irish refugee who is trying to flee with my family in order to escape the great famine that has afflicted my country from 1845 to 1849…. My name is Gabriel and I am 28. I am a Haitian asylum seeker trying to escape a miserable life.”

With these parallel stories Norbert Piché, National Director of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), invites us to reflect on the issue of immigration today (See the full story in the French Jesuit website here). With the electoral campaign in full swing in Quebec, and with the plight of immigrants, as is often the case, taking second place to the deplorable media frenzy and the disturbing election calculations, it is clearly a good moment to take a step back and to look at this situation from a historical perspective. This is the exercise to which Mr. Piché calls us in the latest edition of the magazine Prêtre et Pasteur.

The 21st Century will be marked by two great concerns that are tightly intertwined: first climate change and then the migration of millions of people directly or indirectly linked to climate change. I can assure you that what we are confronting at this moment is only the tip of the iceberg. In the course of the next decades, we will see many more displaced persons around the world. Many of them will want to come to Canada and their survival depends on it. What will our response be?

Highlighting at the same time both the long tradition of welcoming the Other to Canada and to Quebec, and the outburst of xenophobia and antisemitism that have risen up during the history of our country, Norbert calls on our fellow citizens, our fellow believers, and our elected representatives to open their doors and their hearts to millions of men, women, and children fleeing misery and persecution.

“Our politicians are often swayed by the vagaries of public opinion, rather than exercising leadership and acting with probity and dignity, stepping up on the international stage and allowing what is nobler and more beautiful in the human spirit to emerge. So it is up to us to demonstrate leadership and to prevent our politicians from making [short-sighted] decisions,” he says.

Please note that the workshop A Journey into Exile – an activity promoting awareness of the reality of migrants developed by the JRS – will again be offered on October 11, at 4:00 pm, at Laval University in Quebec City, at the Pavillon Félix-Antoine-Savard, Room FAS-140z


Do you want to learn more about vocations to the Society of Jesus? Visit www. BeAJesuit.org for more information.





Recent News

Two treasured Books of Hours from the collection of The Archive of the Jesuits in Canada are on display at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts until January 6th, 2019.

Our companion Adam Hincks, SJ, a Ph.D. in physics from prestigious Princeton University, New Jersey, is a fascinating and puzzling person. On October 9th, he was visiting his alma mater Regis College, where he gave a lecture on the contribution of Jesuits to the development of science.

Catholic feminist organizations collected 8,000 names in a petition that calls on the Vatican authorities to allow women religious superiors to work and vote as equals alongside their brothers in Christ at meetings of the 15th Synod of Youth, Faith and vocational discernment. The Dominicans, the Jesuits and the Conventual Franciscans support them.

In an interview to the TV Channel Sale + Luce, Fr. Czerny was pleased with the important place occupied by migratory issues in the work of the synod.

October 16, 2018 — Just as all roads used to lead to Rome, it now seems that all conversations eventually lead to Trump. Or Trudeau. Or Ford. And while up until recently most people got their news in two daily doses, morning and evening, in the Twitterverse it’s like being on a 24/7 cortisol drip which stimulates exasperation, fury, anxiety and/or total anomie.

From January 12, 2010, passing by October 4, 2016, to October 6 this year, the Calvary of the Haitian people has not stopped. Their rosary beads of misfortunes has not ceased to roll out. To accompany our people in the permanent quest for dignity and hope is not an option but a duty which comes from the Gospel itself.

On October 4, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) released its new policy on the prevention of sexual abuse. It’s really an update of their first policy on this topic, published in 1992, under tragic and dismal circumstances; namely, the pedophile scandal at the Mount Cashel Orphanage in St. John’s, NL.

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