St.John's: 30 years after Mount Cashel
Newfoundland

In the beginning of September our Provincial, Fr. Erik Oland SJ, visited the Jesuit community of St. John’s NL. That visit coincided with the publication of the report of the Pennsylvania Investigating Grand Jury on sexual abuse in dioceses of that state, and with the sad 30th anniversary of the Mount Cashel orphanage affair. Both Erik Oland and Philip Shano SJ discerned their Jesuit vocation during that sombre time.

Philip Shano tells us in “Remembering Mount Cashel” how he discerned his Jesuit vocation literally in the courtyard of that macabre establishment. Erik Oland reminded the Jesuit community of St. John’s that he shared their suffering. Here is an excerpt from his homily:

We live in a broken world. God is not there to put a stop to it; we can ask for help, courage and inspiration, to sing loudly so that it resonates throughout the Church as a corporate cry: THIS HAS TO STOP. I don't have the answers or an easy solution except to say that ever since I joined the Jesuits in the early 90s, itself a time of great pain here and for me personally, and having asked the question: do I really want to become a priest in this sinful, imperfect Church, I received the response "I will not leave you alone. Life can be tough; look what the world did to me... but I assure you whatever path you take, you will never be alone. I will be there to help."

That scandal was the beginning of a painful reflection for the Catholic Church in Canada. Indeed it was in the wake of this evil affair that the Candian Conference of Catholic Bishops created a policy for the prevention of abuses with the eloquent title of From Pain to Hope.

Seven years ago the Bishops’ Conference undertook the task of publishing this policy, in the light of incidences of abuse and pediphilia which had stained the life of the Church over the previous decades. To this end an ad hoc committee was established, presided by the Archbishop of Halifax – Yarmounth, Bishop Anthony Mancini.

At the latest meeting of the CCCB in Cornwall ON, the Canadian bishops were presented with the final version of that document. In an interview with Presence: Religious News, Bishop Mancini reiterated the vital importance of listening to the victims of sexual abuse.

This new policy for the prevention of abuse gives the Canadian Church clear guidelines and instructions for the effective protection of children and vulnerable adults.





Recent News

February 20, 2020 — The Jesuits of Canada have urged the Government of Canada to work "assiduously toward a peaceful resolution of the conflict now underway in the traditional territory of the Wet’suwet’en People".

February 17, 2020 — The current conflict between the Wet’suwet’en First Nations and Coastal GasLink has to do with a natural gas pipeline that Coastal Gaslink wants to build, some of which would pass through traditional Wet’suwet’en territory in the northwestern central interior of British Columbia.

February 17, 2020 — Fr. Greg Kennedy, SJ, sees spiritual conversion as an essential step in our struggle to change the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that lead to the abuse of our Common House and the current climate emergency.

February 10, 2020 — Whether they’re serving immigrants in Richmond, young professionals in New York, or others in settings ranging from Toronto’s inner city to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, Jesuit parishes are different. They share a particular sense of identity.

February 10, 2020 — “Theology is never practiced in a vacuum, but always in a specific time and place. This time and place is the modern world.” Sister Susan K. Wood, first female Academic Dean of Regis College, agreed to talk with us briefly about her career path, her projects and her vision of the Church.

February 3, 2020 — One of the important questions we as faith-filled people should be asking ourselves is: How can we live our faith with greater depth and credibility? Another way we could ask this question is through a more imaginative lens: How can we live with more contemplative attentiveness in and toward the world around us?

January 31, 2020 – Kevin Kelly, SJ co-founded the Ignatian Spirituality Project in Toronto, which offers spiritual aid to those who have experienced homelessness. "You learn really quickly that your story is not that different."

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