Caring for those who cared: A portrait of the René Goupil Jesuit community in Pickering
by Fr. Erik Oland, SJ
April 11, 2019 — I have just completed my annual visit to our Jesuit community in Pickering. My last activity was to participate in the Wake service of our most recently deceased companion, Frank Micallef, a member of the René Goupil (infirmary) community, one of three résidences on the 20 acre property that also houses the Manresa Spiritual Renewal Centre.
René Goupil is one of two such residences in the Province that provides a caring and supportive environment for elderly Jesuits. Like the community in Richelieu, which I wrote about last Fall, René Goupil houses Jesuits, aged up to 104 years old who tell the story of our province in the great diversity of ministry experience that they represent: Jesuits who worked with refugees and First Nations communities, the brother who designed the very building where he now lives, the professor who translated many of Bernard Lonergan's works from Latin, an art historian still working on his magnum opus... to name a few.
I feel honoured to have had a personal conversation with each of the 20 residents of the house; to have heard snippets of their rich life stories and to feel buoyed up by the rich legacy they represent.
They may be active in the field no longer but the depth of life experience they bring to the mission of 'praying for the Society' can only enhance the quality of their prayer. I felt it when I was among them and I am consoled at the knowledge that the work of the Province is sustained by their ongoing dedication to praying for its mission.
The house provides excellent care and ongoing activities; not to mention the two birthday celebrations that just happened to take place while I was there. Happy 93rd to Norm Dodge and happy 91st to Frank Whelan.
June 20, 2019 — Patron of youth who died taking care of the plague-stricken, Saint Aloysius of Gonzaga is celebrated on June 21. His life depicts that of a rebellious young man who, in spite of everything, renounced a rich court life to travel to the outskirts to serve the marginalized people of his time.
June 20, 2019 — "It would be stupid not to take advantage of the formation that a man brings to the Society," said the Director of Vocations of Fr. Adam D. Hincks, "And I can tell you one thing: we are not stupid!". This is one of the memories that this Jesuit recalls in an article about the beginnings of his religious vocation, part of the latest edition of the magazine Canadian Jesuits.
June 20, 2019 — Some 20 MPs are calling for the indictment of the Haitian head of state, Jovenel Moïse, already abandoned by the nation's private sector. The Church is also involved, by also positioning itself against Mr. Moïse, inaction and violence.
June 20, 2019 — Four years after the publication of the encyclical Laudato Si', Pope Francis seeks to encourage all actors in the associative, economic and political world to "work together in a spirit of solidarity to promote concrete steps for the protection of our planet".
June 13, 2019 — In The Pope Video for June 2019, Pope Francis speaks to all Catholics, inviting them to look around and observe with an open heart each of the priests in their communities. Holiness always attracts less attention than sin and scandal.
June 13, 2019 — Last May 31 to June 2, 50 young professionals took part in an Ignatian retreat at the Manresa Jesuit Spiritual Renewal Centre. These young people, between the ages of 19 and 39, came from all walks of life.