‘Relations’ and ‘Au coeur du monde’: A faithful and critical look at the world

May 16, 2019 — The magazines Relations and Au cœur du monde have just launched their new editions. Both in French, these have us travelling to the territory of Wet’suwet’en in Kuujjuaq, from Paris to Seoul or from Park Extension to Kinshasa, leading us to view the world in a critical and contemplative manner.

Au cœur du monde : The Footsteps of God in the City... Walking to Contemplate

About 35 believers in cities all over the world were invited to walk through them, giving a long loving look at the real, a spiritual, physical and literary exercise. The next step was to briefly write down the fruit of this contemplative experience: what attracted, inspired, inspired, surprised, touched, stirred, and moved them.

To discern God's Breath by walking through the streets of a city is a stimulating challenge for every believer who, in the spiritual school of Ignatius of Loyola, likes to open him/herself to the experience of "God in all things".

All participants in the issue, published by the Centre de spiritualité Manrèse, reflect the current diversity of the Ignatian community – Canadian and international – and want to promote the spirit of collaboration to which we, as companions, aspire more today.

Among the Ignatian contributors are several Jesuits from our Province (notably John Meehan, Gilles Mongeau, André Brouillette, Jean Denis Saint-Félix, Trevor Scott and even - surprise!- the late René Champagne, who sent us his note from the heavenly city...), a number of lay people, men and women (Christian Grondin, Marco Veilleux, Véronique Lang, Marilyne Roy, Esther Hizsa, Éric Laliberté...), and religious (François Lapierre, Christine Danel, Katrin Goris, Laura Patelli...).

To order this and other issues of Au cœur du monde, visit this link.

Relations: When Our Benchmarks are Challenged

The Centre justice et foi (Centre for Justice and Faith) published a new edition of their magazine (in French) Relations with the theme of When our Benchmarks are Challenged. Decolonization, Migrations, Ecological Crisis. Following the issue titles Un monde qui vacille (“A Stumbling World”) (No. 770, 2014), this edition centers on the transition towards a multipolar world where the Western Hemisphere no longer retains a hegemonic position.

Among other topics, Jean-Claude Ravet discusses the firm position taken by the CAQ government regarding Bill 21 which discredits the religious experience itself and relegates believers, especially Muslims, to the status of second-class citizens. Julie Depelteau sheds light on the conflicts in the Wet’suwet’en territory over colonialism and the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline. Alexa Conradi explains the decolonial turn taken by the Québec feminist movement in partnership with indigenous peoples and Muslim women. Ovide Bastien highlights Nicaragua where, contrary to what Maurice Lemoine (ex-editor in chief of Le Monde diplomatique) says, the bishops support the grass-roots demands in the fight against President Ortega.

This edition of Relations reflects a world movement. These few examples illustrate that the Western Hemisphere is no longer the central hub of the world. For example, the centre of gravity of the Catholic Church and the Society of Jesus has moved to the Southern Hemisphere as demonstrated by the election of an Argentinian pope (Jorge Bergoglio), a Venezuelan Father General (Arturo Sosa) and an Indian Jesuit at the head of the Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat of the Society of Jesus (Xavier Jeyaraj). Pope Francis himself supports the universality of the Church. As Frédéric Barriault states: “He sees the migratory and human dramas through the eyes of the poor and of a man from the south.” Francis, just like the new Apostolic Preferences of the Society of Jesus, invites Catholics to express deepen their commitment with migrants, the poor and the excluded.

Hence, the situation is complex and ever-changing. As Emiliano Arpin-Simonetti states in Relations: “It boils down to finding common ground with those who are excluded or who are victims of our institutions and of our relationship with the world in order to broaden our conceptions of the common good. And based upon the solidarity of countless fights for equality, democracy and the safeguarding of our common house, we must build new pluralistic forms of modernism and universalism which some call pluriversalism.”

Two editions that invite us to reflect upon justice and faith here and elsewhere.

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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