A brief curriculum vitae of Jean-Marc Laporte, S.J.

I was born in Edmundston NB in 1937, did my primary schooling in French and English. I attended Loyola High School and Loyola College in Montreal and received a BA in 1957. I did an MA in philosophy at the Université de Montréal in 1958 (thesis: The Interplay of the Intellect and the Will in the Moral Act according to Thomas Aquinas, a topic which has a real bearing on the Ignatian dynamic of the Exercises, which focus around election, one of the principal components of the complete moral act according to Aquinas).

I entered the Upper Canada Province of the Society of Jesus in 1958, did further studies in philosophy at Mount St. Michael in Spokane Washington (1960-62), taught at Campion High School, Regina (1962-64), studied theology at Regis College (1964-68). I was ordained a priest in 1967.

I did graduate studies in theology at the Faculté Catholique of the Université de Strasbourg. I successfully defended my thesis L'homme renové par la grâce: grâce médicinale et grâce élevante d'après Thomas d'Aquin in 1971 and received the Doctorat ès Sciences Religieuses.

I taught systematic theology at Regis College from 1971 to 2002, and currently hold the rank of professor emeritus. I was president of the college from 1975 to 1982, during which time the college moved to its downtown campus and entered into affiliation with the University of Toronto. In 1992 I became Director of the Toronto School of Theology, a position I held until 1999. In 2000 I became socius (executive assistant) to the Provincial Superior of the Jesuits in English Canada, and from 2002 to 2008 I was the Provincial Superior. I am currently the director of the Jesuit Spirituality Centre in Halifax and priest-in-charge of St. Patrick's parish in Halifax.

Among my publications I would note one book: Patience and Power (New York: Paulist 1988), a contemporary theology of grace for the first world.

My original field of research was theological anthropology, and I came to it from a background in the study of Bernard Lonergan. My interests soon broadened to include christology, theology of the Trinity, ecumenism (I was an active member of the Anglican Roman Catholic dialogue of Canada for some fifteen years), and recently I have been working in the area of medieval theology, with a special interest in Thomas Aquinas and in 12th century figures such as Richard of St. Victor. I have published articles in the theology of grace, in Christology.

I maintain an interest in Richard of St. Victor, who offers some exciting possibilities for interpreting the dynamics of the Ignatian exercises, and in Trinitarian theology, a newly active field which can have an exciting impact on the life of the Church.

In addition I have done various forms of priestly ministry, giving retreats, helping out in parishes, doing some spiritual direction. I have given a number of eight day retreats, guided and individually directed, and in early 2009 completed a work-shop on communal apostolic discernment in the Ignatian tradition, given in Rome. One of the tasks I have taken on as director of the centre is to be the web-master of the site started by John Veltri, S.J, on orientations to Ignatian spirituality.