Supporting the Jesuits represents more than attending a Mass, or an event, or sending in a donation; it’s about being part of a larger Jesuit community. A couple that can attest to this is Gail and Bruce Young.
“One of things we like about the Jesuits and their staff is that they are constantly praying for their supporters and benefactors... This gives benefactors hope that we are not alone.”
- Gail Young
Her husband Bruce agrees and says he feels Province members truly do pray for their friends and supporters. “It gives benefactors hope that they are not alone and that this relationship isn’t a one-way street,” he says.
The relationship the Youngs have with the Jesuits has been fostered for many years. Both Gail and Bruce were raised Catholic and Gail remembers visiting Martyrs’ Shrine with her family as a child and her father teaching her about the early Jesuits.
Bruce’s relationship with the Jesuits is even more intimate. He considered the priesthood and joined the Jesuits for 20 months prior to attending university. Sensing religious life was not for him he left, but says the friendships he gained while in novitiate, and the Ignatian spirituality he was introduced to, changed his life.
“I have a better sense of what my priorities have to be about -- not trying to seek too much material goods for example. Part of Ignatian spirituality is discovering God’s will and doing it because nothing else matters.”
- Bruce Young
To this day, Bruce is still friends with many of the Jesuits he met while in the novitiate and these friendships have extended to his wife Gail. The couple attends Our Lady of Lourdes Jesuit parish in Toronto and Province events like the annual Jesuit Provincial’s Dinner, St. Ignatius Day, ordinations, and a variety of talks. They’ve also been on several pilgrimages with the Jesuits overseas. One pilgrimage included a Papal audience, thanks to a Jesuit.
Both are impressed with the calibre of men, both older and younger men entering, the Jesuit order today. Since many are involved in a variety of works and have a diverse set of skills, Gail refers to them as Renaissance men.
After much success in life both say they want to give back to the community. “As donors, we have been so blessed and we both want to give back.”