On July 31, the English Canada and French Canada Provinces of the Society of Jesus will unite to create one new, Canada-wide, bilingual Jesuit Province in Canada, the Jesuits of Canada/Jésuites du Canada. Actually, we are reuniting the Jesuit Provinces in Canada, as the attached history of Jesuits in Canada explains.
My term as Provincial Superior will end on the same date as the creation of the new Province. There have been many challenges, some painful and some exciting, but throughout it has been a joy to give myself away for the sake of building us all up for the greater glory of God. Over the past years, I have had the privilege of getting to know many of you. I have been touched by the deep and personal connections that you have all shown to individual Jesuits, Jesuit works, and to the Society of Jesus.
It bears repeating that the work of the Jesuits is simply not possible without the continuing support of all of you. It has been a privilege for me to experience the grace of hearing your stories and being enriched by learning about your journeys in being partners in our mission.
The road ahead for the Jesuits in Canada is challenging yet exciting. Jesuits are human, after all, and many of us have some concerns about the new Province. The differences in language and culture between Québec and the rest of Canada (not to mention Haiti) and between indigenous and non-indigenous Canadians are real, as are the logistical challenges of combining two administrative structures. We can go forward only with God’s help, and we ask for your prayers for us all as we move forward on our journey.
I thank you for your support at this special time in the history of the Jesuits in Canada, in a spirit of thanksgiving for the English Canada Province, and in hopeful anticipation of the new Province. With your help the new whole will be much more than the sum of its parts.
Thank you again! I know that the new Provincial of the Province, Erik Oland, is looking forward to connecting with you all, and he joins me in prayers of thanks for all that you do as partners in the Jesuit mission in Canada.
God bless you!
Peter Bisson, SJ