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Born into a devout Catholic family of four sons, Father Bernard (Bernie) Carroll, SJ knew he wanted to join the Jesuits as early as high school.

“I admired and appreciated the Jesuits’ spirit and zeal,” says Fr. Carroll. “Priesthood was not the first motivating factor, but the Jesuits’ zest for life.”

That enthusiasm for life has been reflected in his many roles as a Jesuit priest including pastor, college campus minister, assistant novice director, vocations director, spiritual director, superior, and shrine director, to name a few.

Fr. Carroll entered the Jesuits in 1959, was ordained in 1971, and by 1972 he was a lecturer in French as well as a campus minister at Campion College in Regina, SK. In 1979, he was appointed assistant novice director for the Jesuits of English Canada.

From 1982 to 1986, Fr. Carroll was vocations director, which ended when he was invited to be part of the team animating formation ministry with Indigenous people at the Anishinabe Spiritual Centre in Espanola, ON. Four years later, he joined the retreat team at Loyola House in Guelph, ON. In the summer of 2000, Fr. Carroll became the first Jesuit pastor of Holy Rosary Parish in Guelph.

“I enjoyed parish liturgical, sacramental ministry as well as fostering the active participation of many parishioners on innumerable committees serving the liturgical, pastoral-spiritual, financial and outreach needs of the community,” says Fr. Carroll.

In 2010, he was appointed director of Martyrs’ Shrine in Midland, ON. There he enjoyed ministering to thousands of pilgrim visitors and to the Indigenous community on Christian Island. During this time, many innovations were undertaken, including preparation for the year-round residency of the Shrine’s Jesuit community. When Fr. Carroll left Martyrs’ Shrine, Indigenous leader Rosella Kinoshameg, presented him with an eagle feather, one of the highest Indigenous honors, as well as a deerskin stole, on behalf of the Shrine’s Board of Trustees.

In 2016, Fr. Carroll returned to Loyola House as a spiritual director and was able to pursue pastoral interests in individual and communal spiritual growth, in evolutionary and eco-spirituality in the spirit of Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

“It was in these years that I came to understand and appreciate profoundly the importance of prayer and the presence of the Holy Trinity in everything that exists,” says Fr. Carroll.

Last fall, Fr. Carroll became superior of the Pickering, ON Jesuit community and the René Goupil House infirmary. He speaks of great gratitude for the blessings in his life.

“I am deeply grateful to the Holy Trinity, who has always been at my side; to Jesuit confreres, to many friends and my family who have loved and supported me through the ups and downs of my life, and to our benefactors who have generously enabled me to be a Jesuit for 64 years.”

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