As promised, I am pleased to begin my monthly sharing with you of stories from some of the Jesuits working across Canada. One such example is the Jesuits of Pickering, who look after two apostolates: Manresa Jesuit Spiritual Renewal Centre and René Goupil, the Jesuit infirmary.
For those Jesuits who cannot live independently, René Goupil provides 24-hour care in a 24-bed facility with professional nursing, a dietician, and therapists, for Jesuits living out their final days. As many of you know, during the peak of last year’s COVID-19 pandemic, seven elderly Jesuits died. Since then, the infirmary has had to do many upgrades to bring the old building up to code to today’s standards.
This home for infirmed Jesuits is much more than a retirement home, since residents here are missioned to the Apostleship of Prayer where they pray for the needs of the Church; for all our benefactors, and offer up Mass requests. Their prayers are especially felt by all those who visit the adjacent Manresa Jesuit Spiritual Renewal Centre. Often we hear from those who visit Manresa on retreat who tell us they feel they are on holy ground and that burdens of life are lifted there.
Currently due to the pandemic, Manresa Jesuit Spiritual Renewal Centre operates on a minimum scale. Plans are in the works to renew the existing aging facility and prepare to once again welcome our full programs such as our 12-Step retreats, Ignatian retreats, high school student retreats, and various other groups.
The Jesuits working in Pickering and across Canada and Haiti are grateful for your support and your prayers.
Barry J. Leidl