This month I wanted to focus on a Jesuit community that is sometimes forgotten – the Jesuits of Sudbury. Here is a brief overview of the men that make up this vibrant community.
Fr. John McCarthy’s main responsibility is care of the Jesuit community and mission in Sudbury. Fr. John also works to promote ecological awareness among Jesuit works and communities across Canada. Fr. John continues his research and writing on the lichen biodiversity of Newfoundland and Labrador with colleagues throughout North America and Europe. He and Fr. Gerry McDougall, (superior of the Jesuit community on Manitoulin Island), have also initiated a year-long communal discernment on Jesuit mission and community in the Great Lakes-Northern region of Ontario.
Fr. André Gagnon is the director of Villa Loyola which works not only with Catholics, but groups of other faith traditions, educational institutions, councils and special interest groups. He administers the Francophone parish of Sainte-Anne-de-Pins, founded by the Jesuits in 1883, and the university parish, Saint-Ignace de Loyola. He is also active in the Christian Life Community (CLC); serves as a spiritual companion for priests and diocesan members; gives the Spiritual Exercises, 30-day retreats; and participates on several boards.
Fr. John Meehan serves as President of the University of Sudbury. Among his many important roles at the university, he is also in constant contact with different groups: First Nations communities from North Bay to Sault Ste-Marie and Manitoulin Island, the Knights of Columbus, a variety of parishes, the Francophone, Anglophone and Italian communities of Sudbury, L’Arche, different levels of government, alumni, and many friends of the university.
Fr. Ronald Perron has been in Sudbury since 1952, when he was a student at College Sacré-Coeur. He knows the area and the people of Sudbury know him. He serves as a chaplain to the regional hospital and several long-term care homes and to the Greater Sudbury Police Service; he promotes Kairos sessions at Sudbury Jail and the Cursillo Movement for Northern Ontario; the Spiritual Exercises and so much more!
This small group of very active Jesuits also works with their extended community of Jesuits at the Anishinabe Spiritual Centre at Anderson Lake, who work with First Nations on Manitoulin Island, North Shore, Thunder Bay, in 12 parish churches and in leadership and spiritual education and formation.
Together, these Jesuits connect with many levels of society and extend an influence to most of the north; provide an important presence of the Society of Jesus, a witness of the work of lay people, a ministry of encouragement, leadership, and expertise.
Without your support, none of the work in our northern communities would be possible.
Thank you for your generosity,
Barry J. Leidl