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Dear Friends,

The month of May is when Martyrs’ Shrine, our national shrine to the Jesuit martyrs normally opens to the public for the season.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the Shrine will be closed to the general public for pilgrimages for a second year. However, the Shrine has come up with unique ways to still serve pilgrims. In this letter, I would like to share some of these with you.

Like most parishes during the pandemic, the Shrine has an online weekly Sunday Mass available on their website. But the Shrine has even more innovative ways to provide spiritual relief during these days of pandemic lockdowns.

A new Jesuit hotline at 1-855-495-PRAY (7729) allows callers to speak with a Jesuit priest for spiritual conversation and prayer by phone (Mon-Fri. 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM & 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM). The online “Light A Candle for A Loved One” allows supporters to list prayer intentions and a Jesuit priest at the Shrine will light a candle in the votary and offer the intention in your name. Mass intentions may also be requested at the Shrine website and will be mentioned during the daily Mass of the Jesuit community at Martyrs’ Shrine.

From May 1 to October 8, 2021, the Family Package provides an opportunity for a pre-registered family/group of 6 people to visit Martyrs’ Shrine, where a Jesuit priest welcomes you, offers a talk, personalized Mass, candle lighting with intentions, blessing with the relics of St. Jean de Brébeuf and his companions, and a car blessing.  This is followed by an opportunity to enjoy a time of personal prayer and rest in one of the Shrine’s beautiful gardens. For more on this please visit the Shrine’s website (click here). 

Since traditional cultural pilgrimages cannot take place again this year, the Shrine offers an opportunity for representatives to come and participate in a filmed Mass, in the Shrine church, that will be posted on the Shrine website for pilgrims to share in from home.

Finally, schools board retreat services through a series of day-long online retreats are presented in the classroom.  The Shrine will continue their post-secondary education programming, via Zoom, with Regis College and St. Michael’s College throughout the summer and fall. The Shrine has also provided two very successful online, eight-day retreats.

As you can see Martyrs’ Shrine is as active as ever!

Thank you for your generous support of the Jesuits of Canada.

Blessings to you and your family,

Barry J. Leidl
Director, Advancement

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