Jesuit in Canada: We must all do better

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Jesuit father. Alan Fogarty, CEO of Salt + Light Media, shares his thoughts after attending Pope Francis’ meeting with the Jesuits in Canada, as well as what he hopes people will take away from the apostolic journey.

By Francesca Merlo

After attending Pope Francis’ meeting with the Jesuits, Fr. Alan Fogarty, SJ, CEO of Salt + Light Media, describes the private encounter as “fantastic.”

Speaking to Vatican News’ Griselda Mutual, the Jesuit priest noted how the Holy Father felt “at home” with his “Jesuit brothers”.

The pope: one of us

Pope Francis sat with his confreres in a circle, and Fr. Fogarty says the meeting was very relaxed and personal.

“You could tell that as he presented various points and we asked questions, he was very open and very honest to just answer. And in everything he was one of us,” says the Father Fogarty.

Looking back on the “important” week he spent with Pope Francis in Canada, Fr. Fogarty notes how the Pope “gave us images with which we could engage and think about how we could really commit ourselves as individuals”.

One of his most consistent arguments was that each person, Aboriginal or not, must work together, he said, and must decide to work together.

“It’s not just Canada,” Fr. Fogarty continues, “but all over the world because colonialism and colonization and indigenous peoples are everywhere.”

Get full balance

Now that the apostolic journey is over and Pope Francis is back in Rome, Fr. Fogarty expresses his hope that “really practical things” can come from this visit.

He hopes that as a responder, people will start saying, “I’m going to be different now.”

Why? “Because I understand what’s going on. I understand the people who are hurt. I understand those who are part of the residential schools, as well as the perspective of the Church, to try to achieve a balance between the Aboriginal people who are survivors and position of the Church.”

jesus is here

“It was a real effort for him to come here because as we see him struggling with his knee, etc., he wanted to show the love of the Church,” Fr. Fogarty continues.

What the Pope wanted was “to show that there is a way forward”.

Father Fogarty gives the example of one of the homilies in which the Pope noted that “we do not see that Jesus is walking with us and a moment comes as a surprise and they recognize him at the breaking of the bread”.

Father Fogarty expresses his hope that we too “will experience this moment when we arrive and there is a breaking of the bread and we can say, yes, Jesus is there”.

Listen to an excerpt from the interview

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