Four hundred years ago a pair of brave, but no doubt anxious, French Jesuit missionaries landed at Port Royal in Acadia on the shores of the Bay of Fundy. In 1611 the small fort was a gateway to the vast, unexplored territory called New France.
Over the decades that followed, the Jesuits moved steadily inland and, while fulfilling their mission as evangelists, they also became explorers, cartographers, educators, chroniclers and pastors. More so than any other religious order, the Jesuits not only witnessed the birth of Canada, they shaped significant parts of its history.
To commemorate the 400th anniversary of their arrival to the “New World” and to celebrate their many spiritual and temporal contributions to Canada, The Catholic Register has published this 36-page homage to the Jesuit priests and brothers whose courage brought them to our shores in 1611 and whose faith and commitment to service has entwined them in the fabric of Canadian life to this day.
We originally envisioned this tribute as a 12-page section. But it tripled in size over the summer due to an outpouring of support from the many organizations on these pages that wanted to extend their own congratulations in an advertisement. As a result, when the special section is combined with our weekly 20-page paper, the 56-page Catholic Register you are holding is probably the largest we’ve ever published.
The story of the Jesuit martyrs is an important part of the Canadian education curriculum. Therefore, in addition to being delivered to subscriber homes, an additional 14,000 copies of the Jesuit section have been printed for distribution to more than 1,000 Catholic elementary and high schools in Ontario at the expense of The Register.
This 400-year milestone is worthy of celebration. We hope you enjoy it.
Publisher and Editor
Jesuits in Canada
Jesuits are a key part of our history