Fr. Bert Foliot is celebrating 50 years as a Jesuit Photo by Michael Swan

We can all do more, says 50-year Jesuit

  • April 12, 2012

CONCORD, ONT. - The Jesuits want more — more faith, more work, more justice, more truth, more hope, more for the love of Christ. Celebrating 50 years as a Jesuit, Fr. Bert Foliot preached the Jesuit demands for more prior to the annual Jesuit Provincial's Dinner.

It was one of the last events in a year spent celebrating 400 years of Jesuit ministry in Canada. The April 11 evening was dedicated to the core Jesuit value of more — which in the traditional language of St. Ignatius of Loyola Jesuits call "the magis."

The Magis Award was given to Peter Warrian and Margaret Hovanec, a Toronto couple behind the Lupina Foundation. The foundation funds the Lupina Centre for Spriituality, Healthcare and Ethics at Regis College, the Jesuit graduate faculty of theology at the University of Toronto.

But at Mass before the dinner, speeches and awards, Foliot laid out a Jesuit list of demands.

"We want you to demand that we help you to meet Jesus of Nazareth. That's what we want you to demand of us," he said. "We want you to demand that we be faithful to the tradition and interpret it in ways that can be understood in our secular time. We want you to demand that we be people who can open up a respect for creation so that we can be in right relation with creation."

If Jesuits are to lead the lives they are called to, they need lay people to constantly demand every dimension of Jesuit ministry, said Foliot. Over the last 50 years Foliot has been a pastor at big-city parishes, a missionary in Northern Ontario and now serves as rector at Regis College.

"I don't know if you know the power of lay people to call forth the priesthood in us," Foliot said.

"What we receive from the Jesuits wildly exceeds anything we can contribute to the Society of Jesus," said Warrian, an entrepreneur and former chief economist for the Province of Ontario.

"Good partners and collaborators make for great projects," added Hovanec, a clinical psychologist and senior fellow at the University of Toronto's Massey College.

Foliot was one of four Jesuits celebrating 50 years of Jesuit life at the 2012 Provincial's Dinner. Brother Bob Finlay, Fr. Doug McCarthy and Fr. Michael Stogre all entered the novitiate in 1962.

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