Newly ordained Jesuit Fathers William Mbugua (far left) and Michael Knox (far right) consecrate bread and wine on either side of ordaining Archbishop Terrence Prendergast.

Jesuits welcome two new priests

  • June 8, 2011

TORONTO - When Canada’s first Jesuits, Frs. Pierre Biard and Ennemond Massé, arrived 400 years ago, the ship they were sailing was called the Grace of God. As William Mbugua and Michael Knox were ordained by Ottawa’s Jesuit Archbishop Terrence Prendergast June 4, the two new Jesuit priests found themselves in the same boat.

Prendergast called the two young priests “Fresh hope for the mission of the Jesuits today.”

With dozens of Jesuits present from all over North America, Knox and Mbugua stood up and lay down for the same ordination. But they came from vastly different starting places.

Toronto boy Knox entered the novitiate in 1997 at 18, straight out of Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts. Mbugua started off in small-town Kenya and worked his way to the University of Manitoba where his encounter with Canadian Jesuits  changed his life.

Mbugua’s family descended on Toronto’s Our Lady of Lourdes parish from Kenya in crowds and showed the Canadians what real celebration looks and sounds like as Mbugua’s sisters, cousins and aunts danced the gifts up to the altar to the sound of drums.

A special place was given to the mothers.

“You have given us and given the Church a great gift in your sons,” Regis College rector Fr. Bert Foliot told the women.

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