Fr. Erik Oland, SJ, Provincial of the new Jesuit Province of Canada
July 30, 2018 — On July 31 — the feast of St. Ignatius, founder of the Society of Jesus — the Jesuit Province of Canada will come into existence. The new Province will reunify the French and English Canada Provinces, which had been separate Provinces for almost a century.
Father Erik Oland, SJ, will serve as its first Provincial. He has been serving as Provincial for the Province of French Canada since November 2016 and previously served as master of novices at the Jesuit novitiate in Montreal.
Father Arturo Sosa, SJ, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, officially announced that the new Province would be created on July 31 during his visit to the Church of the Gesù in Montreal in May.
During the homily, Fr. Sosa said, “With grateful hearts we recognize that for many years Canadian Jesuits have devoted themselves to evangelization and education, to spirituality and social analysis, to pastoral work and to missionary outreach around the world. We thank God for allowing Jesuits to serve in Canada for more than 400 years, and we ask God to allow us to serve for many more.”
At the end of his homily, Fr. Sosa expressed his hope that the new Province of Canada has “the audacity of those who believe that the Divine Word has come into this world, that he has taken flesh in Mary, that he has passed through death and has risen to lead us all to the fullness of life.”The new Province will be celebrated twice on July 31: in Pickering, Ontario, at St. Isaac Jogues Parish and in Montreal at the Church of the Gesù. [Sources: Jesuits.org, America magazine]