News
Fr. Irénée Beaubien, SJ
Society Mourns the Loss of Ecumenical Leader Fr. Irénée Beaubien, SJ

May 18, 2017 — For more than six decades, Canadian Jesuit Father Irénée Beaubien was one of the bright lights in the ecumenical movement. Forever searching for ways to bring Christian denominations closer together, Fr. Beaubien died this week at the age of 101.

His passion for ecumenism started during his formation as a Jesuit when, while making a 30-day retreat, he recalled relationships he had with Protestants from his early years and felt called to work with them. He worked to fulfill the desire of Jesus: “that they may be one.”


Fr. Beaubien recevied the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (Pontifical Cross) for a lifetime commitment to the church in January 2012.

The longtime head of the Canadian Center for Ecumenism, Fr. Beaubien served as a committee member at the World Conference on Faith and the Constitution at McGill University. The meeting was instrumental in creating a dialogue between Catholic and Protestant leaders in Montreal, who began meeting and praying together. When Montreal was selected to host the 1967 World’s Fair, Fr. Beaubien worked to persuade the Vatican to decline to have its own pavilion and instead unite with other Christian denominations in setting up a single pavilion. In 1984, after directing the Center for 21 years, he began a new ministry, Paths of Faith, dedicated to engaging Christians who had distanced themselves from the church.

Fr. Beaubien was born in Shawinigan in Quebec, Canada, in 1916, one of 11 children. When the 1929 financial crisis hit, he had to leave school and worked for 10 cents an hour as a lumberjack at a logging camp in the Mauritian Forest. He returned later to his studies and decided, in 1936, to go on a Jesuit retreat. He said the experience was “profound and gentle,” where Jesus asked, “I need collaborators and I propose that you give up everything for me.” His meditation that followed about the sufferings of the passion and the crucifixion confirmed his decision to follow Christ. He entered the Jesuits in September of 1936 and was ordained a priest in 1949.

According to the Jesuits of the French Canada Province, in January of 2016, as his 100th birthday approached, Fr. Beaubien “gave thanks to God for all that had been given to him. He acknowledged that he had received much from the Society of Jesus. He emphasized also that he kept a grateful memory of the men and of the women who accompanied him and helped him as collaborators, well-wishers and friends.”





Recent News

October 14, 2017 — The story of American-born Jesuit Father Walter Ciszek (1904-1984), who spent 23 years in Russia in Siberian labor camps and Soviet prisons.

October 6, 2017 — On the Feast Day of St. Francis, the saint most identified with care for creation, two Jesuit organizations have partnered to produce what’s being called an Ecological Examen.

October 5, 2017 — Fr. Jean Denis Saint-Félix, SJ, has been named the new Secretary of the Office of Justice and Ecology at the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the U.S.

September 26, 2017 — Canadian Jesuits International is responding to two new emergency situations affecting the lives of many people in Mexico and Puerto Rico.

September 15, 2017 — Sept. 17 is the feast day of Saint Robert Bellarmine (1542–1621), a Jesuit who was one of the most important cardinals of the Catholic Reformation.

Father William Francis Ryan, SJ died in Pickering. He was in his 92nd year and in religious life for 73 years. Fr. "Bill" is well known for his works in social justice. The scope of his involvement in justice issues makes for staggering reading.

September 1, 2017 — Today is the third annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, the beginning of the Season for Creation.

view all news

Search news

Publications

Campion's Brag

Jesuit (Summer 2017)

OpenSpace (Jun 2017)



Loyola House / Ignatius Jesuit Centre
Built in 1964, Loyola House in Guelph, ON has welcomed over 60,000 people of all faiths to deepen ...