Sunday, March 11, 2007


Though spring break doesn't begin until tomorrow, I spent most of last week away from Fordham - in Montreal, to be precise. The trip fell into a category that a former law professor of mine described, in response to a question about whether a particular trip was made for business or pleasure, as "pleasurable business." My explicit purpose in going to Montreal was to help out another Jesuit who had to go there on official business. My companion had never been to Montreal and doesn't speak French, so I went along to assist both as one who knows the city and speaks the language. Montreal is one of my favorite places in the world, so I was very happy to have a reason to return there for the first time since I entered the Society.

This trip also provided my first experience to get to know some of the Jesuits who live and work in Montreal. On previous visits to the city, I would sometimes attend Mass at the Gesu downtown, but I never got to know any of the Jesuits who work there. On this visit, I stayed at the provincial residence of the Jesuit Province of French Canada and got to know some of the men who live there - a diverse group that includes artists, scholars, hospital and prison chaplains and retirees. I also had a chance to meet some Jesuits from the anglophone Upper Canada Province who live and work in Montreal. Among these was Jesuit film scholar Marc Gervais, whose cameo role in my vocation story I have written about before. We spent a long while talking about Ingmar Bergman, film in general, and the Society's creative engagement with modern culture. Finally meeting Marc Gervais was a treat, but so was being back in Montreal and getting to know some of the Jesuits who contribute to the life of the city.

With my real spring break imminent, I'll be spending this coming week in Washington. I'll be returning to familiar haunts in Georgetown and catching up with old friends, some of whom I have not seen since I entered the Society. I'll be back in New York - and back to blogging - on March 19th, my name day. AMDG.


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