Jesuit Historiography Online

Historiography of Jesuits in Canada since 1842
(9,300 words)

John D. Meehan, S.J.
[email protected]

Last modified: June 2017

Since their return to Canada in 1842, Jesuits have played an instrumental role in education and intellectual life, domestic and foreign missions, Spiritual Exercises ministry and social justice work.1 Building upon the ministries of the Old Society, particularly in education and missions to indigenous peoples, they inherited a legacy that was unique to the Canadian context. As part of the founding national myth, Jesuits had established schools, explored unchartered territory and expended themselves in ministry to the First Nations, culminating in the renowned example of the Canadian martyrs. Integral to the French presence in North America since 1611, when they had arrived at Port Royal, Nova Scotia, they came under British rule after the Fall of New France in 1760. Though not formally suppressed by the British, they were forbidden from recruiting, leading to their gradual demise with the death of the last Jesuit, Jean-Joseph Casot (b.1728), in 1800. Inspired by their example, the bishop of Montreal, Ignace Bourget (1799–1885), invited them back to Canada in 1842, though evidence suggests he was at least equally motivated by a desire to keep their vast “Jesuit estates” for the church.2

The historiography of Jesuits in Canada reflects the dynamics of this rich but complex legacy. Writing about Jesuits, particularly during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, occurred along the emerging fault lines of British North America, the fledgling colonies that became the Dominion of Canada in 1867. It was difficult, if not impossible, to separate Jesuits from the political, ethnic and religious controversies that divided Canadians during this period. Time and again, accounts about Jesuits were shaped by larger polemics regarding relations between English and French Canada, between Protestants and Catholics and between rival entities within the church. Moreover, the governance structure of Jesuits in Canada indicated the evolving identity of a young and diverse nation seeking to establish itself within the North Atlantic world. Beginning as the New York–Canada mission in 1846, Jesuits in Canada were attached to the new province of Champagne, France seventeen years later before becoming an independent mission in 1869. Ten years later, this entity separated from New York to become part of the English province. As if to reflect the dominion’s growing autonomy, as well as its linguistic divisions, the province of Canada was created in 1907 and split into the French-speaking province of Lower Canada and English-speaking vice-province of Upper Canada in 1924. The latter became a full province in 1939 and for a brief period (1964–68), the separate Provinces of Montreal and Quebec existed to respond to growing membership in French Canada. The two linguistically-based Canadian provinces (now called, respectively, the Jesuits in English Canada and les jésuites du Canada français et Haïti) are due to become a single bilingual province of Canada on July 31, 2018.

Archival Sources: An Overview

The Archive of the Jesuits in Canada (AJC), located at the Maison Bellarmin in Montreal, is the essential reference point for researchers interested in the history of Jesuits in Canada. Opened in 2009, it provides a state-of-the-art facility that combines the former holdings of the Jesuit archives of Upper Canada, previously located at Toronto, and those of French Canada, formerly at Saint-Jérôme, Quebec. With over 1.5 linear kilometers of materials, the AJC, including its library (housing some 37,000 works) and Félix Martin, S.J. Reading Room, constitutes the world’s single largest collection chronicling the work of Jesuits in Canada since their arrival in 1611. Spanning four centuries of history, the AJC contains an especially rich collection of records for Jesuits in English and French Canada since 1842, including much material on domestic missions to indigenous peoples as well as missions to China, India, Zambia, Haiti, and Jamaica. Library holdings, but not archival material, may be accessed through an online catalogue. The archive also contains over a thousand maps and plans as well as cultural artifacts of the Old and New Societies, many of national significance, including artwork, liturgical objects, and archeological findings. Greatly used and appreciated by researchers, the AJC is the modern successor to the first archive established in 1848 by Fr. Félix Martin, S.J. (1804–86), founder of the Collège Sainte-Marie, Montreal, in which the original archive was housed.

In light of the relatively recent merger of the collections of English and French Canada, the AJC is divided into two main sections with two separate finding aids. Researchers interested in English Canada may consult a finding aid compiled by former archivist Patrick Boyle, S.J. (1920–2004) for material that dates primarily from the creation of the vice-province of Upper Canada in 1924. This resource is detailed and organized according to individual Jesuits, specific communities and apostolic works, overall themes, records of the Provincial Curia and correspondence between the latter and the General Curia in Rome. There are materials on social and spiritual ministries such as Christian Life Communities and the Jesuit Centre for Social Faith and Justice. Most of the documents at the Jesuit archives in Rome related to English Canada, though not French Canada, have been copied and are available on microfilm at the AJC. Researchers interested in specific works, such as schools, university colleges and parishes, are encouraged also to contact these institutions directly as some of these have their own smaller archival holdings. For instance, material related to the life and work of noted Canadian theologian Bernard Lonergan, S.J. (1904–84) is housed at the Lonergan Research Institute at Regis College, Toronto.

Researchers interested in the much larger French-Canadian collection may access a separate inventory, previously used at the Archives de la Compagnie de Jésus, Province du Canada Français (ASJCF). This finding aid is based on a central file of detailed index cards first compiled by former archivists Félix Martin, S.J. and Arthur Jones, S.J. (1838–1918) in the nineteenth century and continued since that time. There are significant pre-suppression holdings, including several indigenous dictionaries and other precious objects, but much of the New France collection, which had been saved by Casot, the last Jesuit of the Old Society in Canada, may be found at archives in Quebec City.3 There is much material at the AJC on the Society in French Canada since 1842, organized according to individual Jesuits; some nine colleges; material related to particular dioceses and bishops; historical maps; general Jesuit administration; manuscripts by members of the province; a variety of movements (such as the Ligue du Sacré-Coeur and Jeunesse étudiante catholique); indigenous and foreign missions (such as China-Taiwan, Haiti, and Ethiopia); provincial administration; some twenty-four residences and villas; and photo albums. Additionally, there is material from private collections as well as copies of documents related to Jesuits from the National Archives of Quebec, Library and Archives Canada, other religious congregations, diocesan bodies, and municipal archives. Researchers may find material also in the Musée de la Civilisation in Quebec City and the rare books collection housed in the library of the Collège Brébeuf, Montreal. Such was the Jesuit impact on French-Canadian society that documents related to Jesuit history may be found in archival collections throughout French Canada generally.

General Histories

While a comprehensive history of Jesuits in Canada has yet to be written, the recently released three-volume Jesuit History Series by Novalis Publishing is an essential resource for researchers interested in the work of Jesuits in English Canada.4 The title of each volume indicates the national impact of their contributions. Volume I, entitled Teachers of a Nation, provides a detailed account of Jesuit higher education in English Canada, focusing on a dozen post-secondary institutions. Volume II, Builders of a Nation, highlights ministry to indigenous peoples, the impact of the Canadian martyrs, social justice, and the communications apostolate. Volume III, Conscience of a Nation, examines Spiritual Exercises ministry, formation, high schools, foreign missions, and the ecological apostolate. As a helpful counterpart to this series, the Dictionary of Jesuit Biography (DJB), written by a team of Jesuit historians, provides biographies of some 469 Jesuits who did ministry for at least three years in English Canada between 1842 and 1987 (volume I) and between 1988 and 2006 (volume II). A third volume of the DJB is currently being compiled.5 Though not really a general history, The Jesuit Mystique, written by Canadian scholars Douglas Letson and Michael Higgins, explores the Jesuit charism and ministries thematically using examples from the English-Canadian context.6

On the French-Canadian side, no general history of the Jesuits after 1842 has been written in recent decades. Most existing scholarship has been on Jesuit contributions to the culture and history of New France, such as Diane Bordeleau-Pépin’s Les compagnons jésuites en Nouvelle-France.7 Officially sponsored (and beautifully illustrated) volumes were compiled in 1925 and 1942 to mark, respectively, the three-hundredth anniversary of the Jesuits at Quebec City and the hundredth anniversary of Jesuits in Canada. Similarly, on the 150th anniversary of Jesuits in Canada in 1992, Gilles Chaussé, S.J. (1931–2012) produced a brief but informative overview of ministry in French Canada since 1842.8 Scholarly studies by Giguère, Dussault, Chaussé, and Letendre have focused on the Jesuits’ return in Canada in 1842, particularly within the context of Bishop Bourget’s ultramontanism.9 As a reminder that French-Canadian Jesuits ministered outside of Quebec, Gérard Jolicoeur, Gaétan Gervais, and Robert Toupin, S.J. (1924–2000) have examined their work among francophone minorities in Manitoba and Ontario.10

The most complete account of Jesuit ministry in French Canada after 1842 is still the two-volume work by Édouard Lecompte, S.J. (1856–1929) entitled Les jésuites du Canada au XIXe siècle.11 Although written nearly a century ago, this remains the standard reference work. Lecompte presents facts clearly, albeit with a piety typical of his day and a defense of the Jesuit position in the often bitter political and sectarian disputes that divided Canadians at the time. Such disputes included incessant struggles between Jesuits and Sulpicians at Montreal, tensions between ecclesial authorities in Montreal and Quebec City and, especially, the protracted dispute over the Jesuit Estates. The latter involved major Jesuit assets that had been held in trust by the crown after Casot’s death in 1800. The Estates included legacies, property, and revenue accruing thereof to be used ostensibly for ministry among First Nations and education. While their value was disputed, it was no doubt considerable since, by some estimates, the Jesuits had been the single largest landowner in New France.12 Though Casot had left a will, several claimants vied for these assets for over eighty years, including Sir Jeffery Amherst (1717–97), who had led British forces at Montreal, church authorities throughout Canada, colonial administrators who used part of the Estates for educational purposes, and even a young renegade Jesuit. The affair was highly divisive in the Canadian press and parliament, the Orange order making it a cause celèbre of the danger of French Catholic political influence. After much acrimony, the Estates question was resolved in 1888 after Quebec premier Honoré Mercier (1840–94), an alumnus of the Collège Sainte-Marie, referred the matter to Pope Leo XIII (r.1878–1903) for arbitration.13

Due to this problematic context, Lecompte’s two volumes were released some thirty years apart. The first tome, published in 1920, judiciously avoids controversy by focusing on the Jesuits’ return to Canada, the creation of a parish at Laprairie near Montreal, the establishment of the Collège Sainte-Marie and the Gesù Church as well as missions to indigenous people on Walpole and Manitoulin Islands in present-day Ontario. Covering the period 1842 to 1872, the volume ends before the resolution of the Estates dispute, though it does address Orangeist violence against Jesuit works in English Canada. The publication of the second volume, which goes from 1872 to 1914, was delayed for “various reasons,” according to its editor, as it covered a more contentious period.14 It finally appeared in the early 1950s as a series of nine articles in Lettres du Bas-Canada, a French-Canadian Jesuit journal. The fact that young Jesuits in formation at the time avidly read these chapters indicated such disputes involving Jesuits were still topical in Quebec several generations later.

In volume two, Lecompte explains how the Jesuits became enmeshed in a bitter ecclesial and political struggle in the early 1870s between Montreal and Quebec City over Laval University’s monopoly in higher education. He also devotes several chapters to a detailed treatment of the Estates controversy, showing how religious and secular divisions over the question in the 1880s went beyond Quebec to the federal government and the Holy See. Apart from such contentious issues, Lecompte presents an overall story of expansion with Jesuits playing an integral role in Canada’s national development. As nation-builders in their own right, they established a major presence in Northern Ontario, especially among First Nations and early pioneers, and moved as far west as Edmonton. At the same time, Lecompte also portrays English-Canadian Jesuits coming of age during this period. By 1907, when the Canada mission became its own province, they had already left the Collège Sainte-Marie to found Loyola College and were preparing to set up their own novitiate at Guelph, Ontario in 1913.

Specific Works and Ministries

In addition to such general histories, much of the existing scholarship on the history of Jesuits in Canada relates to specific works and ministries. As superior of the Canadian mission, Félix Martin, S.J., one of the original nine Jesuits who arrived in Canada in 1842, was instrumental in compiling this history for posterity. A true renaissance man, Martin generously contributed his gifts as builder and financier, architect and educator, historian, and antiquarian. He founded the Collège Sainte-Marie in 1848, which would educate French Canada’s elite for the next 120 years, and developed its curriculum based on the cours classique model. As a scholar inspired by the Canadian martyrs, he set up an archive in the college to preserve a history of New France that had almost been lost, working with other men of letters such as Jacques Viger (1787–1858), George-Barthélemy Faribault (1789–1866), and Edmund B. O’Callaghan (1797–1880). On research trips often commissioned by the Canadian government, he collected artifacts from First Nations sites in Huronia as well as documents, maps, and sketches from archives in Paris and Rome on the early colonial history of Canada. He gathered unpublished documents that later became the Jesuit Relations, which would prove invaluable to generations of historians, anthropologists, and other scholars.15 Building on Martin’s pioneering work, the Canadian-born Arthur E. Jones, S.J. assumed direction of the archives in 1882, retrieving other documents, supplying parliamentarians with information during the Estates debate and especially assisting Reuben Gold Thwaites (1853–1913) with his landmark work, The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents.16

Given its influence in French Canada, the Collège Sainte-Marie attracted the interest of historians at an early stage. Most noted the bilingual character of both its curriculum and the composition of its student body and Jesuit community. This was the case until 1896, when English-speaking Jesuits left the college to set up Loyola College on St. Catherine Street, also in downtown Montreal, later moving to Sherbrooke Street West in the western suburb of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce in 1916. Accounts of the Collège Sainte-Marie invariably included descriptions of the Église du Gesù, the massive and stunning Romanesque church built in 1865 that served as the collegiate chapel until the school itself was demolished in 1977. Early histories of the college include works by Jean-Baptiste-Adolphe Larcher, S.J. (1815–97) as well as special anniversary pamphlets produced in 1898, 1925, and 1939.17 A more comprehensive treatment is the two-volume history by Paul Desjardins, S.J. (1895–1975) entitled Le Collège Sainte-Marie de Montréal, published in the early 1940s.18 Jean Cinq-Mars contributed a more recent college history in 1998 and, to mark the church’s 150th anniversary in 2016, a richly illustrated brief history of the Gesù was produced highlighting its architecture, its role within the college’s holistic pedagogy and its major contribution to the arts in Montreal.19 While some have examined the architectural style of the Gesù, others have highlighted the importance of its theatre as the oldest in Montreal.20

The significant impact of the cours classique on Quebecois society until the Quiet Revolution of the early 1960s has received scholarly attention in recent years. One wonders if this marks a new development in scholarship about Jesuit education, redeeming a pedagogy that had been dismissed as part of what Quebec nationalists termed la grande noirceur of a church-dominated society. For instance, Claude Corbo has examined the strong rejection of this model by architects of the revolution who claimed that it was an archaic approach that failed to prepare youth for modern life. Historians such as John English have shown how the cours classique had a lasting and positive impact on members of the French-Canadian elite such as Pierre Trudeau (1919–2000), a Brébeuf graduate and later Canadian prime minister.21 As a result of the Parent Commission of Inquiry on Education (1961), which prompted much debate within French Canada, education moved away from a classically based humanist pedagogy to a far more secular and professional model. As in health care, Quebec society rejected clerical control of education, dealing Jesuit and other Catholic schools a blow from which most never recovered. Ironically, this most turbulent, even traumatic, period in Quebec history coincided with an attempt to found a bilingual Jesuit university, the Université Sainte-Marie, which would have included the English-speaking Loyola College. The idea was opposed by most academics and government officials who saw this as unwarranted ecclesial interference in higher education. Such views were emphatically stated in the book L’université dit non aux jésuites by the professors of the Université de Montréal.22

Histories of other Jesuit educational institutions have been fewer in number. Adrien Pouliot (1905–93) and Bernard Bélair, both Jesuits, have provided a history of the Collège Garnier in Quebec City, tracing its origins to the original Collège des Jésuites of 1635, the first post-secondary institution in North America. For their part, Albert Plante and André Bertrand have chronicled the classical Jesuit education at the Collège du Sacré-Coeur, which later became the University of Sudbury, a founding college of Laurentian University.23 Joseph Moreau, Roland Bérubé, and Alfred Bernier have compiled histories of the two francophone Jesuit colleges in Western Canada, the Collège des Jésuites d’Edmonton and the Collège de Saint-Boniface in Manitoba.24

On the Anglophone side, Joseph B. Gavin, S.J. in Teachers of a Nation, the first volume of the aforementioned Novalis series, details the history of the twelve liberal arts colleges once administered by Jesuits in English Canada. Of these, only Campion College in Regina, Saskatchewan remains as an officially recognized Jesuit work. Thoroughly researched and clearly written, Gavin’s work admirably fills a large gap in the literature. Timothy Slattery’s history of Loyola College in Montreal is rather dated, often anecdotal and not always reliable.25 G. Edward MacDonald chronicles the brief period of less than two years when Jesuits ran St. Dunstan’s College in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. For Western Canada, James Pitsula and Joseph Schner, S.J. have written histories of Campion College (as part of larger works on the history of the University of Regina, of which it is a federated college) while Nicholas Laping, Gerald Friesen, and Richard Lebrun have contributed histories of St. Paul’s College at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg.26 There are relatively few histories of the eight high schools that were once run by Jesuits in English Canada. J. Winston Rye, S.J. provides an excellent overview of these in his chapter in Conscience of a Nation, the third volume of the Novalis series. Information on Regiopolis College in Kingston, Ontario may be found in Louis Flynn’s At School in Kingston, 1850–1973. Joseph B. Gavin, S.J. provides a colorful account of Loyola High School, Montreal in From “Le petit collège de bois” to 7272 Sherbrooke St. West: A Brief History of Loyola High School.27

Until the recent three-volume Novalis history series, relatively little had been written on other Jesuit works. In his article in Builders of a Nation, J. Winston Rye, S.J. profiles the history of some twenty-two Jesuit parishes in English Canada, though some, such as St. Ignatius in Winnipeg, have published their own particular histories.28 In the area of spirituality, Canadian Jesuits such as John English, S.J. (1924–2004), Gilles Cusson, S.J. (1927–2003), and John Veltri, S.J. (1933–2008) had a great impact in adapting the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola to modern life, particularly in the individually directed retreat and communal apostolic discernment. While each has left extensive writings, a comprehensive history of such contributions was not published until Philip Shano’s article in Conscience of a Nation.29Little has been published on Jesuit formation in Canada, apart from the excellent chapter by Jacques Monet, S.J. in Conscience of a Nation. Earlier works focus on the novitiates at Sault-au-Récollet in Montreal and the English-Canadian novitiate at Guelph, Ontario, notably the police raid on the latter during World War I amidst sectarian suspicion that it was hiding draft dodgers. Gordon Rixon, S.J. has recently contributed a study of the library of Regis College, Toronto, which remains the Jesuit theologate in English Canada.30

With regard to the social apostolate, Peter Baltutis has provided a comprehensive history of this ministry in English Canada in his contribution to Builders of a Nation. He chronicles an extensive involvement in social justice from early work among urban poor in Montreal, to the contributions of individual Jesuits such as Edward Sheridan (1912–99), Bill Ryan, and Michael Czerny, to the work of the Jesuit Centre for Social Faith and Justice in Toronto.31 For their part, John D. O’Brien, S.J. and and John W. McCarthy, S.J. have provided excellent overviews of Jesuit activities within, respectively, the communications and ecological apostolates in English Canada.32 In French Canada, there is growing interest in Jesuit contributions to religious and secular social justice movements, as seen in recent works by Frédéric Boutin, Frédéric Boily, Martin Croteau, Éric Quilleré, and Élisabeth Garant. As such scholarship indicates, Jesuits were not simply victims of a changing social consciousness in Quebec but, significantly, were often among its leading advocates.33

Indigenous and Foreign Missions

The last area of scholarship regarding the history of Jesuits in Canada pertains to their widely recognized role in domestic and foreign missions. Ministry among First Nations had been integral to their initial calling in coming to New France in 1611, as exemplified in the lives of the Canadian martyrs.34 Indeed, from the time of St. Ignatius of Loyola (c.1491–1556) to more modern approaches of inculturation after the Second Vatican Council, the missionary imperative lay at the heart of the Jesuit vocation. By the mid-twentieth century, moreover, Canadian Jesuits had become imbued with a sense of mission that was truly global—extending from China to Ethiopia to Haiti for French-Canadians, and from Darjeeling to Zambia to Jamaica for their English-Canadian confrères. This was indeed a remarkable development, especially for such a young province that had itself been a mission until 1907.

In recent years, there has been renewed interest in Jesuit missions, though clearly the focus has changed. In contrast to earlier biographies—even hagiographies—of Jesuit missionaries (often written by other Jesuits), recent studies (usually by lay scholars) have examined them as significant cultural intermediaries. In today’s increasingly globalized context, the role of Jesuits in fostering intercultural dialogue and encounter has assumed greater relevance. As with historical work on missions in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, this scholarship has grown considerably. The Archive of the Jesuits in Canada offers a rich collection that includes primary accounts, handwritten dictionaries in indigenous languages as well as maps and sketches of First Nations peoples and their way of life. In the Canadian context, interest in Jesuit ministry among First Nations has also gained relevance in light of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). This commission, called by the Canadian government in 2008, heard from some 6,000 survivors of the estimated 150,000 indigenous people who attended residential schools between the 1870s and 1996. After compiling their testimonies of physical, psychological, sexual, and cultural abuse at the hands of religious and lay teachers in these schools, the commission issued ninety-four Calls to Action in 2015 to promote reconciliation and healing. Like other church bodies, Jesuits had been asked initially by the federal government to participate in what is now widely considered cultural genocide, part of a national system that deprived indigenous people of their culture, language, and traditional ways. Having operated one such school, the St. Peter Claver Industrial School (later Garnier College) at Spanish, Ontario, located near their missions on Manitoulin Island, Jesuits have welcomed the TRC process and assumed an active and constructive role in implementing its Calls to Action. The AJC was particularly involved in supplying documents to those investigating allegations of abuse as part of the process of compensation and healing.35

Indigenous ministry, along with educational work, was one of the primary reasons for the Jesuits’ return to Canada in 1842. As a stated purpose of the Jesuit Estates, it provided a sense of continuity with the Old Society and was inspired by the example of the Canadian martyrs. While most scholarship on Jesuit missions to First Nations pertains to New France, much work has been done on this ministry since the early 1800s. Michael J. Stogre, S.J. (1944–2015) provides an insightful overview of this history in his chapter in Builders of a Nation. He outlines the development of this apostolate from a short-lived return to Walpole Island in southwestern Ontario, where Jesuits had been active in the Old Society, to missions in Northern Ontario, many of which have continued to the present day. Since the mid-1800s, this activity ranged from Wikwemikong on Manitoulin Island to Sault Ste. Marie and along the north shore of Lake Superior to Thunder Bay. Stogre weaves a fascinating story of cultural misunderstanding but also adaptation as Jesuits sought to alter traditional missiology to embrace post-Vatican II teaching on inculturation and indigenous rights. His work is based on substantial historical research as well as many years of first-hand experience of indigenous ministry in Northern Ontario. Stogre also examines more recent ministry to First Nations in Western Canada, notably in Regina, through the work of Campion College, the Mother Teresa Middle School (MTMS), and Friends on the Outside (FOTO), a support group for ex-prison inmates.36 French-Canadian Jesuits did indigenous ministry near Montreal at Saint-Régis and Kahnawake, where they founded and operated the Shrine of Kateri Tekakwitha. While there are no scholarly accounts of their work there, the journal Kateri has chronicled the devotion to Kateri and the process leading to her canonization in 2012.

Scholarship on Jesuit ministry to First Nations is indebted to the pioneering work of Édouard Lecompte. In addition to the landmark book that we have already considered, in which he examines activities in present-day Ontario, he released in 1925 a study specifically on Jesuit missions in Canada from 1842 to 1925.37 Also noteworthy is the extensive scholarship by Lucien Campeau, S.J. (1914–2003), a large part of which has been translated into English by William Lonc, S.J. (1930–2014). While much of this pertains to New France, Lonc’s numerous translations include the writings of nineteenth-century Jesuit missionaries in Ontario such as Dominique du Ranquet (1813–1900), Jean-Pierre Choné (1808–78), Nicolas Point (1799–1868), and François Maynard (1868–1956).38 Other authors who have contributed to our understanding of Jesuit missions during this period include Lorenzo Cadieux, S.J. (1903–76), S.G. Young, David Nazar, S.J., and Robert Toupin, S.J.39 With regard to the residential school at Spanish, the standard reference remains David Shanahan’s book on the topic, though William Lonc, S.J. and Jacques Monet, S.J. have made available the school’s registration records and journal chronicling deaths from the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918–19. Commemorating the deaths of students and honoring school cemeteries have been important commitments in the TRC Calls to Action. For his part, Basil H. Johnston (1929–2015) has provided a personal account as a former student at the school in his moving autobiography, Indian School Days.40 Finally, Olivier Servais and Gabrielle Parent are among scholars who have recently published specialized studies of Jesuit missions to First Nations based on their respective disciplines of ethnology and linguistics. Given the renewed interest generally in indigenous culture and the extensive collection of cultural artifacts at the AJC, such research is likely to increase in the years ahead.41

In light of this rich missionary legacy, it is not surprising that Canadian Jesuits readily embarked upon foreign missions in the early twentieth century. For many, the connection to domestic indigenous missions was obvious as these modern missionaries often cited the Canadian martyrs and other missionary pioneers in their writings. In their foreign activities as well as their communications with Canada, they exerted a significant influence abroad as well as at home. In the field, they founded and operated schools, parishes, hospitals, and dispensaries, in some cases risking their lives in situations of war and poverty. On the home front, their letters, publications, and ministry upon their return to Canada did much to influence attitudes and even church and government policies toward the countries in which they labored.

After the First World War, China was seen as an especially promising mission field, though missionaries there soon became enmeshed in a bitter civil war and the Sino-Japanese conflict. The first French-Canadians arrived in China in 1918 to assist their French brethren in Xuzhou, a diocese of fifty thousand Catholics some five hundred kilometers northwest of Shanghai. In 1931, French Canada was entrusted with running the diocese under the leadership of one of its members, Bishop Philippe Côté (1896–1970). Within six years, there were nearly seventy French-Canadian Jesuits in China, mostly in Xuzhou with some studying Chinese in Wuhu, Anqing, Beijing, and Shanghai. Commentators at the time, such as Édouard Lafortune, S.J. (1891–1932) and Antonio Dragon, S.J. (1892–1977), have told their story admirably but Jacques Langlais and Rosario Renaud, S.J. (1902–82) have provided the most comprehensive histories of the mission.42 The last surviving member of the mission, George-Étienne Beauregard, S.J., has provided a compelling first-hand account of his flight from Communist China to his subsequent ministry in Taiwan.43 For their part, Alvin Austin, John Meehan, S.J. and Serge Granger have examined the missionaries’ impact on attitudes within Canada toward China, particularly with regard to its struggle against Japanese imperialism and the rise of communism there. Simon Nantais has also studied responses to Japanese aggression while Diana Lary has highlighted their role in protecting Chinese civilians during the Sino-Japanese conflict (1937–45). Most of the Jesuits were interned at Shanghai during the war, though three were killed in Xuzhou in March 1943, prompting local Catholics to regard them as martyrs. Among these was Prosper Bernard, S.J. (1902–43), whose nephew has compiled two books to honor their legacy.44 Other scholars have approached the rich collection at the AJC in unique ways. France Lord has studied the role of Jesuit missionary expositions in imparting a global awareness within Quebec itself, while Samuel Fleury has examined the financing of the Xuzhou mission.45 In using these documents, Shenwen Li of Laval University has been particularly prolific. He has compared Jesuit missionary strategies in New France and China, examined various aspects of the Xuzhou mission and edited two important volumes that situate Canadian Jesuits within Chinese-Western relations and, more recently, within Western, Chinese, and indigenous traditions.46

By contrast, the French-Canadian Jesuit presence in Ethiopia and Haiti has received less scholarly attention. Ethiopia had long been a desired mission of the Society going back to the time of Ignatius and reports of the legendary Christian king, Prester John. During the rule of Emperor Haile Selassie (r.1930–74), a few Jesuits left Canada in the late 1940s to help set up a high school and later a university in his name, now known as Addis Ababa University. The Canadians were preferred due to their nation’s lack of an imperial past but were forbidden from proselytizing. They brought back mementos, including one of the emperor’s walking sticks, Selassie himself becoming a major benefactor of the University of Sudbury. Apart from articles in Le Brigand, based on reports they sent home, their fascinating story has yet to be published. In Haiti, French-Canadian Jesuits arrived in 1953—the first Jesuits there since the Suppression—to run the national seminary, later setting up Villa Manrèse retreat house, Radio Manrèse and a parish at Quartier Morin in the Archdiocese of Cap-Haitien. As recounted by Louis-Joseph Goulet, S.J. and articles in Le Brigand, all eighteen were expelled in February 1964 by the oppressive regime of François Duvalier (in office, 1957–71), who was excommunicated for deporting French foreign-born bishops and many French diocesan priests.47 Following their return in 1973, Canadian Jesuits did much to promote local vocations and there are currently some fifty Haitian Jesuits, most of whom are still in formation. Haiti remains part of the Province of French Canada but is seeking integration into a larger Jesuit entity in the Caribbean. The extensive scholarship of Kawas François, S.J. is essential for researchers interested in the history of the Society in Haiti, especially his Sources documentaires de l’histoire des jésuites en Haïti aux XVIIIe et XXe siècles, L’histoire des jésuites en Haïti aux XVIII et XX siècles, L’état et l’Église catholique en Haïti aux XIXe et XXe siècles, and, more recently, Jésuites, sciences et changement social en Haïti, hier et aujourd’hui. Finally, Hérold Toussaint has contributed an intellectual biography of the noted Haitian Jesuit educator, Karl Lévêque (1937–86).48

The existing scholarship on foreign missions of the English-Canadian Jesuits is relatively sparse. John Meehan, S.J. has provided an overview of this history and relevant sources in his chapter in Conscience of a Nation.49 Beginning in 1946, they inherited the Darjeeling mission from Belgian Jesuits, serving in schools, parishes and orphanages and later expanding into Bhutan. Their story has been told by William Bourke, S.J. in a short unpublished essay, which is in the process of becoming a comprehensive history of the Canadian presence there. The legendary and colourful William Mackey, S.J. (1915–95), who was invited to set up schools and later an entire education system in Bhutan, becoming its chief inspector of schools, is the subject of a biography by Howard Solverson, an article by Canadian diplomat David Malone and a documentary film. More information can be gleaned from the Canadian Jesuit Missions newsletter, primary documents in the AJC and the Dictionary of Jesuit Biography.50 Comparatively little has been published on the Canadian Jesuit presence in Zambia and Jamaica, though neither was officially their “mission”. Beginning in the late 1960s, a total of eight English-Canadian Jesuits served in Zambia, where they engaged in education, social work, catechesis and agricultural projects, notably the Kasisi Agricultural Training Centre (KATC). Their work is featured in a full-length documentary and is described in general histories by Brendan Carmody, S.J., Hugo Hinfelaar and William Lane, S.J. Today, Brother Paul Desmarais, S.J. is the only Canadian Jesuit in Zambia, his sustainable agricultural project at KATC featured in Catholic and secular periodicals.51 In 1980, Canadians began serving in Jamaica, a mission of New England province, working with the poor in parishes, schools and social ministries. Their work was often featured in Compass magazine, a former publication of the Upper Canada province, where one of their number, Martin Royackers, S.J. (1959–2001) was well-known for his regular and insightful columns. Royackers’ tragic death in Jamaica in June 2001, when he was shot outside his church, was widely publicized at the time and was featured in a biography and documentary. The work of other Jesuits, such as Jim Webb (1944–2012) and Peter McIsaac, among the rural poor, prison inmates and factory workers has also been featured in the Catholic and secular press.52

An Unfinished History

This survey has presented an overview of the historiography of Canadian Jesuits and their works since 1842. Since its focus has been on general histories and histories of specific Jesuit apostolates, it is difficult to include the many biographies of individual Jesuits that have appeared over the years. Interesting biographies have been written about well-known Jesuits such as Félix Martin, the second “founder” of the Society in Canada, Joseph-Marie Couture (1885–1949), the legendary “flying Jesuit” who worked in northern missions, and Germain Lemieux (1914–2008), the noted Franco-Ontarian ethnographer.53 On the English-Canadian side, books have been published about Brother Jim McSheffrey (1945–99), who worked with the poor in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Bill Clarke (b.1932), who founded a house in Guelph for former prison inmates, and Carl Matthews (1932–2012), who did much to champion publicly-funded Catholic education in Ontario.54 Among former Jesuits, Stephen Casey has contributed an autobiography which, though not universally lauded by Jesuits, offers a stark portrayal of life in the Society prior to the reforms of Vatican II.55

Since 1842, as we have seen, Jesuits have played an important role within the Canadian Church, particularly in education, missions to the First Nations, Spiritual Exercises ministry and the social apostolate. Imbued with a strong missionary vocation rooted in their history and devotion to the Canadian martyrs, they left a lasting impact in the domestic and foreign apostolates in which they served. From the beginning, Canadian Jesuits were inextricably linked to the significant social, cultural and political questions of their day—from the Jesuit Estates dispute of the 1800s to the conscription crisis of the First World War; from the settlement of the Canadian hinterland in pioneer days to the recent Truth and Reconciliation process of healing for residential school survivors; from twentieth-century struggles in China against Japanese control to attempts by Haiti and Jamaica to free themselves from the legacy of Western imperialism. If the large and growing interest in such stories is any indication—the Archive of the Jesuits in Canada now receives some 300 requests each year from researchers—many more chapters of this engaging history have yet to be written.


^ Back to text1. I would like to thank Jacques Monet, S.J., Theresa Rowat, Sylvain Bouchard, Valérie Grothé, and Ginelle Chagnon of the Archive of the Jesuits in Canada for their invaluable assistance in the writing of this article.

^ Back to text2. For more on the survival and return of the Jesuits to Canada, see John Meehan, S.J. and Jacques Monet, S.J., “The Restoration in Canada: An Enduring Patrimony,” in Robert A. Maryks and Jonathan Wright, eds., Jesuit Survival and Restoration: A Global History, 1773–1900 (Leiden: Brill, 2015), 386–98.

^ Back to text3. These are principally the archives of the Archdiocese of Quebec and the archives of the provincial government’s Ministère des affaires culturelles, which had received documents transferred from Laval University. For more on holdings related to Jesuits in Canada before 1842, please consult the chapter on the historiography of Jesuits in New France.

^ Back to text4. Jacques Monet, S.J., Joseph Gavin, S.J. and John Meehan, S.J., eds., A History of Jesuits in EnglishCanada 1842–2013: Joseph Gavin, S.J., Vol. 1: Teachers of a Nation (Toronto: Novalis, 2015); Vol. 2: Builders of a Nation (Toronto: Novalis, 2015); and Vol. 3: Conscience of a Nation (Toronto: Novalis, forthcoming). Monet provides an excellent overview of Jesuits in an earlier period in “The Jesuits in New France,” in The Cambridge Companion to the Jesuits, ed. Thomas Worcester (Cambridge, MA: Cambridge UP, 2008), 186–98.

^ Back to text5. Canadian Institute of Jesuit Studies (CIJS), Dictionary of Jesuit Biography: Ministry to English Canada: Vol. I: 1842–1987 (Toronto: CIJS, 1991) and Vol. II: 1988–2006 (Toronto: CIJS, 2007).

^ Back to text6. Douglas Richard Letson and Michael W. Higgins, The Jesuit Mystique (Toronto: Macmillan, 1995).

^ Back to text7. Diane Bordeleau-Pépin, Les compagnons jésuites en Nouvelle-France (Montréal: Éditions du Long Sault, 2006).

^ Back to text8. Fêtes du 3ème centenaire, 22–23–24 juin 1925: Les jésuites à Québec, 19 juin 1625 (1625–1925) (Québec: L’Action sociale, 1925) and La Compagnie de Jésus au Canada, 1842–1942: L’oeuvre d’un siècle (Montréal: Maison provinciale, 1942. Gilles Chaussé, S.J., Les jésuites et le Canada français (1842–1992) (Montréal: Compagnie de Jésus, Province du Canada français, 1992).

^ Back to text9. Georges-Émile Giguère, S.J., “La restauration de la Compagnie de Jésus au Canada, 1839–1857 ” (PhD diss., Université de Montréal, 1965); Gabriel Dussault and Gilles Martel, Charisme et économie: Les cinq premières communautés masculines établies au Québec sous le régime anglais, 1837–1870 (Québec: Dép. de sociologie, Université Laval, 1981); Gilles Chaussé, S.J., Les jésuites et le projet de société de Mgr Bourget, Société canadienne d’histoire de l’Église catholique, Session d’étude, vol. 53, 1986, pp. 41–50; and André Letendre, La grande aventure des jésuites au Québec: Espérances et renonciations (Beauport: André Letendre, 1991).

^ Back to text10. See Gérard Jolicoeur, Les jésuites dans la vie manitobaine [tome 1], 1885–1922 (Saint-Boniface: Centre d’études franco-canadiennes de l’Ouest, 1985); Gaétan Gervais and Robert Toupin, Les jésuites en Ontario: Entretiens colligés et édités par Serge Dupuis et Jean Lalonde (Sudbury: La Société historique du Nouvel-Ontario, 2014).

^ Back to text11. Édouard Lecompte, S.J., Les jésuites du Canada au XIXe siècle, vol. I: 1842–1872 (Montréal: Imprimerie du Messager, 1920) and vol. II: 1872–1914 (Montreal: Lettres du Bas-Canada, 1950–54).

^ Back to text12. Meehan and Monet, “Restoration in Canada,” 387.

^ Back to text13. For more on the Estates question, see Meehan and Monet, “Restoration in Canada,” 392–97. Given the controversial nature of the Estates, much has been written on the topic by religious and secular historians. The standard reference works remain Roy C. Dalton, The Jesuits’ Estates Question, 1760–1888: A Study of the Background for the Agitation of 1889 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1968) and James R. Miller, Equal Rights: The Jesuits’ Estates Act Controversy (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1979). The AJC and its library contain extensive primary and secondary sources on the question from 1845 to 1890, many of which are included in the fonds GLC, T-0002 entitled “Biens des jésuites.”

^ Back to text14. Lecompte, 2:5.

^ Back to text15. For more on Martin, see Jean-Sébastien Sauvé, “Les carnets de croquis du père jésuite Félix Martin (1804–1886),” Journal de la Société pour l’étude de l’architecture au Canada 39, no.1 (2014): 35–56.

^ Back to text16. Jones compiled much of his own research into Jesuit missions among the Wendat (formerly known as the Huron) in his classic work, Old Huronia (Toronto: Ontario Bureau of Archives, 1909).

^ Back to text17. Jean-Baptiste-Adolphe Larcher, Collège Sainte-Marie et l’Eglise du Gesù (Montreal: Cie. d’imprimerie canadienne, 1876); A. Bellay, L’enseignement des jésuites au Canada: Collège Sainte-Marie de Montréal (Montreal, 1891); Comité d’organisation des fêtes jubilaires, Souvenir des fêtes jubilaires du Collège Sainte-Marie de Montréal, 1848–1898 (Montréal: Desbarats & cie, 1898); Collège Sainte-Marie sous la direction des pères de la Cie. de Jésus (Montréal: Imprimerie du Messager, 1925) and Collège Sainte-Marie sous la direction des pères de la Cie. de Jésus (Montréal: Collège Sainte-Marie, 1939).

^ Back to text18. Paul Desjardins, S.J., Le Collège Sainte-Marie de Montréal [tome 1]: La fondation, le fondateur (Montréal: Collège Sainte-Marie, 1940) and [tome 2]: Les recteurs européens: Les projets et les oeuvres (Montréal: Collège Sainte-Marie, 1944).

^ Back to text19. Jean Cinq-Mars, Histoire du Collège Sainte-Marie de Montréal, 1848–1969 (Montréal: Hurtubise HMH, 1998); and Daniel Leblond, S.J. et al., Le Gesù: 150 ans d’histoire (Montreal: Centre de créativité, 2016).

^ Back to text20. Marie Baboyant, “Le Gesù, le baroque nouveau et le nouveau Montréal,” Sessions d’étude: Société canadienne d’histoire de l’Église catholique 53 (1986): 109–20, and Ginette Laroche, “Les jésuites du Québec et la diffusion de l’art chrétien: L’église du Gesù de Montréal; Une nouvelle perspective,” Annales d’histoire de l’art canadien 14, no. 2 (1991).

^ Back to text21. Claude Corbo, La mémoire du cours classique (Montreal: Éditions Logiques, 2000) and Corbo, Les jésuites québécois et le cours classique après 1945 (Montréal: Septentrion, 2004); John English, Citizen of the World: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, vol. I: 1919–1968 (Toronto: Knopf Canada, 2006). See also Claude Galarneau, Les collèges classiques au Canada français (1620–1970) (Montreal: Fides, 1978). Trudeau’s son Justin, currently the prime minister of Canada, is also a graduate of Collège Brébeuf.

^ Back to text22. Direction générale des études pour les collèges de la Cie. de Jésus au Canada français..., Mémoire concernant la création de l’Université Sainte-Marie (Montreal, 1960); Réal Lebel, S.J., L’Université Sainte-Marie face à l’avenir (Montréal, 1960); Brief Submitted by Loyola College to the Royal Commission of Inquiry on Education (Montreal, 1961); Règlements généraux de l’Université Sainte-Marie (Montréal, 1961); Association des professeurs, Université de Montréal, L’université dit non aux jésuites (Montréal: Les Éditions de l’homme, 1961); and Mémoire présenté à la Commission royale d’enquête sur l’enseignement (Montréal: Éditions du Centre pédagogique des jésuites canadiens, 1962).

^ Back to text23. Adrien Pouliot, S.J. and Bernard Bélair, S.J., Les jésuites, pionniers de l’enseignement au Canada (1635–1985) [Collège Saint-Charles-Garnier] (Québec: Collège des Jésuites, 1985); Albert Plante, Vingt-cinq ans de vie française: Le collège de Sudbury (Montréal, 1938); André Bertrand, L’éducation classique au Collège du Sacré-Coeur (Sudbury: La Société historique du Nouvel-Ontario, 1988). For the context of the University of Sudbury within Laurentian University, see Linda Ambrose et al., Laurentian University: A History (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2010).

^ Back to text24. Joseph Moreau, “Le collège des Jésuites (1913–1974),” in Aspects du passé franco-albertain: Témoignages et études (Edmonton: Le Salon d’histoire de la francophonie albertaine, 1980), 21–34; Roland Bérubé, Le collège des jésuites d’Edmonton, 1913–1942 (Edmonton, 1990); and Alfred Bernier, Les dates mémorables du Collège de Saint-Boniface, 1885–1945 (Saint-Boniface: Archevêché de Saint-Boniface, 1945).

^ Back to text25. Gavin, Teachers of a Nation ; Timothy P. Slattery, Loyola and Montreal: A History (Montreal: Palm Publishers, 1962).

^ Back to text26. G. Edward MacDonald, The History of Saint Dunstan’s University, 1855–1956 (Charlottetown: Saint Dunstan’s University, 1989); James M. Pitsula, An Act of Faith: The Early Years of Regina College (Regina: Canadian Plains Research Centre, 1988) and Joseph Schner, S.J., “Campion College: A History,” in Heritage and Hope: The University of Regina into the 21st Century, ed. K. Murray Knuttila (Regina: Canadian Plains Research Centre, 2004); Nicholas Laping, “History of St. Paul’s College” (MEd diss., University of Manitoba, 1971); and Gerald Friesen and Richard Lebrun, eds., St. Paul’s College, University of Manitoba: Memories and Histories (Winnipeg: St. Paul’s College, 1999).

^ Back to text27. J. Winston Rye, S.J., “Jesuit High Schools: Men and Women for Others,” in Jacques Monet, S.J. et al., Conscience of a Nation (Toronto: Novalis, 2017); Louis J. Flynn, At School in Kingston, 1850–1973: The Story of Catholic Education in Kingston and District (Kingston, ON: Frontenac, Lennox and Addington County Roman Catholic School Board, 1973); and Joseph B. Gavin, S.J., From “Le petit collège de bois” to 7272 Sherbrooke St. West: A Brief History of Loyola High School (Montreal: Loyola High School, 2012).

^ Back to text28. Rye, “Communities of Sacrament and Prayer Committed to Justice: Jesuit Parishes in English Canada since 1842,” Builders of a Nation, 103–56; Christine Butterill and Richard Lebrun, eds., The St. Ignatius Centennial Book: Who We Are, 1908–2008 (Winnipeg: St. Ignatius Parish, 2008).

^ Back to text29. Philip D. Shano, S.J., “The Birth and Growth of the Spiritual Exercises,” in Conscience of a Nation.

^ Back to text30. Jacques Monet, S.J., “Jesuit Formation: Canadianizing the Ignatian Spirit,” in Conscience of a Nation; Armand Chaussegros, S.J., Histoire du noviciat de la Compagnie de Jésus au Canada depuis ses origines (Montréal: Imprimerie du Sacré-Coeur, 1903); Catholic Truth Society, The Facts of the Raid Upon the Jesuit Novitiate (Toronto: Catholic Truth Society, 1918); Jesuits of Upper Canada, 50 Years at Guelph: An Album of Photographs (Toronto: Jesuit Bulletin, 1963); and Brian F. Hogan, The Guelph Novitiate Raid: Conscription, Censorship and Sectarian Stress During the Great War (London, ON: Canadian Catholic Historical Association, 1978); Gordon Rixon, S.J., “Engaged Collecting: Culture Transforming Mission: The Regis College Library, University of Toronto,” Journal of Jesuit Studies 2, no. 2 (2015): 265–82 (doi: 10.1163/22141332-00202006).

^ Back to text31. Peter Baltutis, “‘Do Justice, Love Kindness’: A Faith that Does Justice; Jesuit Social Apostolate in English Canada, 1842–2014,” in Builders of a Nation, 157–87. See also Bob Chodos and Jamie Swift, Faith and Freedom: The Life and Times of Bill Ryan, S.J. (Ottawa: Novalis, 2002).

^ Back to text32. John D. O’Brien, S.J. “The Ministry of Communications in the Jesuit Province of English Canada, 1842–2013,” in Builders of a Nation, 189–233; John W. McCarthy, S.J., “Integral Ecology: The Emergence of an Idea,” in Conscience of a Nation. For a brief account of the contributions of Marc Gervais, S.J. who taught film at Concordia University, see Claire Valade, “Marc Gervais (1929–2012): Un singulier jésuite,” Séquences: La revue de cinéma 278 (2012): 14.

^ Back to text33. Frédéric Boutin, L’action paroissiale des pères jésuites de la paroisse de l’Immaculée-Conception de Montréal (1909–1939) (Montréal: UQAM, 2008); Frédéric Boily, “Une figure du catholicisme social canadien-français de l’entre-deux-guerres: Le père Joseph-Papin Archambault, S.J.,” Mens: Revue d’histoire intellectuelle de l’Amérique française 1, no. (2001): 141–61; Martin Croteau, L’implication sociale et politique de Jacques Couture à Montréal de 1963 à 1976 (Montréal: UQAM, 2008); Éric Quilleré, L’implication jésuite dans la modernité québécoise de 1940 à 1960 à travers Jacques Cousineau: Syndicaliste, professeur, journaliste, personnaliste et homme de Dieu (Montréal: UQAM, 2011); Élisabeth Garant et al., Justice sociale, ouverture et nationalisme au Québec: Regards de Julien Harvey (Montréal: Novalis, 2013) and Garant, Guy Paiement: Prophète du pays réel (Montréal: Novalis, 2015).

^ Back to text34. For more on the legacy of devotion to the Canadian martyrs, their beatification and canonization, and the development of the Martyrs’ Shrine at Midland, Ontario, see Michael L. Knox, S.J., “The Witness of Jean de Brébeuf and His Companions Through the History of the Jesuits in Canada,” in Jacques Monet, S.J. et al., eds., Builders of a Nation (Toronto: Novalis, 2015), 73–102.

^ Back to text35. For comprehensive studies of the legacy of residential schools in Canada, see James R. Miller, Shingwauk’s Vision: A History of Native Residential Schools (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996) and the final report of the TRC entitled Honouring the Truth: Reconciling for the Future at (accessed November 6, 2016). Jesuit responses to the Calls to Action and a Statement of Reconciliation may be found at (accessed November 6, 2016).

^ Back to text36. Michael J. Stogre, S.J., “The Jesuits’ Ministry to the Native People in Canada Since 1842,” in Builders of a Nation, 27–72. Stogre’s published thesis on papal teaching on aboriginal rights provides an essential background to those interested in official church attitudes toward indigenous peoples. See Michael J. Stogre, S.J., That the World may Believe: The Development of Papal Social Thought on Aboriginal Rights (Sherbrooke, QC: Éditions Paulines, 1992).

^ Back to text37. Édouard Lecompte, S.J., Les missions modernes de la Compagnie de Jésus au Canada (1842–1924) (Montréal: Imprimerie du Messager, 1925).

^ Back to text38. Lonc’s translations of works by Campeau and Lorenzo Cadieux, S.J. are too numerous to mention here. Assisted at times by William Maurice, S.J., Shelley Pearen, and others, he translated well over thirty books between 2004 and 2014. For a complete list, please consult the online catalogue of the library of the AJC.

^ Back to text39. Lorenzo Cadieux, S.J., Fondateurs du diocèse du Sault-Sainte-Marie (Sudbury: Société historique du Nouvel-Ontario, 1944) and by the same author, Les Robes noires à l’Île du Manitou, 1853–1870 (Sudbury: Société historique du Nouvel-Ontario, 1982); S.G. Young, “The Life and Work of Father Richard Baxter, Missionary,” Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society: Papers and Records 11 (1983): 49–52; David Nazar, S.J., “Nineteenth-Century Wikwemikong: The Foundation of a Community and an Exploration of its Peoples,” Ontario History 86, no. 1 (March 1994): 9–12; and Robert Toupin, S.J., “The Holy Cross Mission at Wikwemikong: Jesuit Pioneers, 1844–1870,” Ontario History 86, no. 1 (March 1994): 73–82.

^ Back to text40. David F. Shanahan, The Jesuit Residential School at Spanish: “More Than Mere Talent” (Toronto: William Lonc and Canadian Institute of Jesuit Studies, 2004); William Lonc, S.J., The Residential Schools at Spanish: The Flu Epidemic of 1918–1919 , ed. Jacques Monet (Toronto: Canadian Institute of Jesuit Studies, 2009); and Basil H. Johnston, Indian School Days (Toronto: Key Porter, 1988).

^ Back to text41. Olivier Servais, Des jésuites chez les Amérindiens ojibwas: Histoire et ethnologie d’une rencontre, XVIIe–XXe siècles (Paris: Karthala, 2005) and Gabrielle Parent, “Subjects of Interpretation: Second Language Acquisition by Jesuit Missionaries among the Northern Ojibwa, 1842–1880,” Journal of the Canadian Historical Association / Revue de la Société historique du Canada 21, no. 1 (2010): 59–82.

^ Back to text42. Édouard Lafortune, S.J., Canadiens en Chine: Croquis du Siu-tcheou fou; Mission des jésuites du Canada (Montreal: L’Action Paroissiale, 1930); Antonio Dragon, S.J., En mission parmi les Rouges (Montréal: Le Messager canadien, 1946); Jacques Langlais, Les jésuites du Québec en Chine, 1918–1955 (Québec: Presses de l’Université Laval, 1979); Rosario Renaud, Le diocèse de Süchow, Chine: Champ apostolique des jésuites canadiens de 1918 à 1954 (Montréal: Bellarmin, 1982).

^ Back to text43. Georges-Étienne Beauregard, S.J., My Life as a Missionary: From the Memoirs of Georges-Étienne Beauregard, S.J. (Manila: Kadena Press, 2010).

^ Back to text44. Alvyn Austin, Saving China: Canadian Missionaries in the Middle Kingdom, 1888–1959 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1986); John Meehan, S.J., The Dominion and the Rising Sun: Canada Encounters Japan, 1929–1941 (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2004) and by the same author, Chasing the Dragon in Shanghai: Canada’s Early Relations with China, 1858–1952 (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2011); Serge Granger, Le lys et le lotus: Les relations du Québec avec la Chine de 1650 à 1950 (Montreal: VLB éditions, 2005); Simon Nantais, “‘Sur le front... des missions’: French-Canadian Missionaries in the Japanese Empire, 1921–1934,” Congrès annuel d’études japonaises (ACEJ) 2006; and Diana Lary, “Canadian Christians at War in China,” in Rencontres et médiations entre la Chine, l’Occident et les Amériques: Missionnaires, chamanes et intermédiaires culturels (Québec: Presses de l’Université Laval, 2015); Bernard Prosper and Bernard Prosper Jr., De l’autre côté de la terre: La Chine (Montreal: Sciences & Culture, 2000) and Prosper, In China Forever (Montreal: Sciences & Culture, 2001).

^ Back to text45. France Lord, “La muette éloquence des choses: Collections et expositions missionnaires de la Compagnie de Jésus au Québec, de 1843 à 1946” (PhD diss., Université de Montréal, 1999); Samuel Fleury, Le financement canadien-français de la mission chinoise des jésuites au Xuzhou de 1931 à 1949 (MA thesis, Université Laval, 2014).

^ Back to text46. Shenwen Li, Stratégies missionnaires des jésuites français en Nouvelle-France et en Chine au XVIIe siècle (Paris/Québec: L’Harmattan/Presses de l’Université Laval, 2001); “Les missionnaires jésuites québécois à Xuzhou pendant la première moitié du XXe siècle: Leurs écrits missionnaires et leur collection chinoise,” in Le christianisme au coeur de l’histoire des échanges entre la Chine et l’Occident, ed. Ku Wei-Ying (Taipei: Taiwan National University Press, 2005): 359–90; “Étude de l’arrivée des missionnaires des jésuites québécois à Xuzhou, 1918–1955,” International Sinology 14 (2006): 86–101; “Les jésuites canadiens français et leur mission en Chine, 1918–1945,” in Chine / Europe / Amérique: Rencontres et échanges de Marco Polo à nos jours, ed. Shenwen Li (Québec: Presses de l’Université Laval, 2009): 329–54; and “Les jésuites canadiens-français et leurs écoles catholiques,” in Rencontres et médiations entre la Chine, l’Occident et les Amériques: Missionnaires, chamanes et intermédiaires culturels, ed. Shenwen Li, Frédéric Laugrand, and Nansheng Peng (Québec: Presses de l’Université Laval, 2015): 353–68.

^ Back to text47. Louis-Joseph Goulet, S.J., Les jésuites expulsés d’Haïti (Montreal: Procure des missions jésuites canadiens, 1964).

^ Back to text48. Kawas François, S.J., Sources documentaires de l’histoire des jésuites en Haïti aux XVIIIe et XXe siècles (Paris: Harmattan, 2006) and François, L’état et l’Église catholique en Haïti aux XIXe et XXe siècles, 1860–1980: Documents officiels, déclarations, correspondances etc. (Paris: Harmattan, 2009), Jésuites, sciences et changement social en Haïti, hier et aujourd’hui: Un engagement intellectuel au service des autres (Port-au-Prince, CERFAS, 2010); and Hérold Toussaint, Sociologie d’un jésuite haïtien: Karl Lévêque, éducateur politique (Port-au-Prince: Presses nationales d’Haïti, 2014).

^ Back to text49. John Meehan, S.J., “A Global Vision: The International Apostolate,” in Conscience of a Nation, ed. Jacques Monet, S.J. et al. (Toronto: Novalis, 2017).

^ Back to text50. William Bourke, S.J., “Short History of the Darjeeling Region of the Society of Jesus, 1956–1985,” in John W. Whelan Notes, AJC, Box 406, 2; Howard Solverson, The Jesuit and the Dragon: The Life of Father William Mackey in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan (Montreal: Robert Davies, 1995); David M. Malone, “Our Man in Bhutan: How a Canadian Jesuit Founded a Secular Education System in a Remote Mountain Nation,” Literary Review of Canada 16, no. 2 (March 2008): 1–3; documentary by Paul Saltzman, “Father Bill Mackey: Beloved Son of Bhutan” (1976). See also John Stackhouse, “Strict and Stern Priest was Bethune of Bhutan” in [Toronto] Globe and Mail, May 17, 1999.

^ Back to text51. Documentary entitled “Smoke That Thunders: The Canadian Jesuits in the Land of Musio Tunya” (1987); Brendan Carmody, S.J., Conversion and Jesuit Schooling in Zambia (New York: Brill, 1992); Hugo F. Hinfelaar, History of the Catholic Church in Zambia (Lusaka: Bookworld, 2004); and William Lane, S.J., Jesuits in Zambia, 1880–1991 (Lusaka: Province of Zambia, 1991).

^ Back to text52. For a good example, see Erica Zlomislic, “Another Jesuit Martyr,” National Post, 9 June 2010.

^ Back to text53. Firmin Vignon, Le P. Martin (Québec: s.n., 1886); Lorenzo Cadieux, S.J. De l’aviron... à l’avion: Joseph-Marie Couture, S.J. (Montréal: Bellarmin, 1961), which appeared in English as Afloat and Aloft: Joseph-Marie Couture (from Paddle to Plane) (Montreal: Bellarmin, 1961); and Jean-Pierre Pichette et al., Passeur de mémoire en Ontario français: Germain Lemieux, S.J. (Sudbury: Centre franco-ontarien de folklore, 2001).

^ Back to text54. Maura Hanrahan, A Faith that Challenges: The Life of Jim McSheffrey (Ottawa: Novalis, 2002); Bill Clarke, The Face of Friendship: A True Story of Hope and Transformation [with foreword by Jean Vanier and letters from Louisa Blair] (Ottawa: Novalis, 2004); and Michael Power, Jesuit in the Legislative Gallery: A Life of Father Carl Matthews, S. J. (Welland, ON: M. Power, 2005).

^ Back to text55. Stephen Casey, The Greater Glory: Thirty-Seven Years with the Jesuits (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2007).

Cite this page
Meehan, S.J., John D., “Historiography of Jesuits in Canada since 1842”, in: Jesuit Historiography Online. Consulted online on 28 November 2023 <>
First published online: 2016

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