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We were honoured to have them with us this year. Later in the afternoon the Jesuits of the Shrine and some 71 invited guests gathered in the Papal Dining Room for a social gathering in preparation for our feast day dinner. Our formal dinner for seventy five was hosted by the Shrine Café staff. It was held in the Martyrs’ Hall and from all the many compliments heard during the meal a fine time was had by all. Of course there were the required speeches but mercifully these were kept brief and lighthearted. Following the meal most sat and continued to enjoy good conversation long into the evening. The two groups of American novices left the Shrine the next day after a hearty breakfast. The Canadian novices stayed on for another day before heading off to Guelph, Ontario to participate in the forty days of prayer and reflection known as the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Let us pray that the Canadian Martyrs will keep all of us safe through the winter. May their continued prayers for us continue to bring on us God’s many blessings and through God’s grace may we see you all on their feast day in 2009.

In your kindness please keep us in your prayers: SHRINE DIRECTOR: ASSIST. DIRECTOR: SHRINE STAFF:




Rev. Alex Kirsten, SJ Mr. Steve Parrotte Rev. Lawrence Brennan, SJ Rev. Stephen LeBlanc, SJ Rev. Joseph Newman, SJ

Dear Friends of the Martyrs’ Shrine,

What’s Inside Director’s Message Page 1

Six Weeks A Jesuit Page 2

Pilgrimages - 2009

Who are These Holy Martyrs? Page 3

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SHRINE OPENS (Sat.) Knights of Columbus Tri-Zone Retreat Knights of Columbus Tri-Zone Mass of Thanksgiving

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Czech Blessed Trinity (Italian Pilgrimage) Vietnamese (Sat.) First Nations Italian National Pilgrimage

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Korean (Sat.) Holy Crucifixion Community Slovak Tamil Catholic Community (Sat.) German Archdiocese of Toronto Youth Rally

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India, Pakistan (Sat.) Croatian

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OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR: Mrs. Darlene Sunnerton Martyrs’ Shrine P.O. Box 7 Midland, ON L4R 4K6 Tel: (705) 526-3788 Fax: (705) 526-1546





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Chinese Pilgrimage (Sat.) Portuguese

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Filipino (Sat.) Walking Pilgrimage (Sat.) Polish Hispanic Pilgrimage (Sat.) Lithuanian Mission Sunday Communal Anointing Service Irish (Sat.)

05 12 13 20 26

Slovenian (Sat.) Archdiocesan Western Region (Sat.) International Order of Alhambra 25th Annual Living Rosary Celebration The Feast of the Canadian Martyrs (Sat.)


SHRINE CLOSES for the season

Vol. 74 No. 1 2009

Novena to the Canadian Martyrs Prayers Page 4 Feast Day Homily 2008 Page 5 and 6 and 7 ** Tear-off Flap ** Prayer Petitions MSA Membership Renewal Prayer Requests

The Feast Day of the Canadian Martyrs Page 7 and 8

I hope you had a blessed and holy Christmas and are looking forward to a holy and happy Easter. We are into a new year and my prayer for each of you is that the good Lord will bountifully bless you and yours. Even though the air is cold and snow lies thick on the ground may our risen Lord give you a blessed and holy year. I’m sure your thoughts, like mine, are turning to the coming spring and all the promise it holds. Are you ready for the Shrine’s 2009 season? This past season (2008) we did not have and for the season to come (2009) we are not going to have a 10:30 a.m. mass during the weekdays of May, June, September and October. It was felt that since this is the mass which had the least attendance during those months it would not be missed. It seems this was the case since for the entire season we only had one or two queries about what happened to our 10:30 mass. Once again we have a full roster of ethnic pilgrimages for the 2009 season. Elsewhere in this publication you can find the 2009 schedule. The price of gasoline has finally gone back down and our sincere hope is that this will translate into more pilgrims and visitors. While we held steady at around 95,000 pilgrims during the 2008 season it would be nice to see that number increase this coming year. The Walk Where They Walked program will once again be hosting 3,000 plus students this spring and fall. The success of this program continues to be a great blessing to the Shrine. This is especially true when one keeps in mind that these young folk are our pilgrims of the future. The Six Weeks A Jesuit program will be held once again this year. The Jesuit Province of English Canada committed to running the program for three years. Last year (2008) was our third year. However it was felt that the program should continue to run since it has been such a benefit to the young men discerning their vocation and for the Shrine. For those who visit us in 2009 you will note all of the Shrine Church’s landings, steps and ramps have now been refurbished. The new church doors are also finally installed. The next Knights of Columbus project is the refurbishing of the siding on the upper level of the Shrine Church. Over the years this siding has lost much of its colour and has become stained with moss. The project will involve the power washing, sealing and re-staining of the siding. Our hope is to have the project done for the 2010 season. May the good Lord bless and keep you and yours over the winter. We hope to see all of you at the Shrine next season. A friend in the Lord,

Rev. Alex Kirsten, S.J., Director

My “Six Weeks a Jesuit” Experience By Juan Trujillo

To know a community is not the same as to read or research it. By doing so, you do not get to know a community, but you get to be informed about it. If you really want to know a community, then you have to go and live in it and experience what it means to be a part of it. Only then can you say you know it. This is what I came to do in the Six Weeks a Jesuit experience. I came to live and experience a Jesuit community and get to know what it means to be a part of it, and it worked. The experience began on July 3, 2008, with two inputsession days. In these sessions, Father Leonard Altilia, S.J, talked about the different dimensions in Jesuit life. The explanation of the three vows, the Jesuits’ way of praying, an overview of the Jesuits’ Spirituality, and the duties we would have at Martyrs’ Shrine were some of the topics discussed. It was fruitful to receive this information because this data became the foundation of most of what we did during the six weeks. At the end of the two days, we had an opening mass in which Conor McCarthy, the other Six Weeks a Jesuit participant, and I were offered to our Lord, so He would accompany us in this experience of discernment and growth. During the first couple of weeks, the members of the community and I had a chance to gradually get to know each other. Something I appreciated was that I was treated not as a possible candidate but as if I were already a Jesuit. This fact gave me a lot of confidence in sharing who I was with the community. Another thing that struck me was to discover the beauty of the diversity of personalities within one Jesuit community. It was in sharing with the Jesuits that I made this discovery. Father Brennan told me everything about his Missions and his work with the Native people. Father Kirsten took me in one of the golf carts around the Shrine and told me the history of the Shrine. Father Newman told me all about his travels to Honduras. Father Steve talked about being a teacher in Halifax, and Father Baranowski spoke about his missionary works in Zambia. It was a great chance to listen to their different life experiences as Jesuits. Some of my duties at the Shrine were serving at masses as a reader and Eucharistic minister, working in the office, and guiding traffic during the busy days of pilgrimage. By doing these activities, I was able to serve people from a Jesuit’s apostolic perspective. This was very rewarding for me. Another thing I liked about working in the Shrine was that work time did not exceed four hours a day, so I had a lot of time to pray, discern about my vocation, read, and share with the community. Martyrs’ Shrine was the perfect place to live the experience. The Shrine is located in the countryside, far away from the busy world. This let me be at peace and encounter my inner Spirit. Another great advantage is the closeness to SainteMarie-among-the-Hurons, the place where the Jesuit Martyrs lived, and Saint Ignace, the place where Fathers Jean de Brébeuf and Gabriel Lalemant were martyred. Being able to live the experience in these holy places truly helped me to open my heart, mind and soul to God’s voice. During the last weeks I had the chance to “collect the harvest.” I had more time for meditation and reflection about the various emotions, thoughts, and spiritual movements that I had during the experience. I was able to analyze what the phrase “getting to know” the Jesuits meant for me. Then on August 16, 2008, Father Altilia, S.J. celebrated a mass to thank God for the graces received by the Six Weeks a Jesuit candidates and to ask Him to continue blessing Conor and I, in our Jesuit vocation. Page -2- Martyrs’ Shrine MESSAGE

loves of the Native people they came to serve. They came because they wanted the love of Jesus Christ to be discovered and made known among the Native people. What does this mean for us today? Does it mean that we too are called, invited, filled with a desire to centre our lives on Jesus Christ, and not on the idols of riches, consumerism, materialism, greed that surround us; to live in solidarity with the Native people of North America, in their struggle for justice and the redress of wrongs done to them over several centuries; to be more sensitive to all those who suffer. I just finished 22 years in Jamaica, a beautiful country, but one crippled by debt, where more that 60% of the government’s budget goes to service the debt (not to pay it back), leaving the government with little money to fund basic education. The result, two out of three high school students are in schools in which only 4% pass math and only 11% pass English. In the first week of August, I went to Haiti for the ordination to priesthood of two Haitian Jesuits studying in Toronto. There I saw the poverty of millions. The gap between rich and poor is growing, within Canada and within our world. Our world is being torn apart by poverty, greed and war. Our world needs the message of Jean de Brébeuf and his companions, his companions among the Jesuits and among the Huron Nation. Our world needs the love of Jesus Christ to be made incarnate, in each one of us, inspired by the spirit of Brébeuf and all those who so heroically lived and died as other Christs in this land.

The 2008 Feast Day of the Canadian Martyrs by Fr. Alex Kirsten, S.J.

The article above is the homily given at the feast day of the Martyrs on September 27, 2008. The feast day celebration began with a beautiful mass offered for over five hundred visitors and friends of the Shrine. The day was wet and cool but this did not hamper the many visitors who came to celebrate our Martyrs. Participating in the celebration of the mass were twelve Jesuit concelebrants. The concelebrants joined us from the Toronto region, Newfoundland, New York and West Africa. We were particularly honoured with the presence of twenty-three Jesuit Novices from three novitiates representing some seven Jesuit Provinces in the United States and Canada. The visit by novices

has become over the last four or five years somewhat of a tradition. Every year a new batch of novices are told about the pilgrimage to the Martyrs’ Shrine and each new group looks forward to their own pilgrimage to the site where all Jesuits have their first roots in North America. The mass was followed by a light lunch offered to all attending in the Filion Centre below the Shrine Church. This presented us with the opportunity to mingle and chat with those who came to celebrate with us. Among our many guests this year we had members of the Canadian military. These men and women were from Camp Borden in Barrie and attended our celebration because their company has taken St. Jean de Brébeuf as its patron. Martyrs’ Shrine MESSAGE Page -7-



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the full message of Jesus, to be professed by those who heard their words, recognizing in those words, and in the lives of the missionaries themselves, the love of God that they experienced in the remarkable virtues of hospitality and generosity that they found in the Huron people among whom they lived. Our first reading from II Corinthians reminds us that these many gifts of God to us, we carry in clay jars, and that whatever suffering, persecution, difficulties we might face, the love of God, made manifest in the love of Jesus Christ on the cross, will raise us up, with Him. Death, as St. Paul writes, where is your sting? The second reading from the letter to the Hebrews reminds us that if we too are ready to sacrifice our lives, to give all, to think of others before we think of ourselves, it will not be without a cost. But, we have the example of those who have gone before us. We gather in this holy place to be strengthened by their faith. In the gospel, Jesus, bracing his disciples for the suffering he was to face in Jerusalem, says: “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life, will lose it, but whoever loses his life, for my sake, will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” Jean de Brébeuf and his companions were not about material gain. They did not share the greed of their compatriots, who saw in the Native people, a source of wealth in furs, who divided the Native people against themselves and prompted them to war for control of the fur trade. Rather, they came because they wanted to discover Jesus in the lives and

Who Are These Holy Martyrs? Saint Jean de Brébeuf, S.J. Martyred March 16, 1649. Jean de Brébeuf, born in Normandy, was ordained to the priesthood at the age of 33. He was the first Jesuit Missionary in Huronia (1626), a master of the Native language, worked through all the district of Huronia for thirteen years, founded Mission outposts and converted thousands to the faith. He was known as the Apostle of the Hurons. He was massive in body, strong, yet gentle in character. Before leaving Normandy, he revealed his sentiments. “I felt a strong desire to suffer something for Christ.” He made a vow signed in his blood, never to refuse the offer of Martyrdom if asked to die for Christ. He was captured March 16, 1649 and tortured for hours. He was Martyred at St. Ignace, six miles from Ste. Marie, at the age of 56. Saint Isaac Jogues, S.J. Martyred October 18, 1646. Isaac Jogues was a priest only seven months and was 29 years of age when he came to Canada in 1636. He set out at once for Huronia. For three years he served at Mission outposts, instructing and baptizing. On a return journey from Quebec, he was captured by the Iroquois, brutally tortured, and made a slave. Thirteen months later he escaped to France. By the next year he was back in Canada and was sent as an emissary to discuss a treaty with the Iroquois. He went, “his heart seized with dread,” at the prospect of again falling into the hands of his torturers. He was seized at Ossernenan (now Auriesville, N.Y.) and cruelly beaten. A blow from a tomahawk gave him the crown of Martyrdom on October 18, 1646, at the age of 39. Saint Gabriel Lalemant, S.J. Martyred March 17, 1649. Gabriel Lalemant, a Parisian, became a Jesuit at age 19. His ambition was to labour in the Missions and he asked to be sent to the Canadian Missions. He was “one of the most feeble and delicate in health.” A scholar, he was professor of Philosophy, and dean of studies in French Colleges. He arrived in Huronia in September 1648 where in words of Scriptures, he was destined to complete a long time in a short space. In Huronia seven months, just beginning to speak the Native tongue, he was sent to assist Brébeuf in February 1649. He was captured with Brébeuf and tortured for seventeen hours at the stake. Gabriel Lalemant died on March 17 in his 39th year, at St. Ignace, six miles from Ste. Marie. Saint Antoine Daniel, S.J. Martyred July 4, 1648. Antoine Daniel was born in Normandy and became a Jesuit and was ordained a priest at 29. He answered a strong call to the Missions of Canada and was a Missioner near Bras d’Or Lakes (1632). He founded the first boys’ College in North America (Quebec 1635) and laboured in Huronia for twelve years. He mastered the language and dreamed of forming future catechists among the Hurons who would instruct other members of their tribe. The Mission was attacked by the Iroquois in July 1648. Daniel encouraged the converts to meet death as Christians should; he hastily baptized all he could and went out to face the enemy. His body was pierced with arrows and bullets.

The Iroquois set fire to the Chapel and threw his body into the flames. He was Martyred at Mount St. Louis, 12 miles from Ste. Marie at the age of 48. Saint Charles Garnier, S.J. Martyred December 7, 1649. Charles Garnier, a Parisian, a Jesuit, and a priest, was attracted to the arduous Missions of Canada. He came to Huronia at the age of thirty-one and for thirteen years laboured among the Hurons and Petuns. He was a victim of the Iroquois massacre of the village of Etharita, thirty miles from Ste. Marie. He refused to escape but exercised his charity to the end. Saint Charles Garnier was always a person of innocence and purity with a strong devotion to Our Lady whom he acknowledged looked after him as a youth. Gentle, innocent, fearless, he succeeded in winning many souls to God both at St. Joseph’s Mission and among the Petuns. Saint Noël Chabanel, S.J. Martyred December 8, 1649. Noël Chabanel became a Jesuit at the age of seventeen, a priest at twenty-eight, and was a successful professor and humanist in France. Experiencing a strong desire to consecrate himself to the Canadian Missions, he arrived in Quebec in 1643 and then travelled to Huronia. The enthusiasm of the young missionary quickly lost its glamour. Unable to learn the Native language, feeling useless in the ministry, sensitive to the surroundings, his life was to be one unbroken chain of disappointments, an ordeal that he himself called a “bloodless Martyrdom.” Tempted to return to France, he bound himself by a vow to remain in New France till death. For two years he stood in the shadow of death and then was slain secretly by an apostate Huron on the banks of the Nottawasaga, twenty-five miles from Ste. Marie on December 8, 1649. Saint René Goupil, S.J. Martyred September 29, 1642. René Goupil entered the Jesuit Order but had to leave because of ill health. He studied medicine and then offered his services to the Jesuit Missions in Canada. On his way to Huron country with Isaac Jogues in 1642, they were captured by the Iroquois, tortured and taken to the Mohawk country. On the journey to Mohawk country he begged Isaac Jogues to receive his vows. A month later he was martyred for making the sign of the cross on a little Native child. He was martyred at Auriesville, N.Y. at the age of thirty-five, on September 29, 1642. Saint Jean de LaLande, S.J. Martyred October 19, 1646. Jean de LaLande was a young layman who offered his services to the Jesuits of New France. He accompanied Isaac Jogues to the Mohawk Mission in 1646, knowing what he might have to suffer, gladly offering himself as a companion to Jogues and looking to God to protect him and to be his reward if the sacrifice of his life was demanded. With Isaac Jogues, he was tortured and threatened with death. He saw the martyrdom of Jogues on October 18. He himself was martyred on the following day at Auriesville, N.Y. Martyrs’ Shrine MESSAGE Page -3-

O God, who by the preaching and the blood of Your blessed Martyrs, Jean and Isaac and their companions, consecrated the first fruits of faith in the vast regions of North America, graciously grant that by their intercession the flourishing harvest of Christians may be everywhere and always increased. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


O God, who inflamed the hearts of your blessed Martyrs with an admirable zeal for the salvation of souls, grant me, I beseech you, my petitions, so that the favours obtained through their intercession may make manifest before your people the power and the glory of your name. Amen.

St. Jean de Brébeuf, pray for us St. Charles Garnier, pray for us St. Isaac Jogues, pray for us St. Noël Chabanel, pray for us St. Gabriel Lalemant, pray for us St. René Goupil, pray for us St. Antoine Daniel, pray for us St. Jean de LaLande, pray for us Holy Mary, Queen of Martyrs, pray for us Page -4- Martyrs’ Shrine MESSAGE

Our Legal title is: “Martyrs’ Shrine”. There are also special perpetual memberships: For a family living or deceased . . . . . . . . . . . . .$125.00 For an individual living . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$ 50.00 For an individual deceased . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$ 30.00


or as a beneficiary of a RRSP or RRIF.

Holy Martyrs and patrons, protect this land which you have blessed by the shedding of your blood. Renew in these days our Catholic faith which you have helped to establish in this new land. Bring all our fellow citizens to a knowledge and love of the truth. Make us zealous in the profession of our faith so that we may continue and perfect the work which you have begun with so much labour and suffering. Pray for our homes, our schools, our missions, for vocations, for the conversion of sinners, the return of those who have wandered from the fold, and the perseverance of all the Faithful. And foster a deeper and increasing unity among all Christians. Amen.

Martyrs’ Shrine In Your Will and Estate



(Patron of the Martyrs and of Canada) O God, who in your special Providence deigned to choose blessed Joseph to be the spouse of your holy Mother, grant, we beseech you, that we may deserve to have him as our intercessor in heaven whom we venerate on earth as our protector. You who live and reign in the world without end. Amen.

We come today to remember persons whose lives cannot but stir within us awe, admiration and respect. Their lives also stir within us deep faith, sensing that God was so much a part of their lives, that they were willing to give all, risk all, in their love of God and in their love of all those they came here to serve. As we remember St. Jean de Brébeuf and his companions, we cannot forget the many hundreds of Native people, who also lived lives of deep Christian faith and virtue. Among them, most notably, was Joseph Chiwatenhwa, who, like our missionaries, grasped the depth of the love of Jesus Christ, personally and for the Native people, in a way that prompted him too to give his all. In a contemporary understanding of missionary service, we are more conscious now that the role of the missionary involves discovering the presence of God and Jesus Christ working in and through the people to whom they are sent. Jesus was there. Jesus is here. It is but for us to recognize his presence, to unmask his face, to open each of our hearts to the depth of his love. During my retreat in Wikwemikong in July, I browsed one afternoon through one of the volumes of the Jesuit Relations and made this discovery, that this truth of the presence of God in the midst of all those with whom we work was certainly not an idea unknown to Jean de Brébeuf. For example, in a letter he wrote to his superiors in France in 1635, among other things, he said about the Hurons, among whom he lived and worked, “We see shining among them some rather noble moral virtues. You note, in the first place, a great love and union, which they are careful to cultivate by means of their marriages, of their presents, of their feasts, and of their frequent visits. On returning from their fishing, their hunting and their trading, they exchange many gifts; if they have thus obtained something unusually good, even if they have bought it, or it has been given to them, they make a feast for the whole village with it. Their hospitality toward all sorts of strangers is remarkable; they present to them in their feasts the best of what they have prepared, and, as I have already said, I do not know if anything similar, in this regard, is to be found elsewhere.….” These early Jesuits in Canada recognized the spirit of Jesus Christ present in the midst of the people to whom they ministered. It was the foundation on which they could bring the

Your enrollment contributes to the continuation of this ministry of prayer, healing and pilgrimage through the intercession of the Canadian Martyrs. Your contribution will greatly support the work of the Shrine, and you and your family will share in the spiritual community of prayers and Masses offered by the Shrine Staff. Every year members and benefactors of the Shrine Association benefit from one hundred Masses offered intentionally for them. As members of the Association you also receive the SHRINE MESSAGE. Annual family membership is $15.00

May St. Joseph and the Martyrs, patrons of Canada, intercede for all of us and for our country.

Glorious Queen of Martyrs, to whom the early missionaries of this country were so devoted and from whom they received so many favours, graciously listen to my petition. Ask your Divine Son to remember all they did for His glory. Remind Him that they preached the gospel and made His holy name known to thousands who had never heard of Him, and then for Him had their apostolic labours crowned by shedding their blood. Exercise your motherly influence as you did at Cana, and implore Him to grant me what I ask in this Novena, if it be according to His will. Amen.

Please Remember

A Novena of Masses and the Novena Prayers to the Martyrs will be offered for the intentions of all making the Novena. Intentions that are sent to the Shrine will be left on the altar beside the relics of the Martyrs during the Novena.


by Fr. Jim Webb, S.J. September 27, 2008

Please renew or enroll a friend or family member in the Martyrs’ Shrine Association

We invite you to join in the Novena to the Canadian Martyrs and St. Joseph, March 11-19, 2009. During these nine days we honour all the Martyrs and commemorate the martyrdoms of St. Jean de Brébeuf and St. Gabriel Lalemant and the Feast of St. Joseph (March 19) in whom the Martyrs placed great trust.

The Feast Day of the Martyrs of North America


Invitation & Novena Prayers

Martyrs’ Shrine MESSAGE Page -5-

Martyrs' Shrine Message - Spring 2009  

The Shrine Message

Martyrs' Shrine Message - Spring 2009  

The Shrine Message