Jesuits' 400th Anniversary in Canada 1611-2011

Seventy-one years after the approval of the Society of Jesus by Pope Paul III in 1540 and 55 years after the death of its founder, Ignatius Loyola, the first Jesuits, the Frenchmen Pierre Biard and Ennemond Massé, set foot in what is now Canada, at Port Royal, May 22, 1611. And so it began. This personalized stamp was a small part of extensive celebrations of the Jesuits' 400th year in Canada.

CANADA, 2011, a sheet of personalized stamps to mark the Jesuits' 4th centenary in Canada

St. Mary's University, Halifax

Scott 1944 
CANADA, 2002, the bicentenary of St. Mary's, Scott 1944 and its FDI cancel

Founded in 1802, St. Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia had been run by the Christian Brothers of Saint John the Baptist de la Salle from 1868, by the Irish Christian Brothers from 1918, and by the Jesuits of the Upper Canada Province from 1940 until a new Act of Incorporation in 1970 gave authority to a Board of Governors and Academic Senate. The Jesuits still provide for the Campus Ministry program there and the present chancellor is the Jesuit archbishop of Halifax, the Most Rev. Terrence Prendergast, SJ.

Villa Manrèse , Quebec

CANADA, 1946, a cinderella for the 25th anniversary of Villa Manrèse

The first Villa Manrèse was founded in 1891 in the environs of Quebec City, making it the oldest retreat house in Canada. A chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Way was opened next to the Villa Manrèse, which in 1929 passed to the secular clergy. At first retreats were for individuals only. In 1912 the modern closed group retreats began at villa. The Jesuits at the villa split their work between pastoral activities and closed retreat work and it eventually became desirable to open a house specifically for closed retreats and to let the old villa connected with the church be given over to pastoral activities. The Jesuits moved from the original site and opened a second Villa Manrèse across the street in 1921 keeping the name. The history of the two retreat houses is told in Blanche Gagnon's book, Autour de Manrèse