The Four Frontiers of mission identified at the Lebanon Assembly in 2013, and the process of discernment which was the focus of the Buenos Aries Assembly, 2018.


  • A Lenten reflection from Trevor Scott, s.j., our national ecclesiastical assistant,

  • A letter from our president, Michelle Mahoney,

  • Three articles on discernment and the Four Frontiers, all of them "long reads",

  • A short history of CLC World Day of Prayer, which is celebrated, each year, on March 25th the Feast of the Annunciation,

  • News from our four regions

  • Lenten practice suggestions from Pope Francis.
Trevor Scott, s.j.March, 2019
When we are in the midst of winter, with the snow, ice, and frigid temperatures all around us the only thing we can really think about is comfort… the comfort of our homes, a cozy fire if we are fortunate to have a fireplace, a hot tea or coffee, and a freshly made meal just out of the oven. We long to escape winter at this time in any way we can… even going to more tropical climates if possible. The first sign of spring, the beginning of new life, is the season of Lent. In old English this is its’ very meaning… Spring, Springtime… a time that culminates in Easter when life overcomes death through the life, death and resurrection of our Lord. 

           This moment has happened, and continually recurs for us each year. Everything around us each spring reminds us of it yet do we perceive it? Are we ready to accept and live this moment… to allow new life - the grace of our Lord - to enter into and animate us? Though this new life emerges inevitably in the fields, parks, trails, and yards all around us every year, it does not emerge so inevitably within us. It is possible to live disconnected from and unprepared for the new life emerging, of which we are called to be a part. How open... how prepared are you for the springtime of Lent? How open and prepared will you be for its culmination of Easter… for the fullness of the life of Christ?
As we know, life in Christ means being apostolically active with him in our society… to smell like the sheep as Pope Francis so imaginatively put it. As an Ignatian family CLC is oriented towards being contemplatives in action through the graces of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. We are drawn to move forward in our life in Christ through prayerful awareness of Christ’s presence with us… deep within and all around us. Peter, at the end of John’s Gospel, has come to affectively know Christ’s Easter presence with him. But Jesus keeps asking him, “Feed my sheep.” He is a little confused about his beginning steps at first. How is he to live in this new life of Christ? In what direction should he travel? Who is he called to serve Christ with, in this way? How are he and his companions called to be an Easter people?

           Over the last few years, since the 2014 World Assembly in Lebanon, CLC has been called to specific apostolic Frontiers in our society: to be with youth in the midst of the overwhelming choices and influences upon them, to accompany families in the strains they continually face in a society of growing individualism; to walk with victims of the changes brought about through globalization and economic impoverishment; and to stand up to the forces that demean the ecological fragility of our environments. We are called to deepen our apostolic presence as CLC through the prayerful habit of communal discernment and to deepen our apostolic presence as a community. 
           On this eve of our Lenten season our wider Ignatian family of Jesuits and their apostolic companions discerned and were presented with the fruits of its 4 Universal Apostolic Preferences. We can see that these specific apostolic Preferences of the wider Ignatian family are very much in harmony with the specific apostolic Frontiers of CLC. The Preferences that were discerned, under the leadership of Father-General, Arturo Sosa, are: 
           1) To show the way to God through the Spiritual Exercises and Discernment.
           2) To walk with the poor, the outcasts of the world, those whose dignity has been violated, in a mission of reconciliation and justice.
           3) To accompany young people in the creation of a hope-filled future,
           4) To collaborate in the care of our Common Home.
Upon presenting these discerned apostolic Preferences to Pope Francis for his approval and support, Francis responded, “The process that the Society followed to arrive at universal apostolic preferences was… a real discernment… the first preference is crucial… it presupposes… relationship with the Lord in a personal and communal life of prayers and discernment.”
In conclusion, while deepening our attention and active involvement on the Frontiers through our growth as a communally discerning community (as our most recent World Assembly invites), and working in harmonious collaboration with the wider Ignatian family in the fruitful implementation of the new Universal Apostolic Preferences, lets seek to spend our Lenten Season in discernment as preparation for greater apostolic life in communion with our broader Ignatian family. … as individual members and as one Canadian Christian Life Community. One means is prayerful reading of the Society of Jesus’ ‘Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Society of Jesus, 2019-2029’ in light of our own discerned apostolic Frontiers. Through a prayerful encounter with both of these communally discerned apostolic priorities, which have so much in common and overlap so beautifully, we will be more deeply prepared as a CLC to continue our apostolic engagement as an Easter people who are called under the banner of Christ, through the Spiritual Exercises and international Ignatian community. In this way, we can be prepared for, and immersed in, the ‘Springtime’ emerging, to which we are called with its’ culmination of the Easter moment of life.
   Lenten Blessings to each of you
        as you prepare for the new life of our Lord,

           Trevor Scott, sj (CLC Canada E.A.)

DEAREST CLC friends and family,

Janet Ho, our Representative in BC often begins her letters to us with the word, ‘DEAREST’. As you know, the term ‘dearest’ is not usually used in addressing a group of people for fear it might come across as insincere. Janet is a sincere and loving person. I realize that when I read her opening word ‘Dearest’, she is speaking from the heart what she feels toward her brothers and sisters in CLC. This is my intention for you as I begin this letter.

“We can only enter the heart of God through the wounds of Christ” This is a direct quote from our beloved Pope Francis in his letter to us as CLC. Like everyone else who has pondered these words, I am immersed in the truth and the challenge of this statement. I know that I am not alone when I say that, in these last few months, I have faced much suffering, in my personal life and CLC. There have been deaths and illnesses, and political strife in our CLC ‘Godchild’ country of Haiti just to mention a few. This still doesn’t take into consideration other Wounds of Christ in Poverty and Globalization, Ecology, Youth, and Family at home or abroad.

 Last week, I was sitting at Mass in my ‘usual’ spot, where, in my direct line of vision, is a poignant statue of the Pieta. Though I was seeing it for the millionth time, I was seeing with new eyes, as if for the first time, and was deeply moved. In conversation with my Spiritual Director, it became clear that I am both ‘Nurturing mother’ and ‘Suffering Servant’ in living out my CLC call and identity. How do I do this with an attitude of ‘joy’ in the midst of chaos? Do you wonder the same?

The truth is that it is not humanly possible. We cannot do it without God. You know this. For those of us in CLC, we need to go a step further. We can only EFFECTIVELY enter the heart of God through the wounds of Christ by using the wonderful gift of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercsises as well as Communal Discernment. Communal Discernment sounds like a very big task and we have/can make it so complicated. In reality it is something that we practice every time we meet in community and use the 3 rounds of Spiritual Conversation. It is here that God blesses, breaks and multiplies our meagre loaves and fish. It is here that we receive the call as to the best way to go out as nurturing parents and suffering servants, bringing food to the peripheries. It is here we discern what is the greater good, taking into consideration our given abilities and circumstances.

Discernment begins with an intelligent, listening Heart. This is a grace we need to ask for, develop and deepen. (Thank you, Catherine Kelly!) It is a prerequisite for communal discernment. The Holy Spirit does not play favourites but speaks through each and every person /situation in the community.

At times we get a little off track in the understanding and use of communal discernment in our communities and this leaves us floundering. So I want to point you to PROJECTS 171. I challenge you, no humbly beg you to pray with it, reflect on it and practise the 3 rounds (#17-23) of Spiritual Conversation as suggested on pages 4-5. It is a simple yet profound process as we learned at the World Assembly. It will also be a key process at our National Assembly.
I look forward to being in solidarity with all during World CLC Day of prayer on March 25 th . In the meantime, I keep all of you, my ‘Dearest’, in daily prayer and ask that you keep me, General Council and CLC in your daily prayer as well.
United in Christ and CLC

Above: Companions on the Way celebrating an evening with Daniela and Inge from CLC Germany during their visit to PEI, Saturday Feb. 16, 2019. "It was an evening of good food, laughter, sharing of CLC and story telling: a wonderful, joyful, communal CLC experience." (Michelle)
Left to Right: Top Row: Grant Curtis, Catherine Gallant, Leah Michaud, Gilles Michaud
Front Row: Julia Donahoe MacDougald,Inge Hopfl, Daniela Frank, Michelle Mahoney, Doreen Reid

Why do CLCers celebrate World CLC Day on Mar. 25 th , the feast of the Annunciation? Because on March 24 th 1522, the eve of the feast of the Annunciation, Ignatius laid down his sword at the altar of Mary, a symbol of his commitment to live out Christian values in his life. From that time on, he gathered laymen and women at dining room tables to enter into ‘spiritual conversation’ about Jesus. As a layman, Ignatius wrote the Spiritual Exercises and gave them to other laymen and women to grow in their relationship with Jesus and to use the tools of discernment just as we do today. Some became great leaders in the Church. In 1540 the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) was founded by Ignatius.

On March 25, 1563, on the feast of the Annunciation, one of Ignatius’ companions, Jean Leunis SJ, started the first ‘Sodality of Our Lady’ for those who wished to follow this discerning way of life. For 200 years these Sodalities of Ignatian lay people were committed to daily meditation, the awareness examen, regular reception of the Sacraments and the pursuit of works of charity…
- running publishing houses
- running what today would be called Credit Unions
- seeking to establish schools run by Jesuits
- staffing hospitals

Today, we can see these are the roots of being lay apostolic communities. In those early days, Jesuits and lay people often worked as teams (one of our current goals: deeper collaboration between Jesuits and Christian Life Community.)

It was on March 25 th , 1968, the feast of the Annunciation, that Pope Paul VI confirmed the ‘General Principles’ of CLC and announced our new name: “Christian Life Community”. Up until then it was called the Marian Congregation or Sodality of Our Lady. Mary is our model in living out our commitment to CLC. Her feast day also connects CLC to its roots – Mary, the ‘first’ disciple of Jesus. Because of this history, March 25th is set aside each year as our World CLC Day of Prayer. On or around this date, CLCers, worldwide, celebrate all that God has done and is doing with us through the particular identity and call that is ours in the church and in the world.
In Canada, since 1991, it has been our custom to have a 24 hour ‘wave’ of prayer from coast to coast on March 25 th . For the Atlantic Region: 4 am – 9 am, Central Region: 8 am – 1 pm, Prairie Region: 12 pm – 5 pm. Rockies Region: 4 pm – 12 am. All are encouraged to pray in solidarity.
A Frontier Context:

Akiko Busch, writing in the New York Times, reflects on the ecozone, the area where two habitats meet, a betwixt and between threshold, "rendering it a place of complex interaction and diversity", such as the inter-tidal area below, where ocean meets land, and organisms must adapt in wonderful ways, to live in sea water AND land. Or the threshold between land and sky (above). Busch uses these transitional places as a metaphor for humanity's edges, "...where the action is, or the place where you push things to, for the best results". We can use this as a metaphor for CLC's Four Frontiers. When we, in our communities, discern and know we are called, in a deep way, to action in one of these Frontiers, we step into a place of uncertainty, a sacred space of creativity that can carry us forward into experiences and actions of justice and mercy.
Orientations for Action: for World CLC after 16th World CLC Assembly in Lebanon 2013
                 “From our Roots to the Frontiers”
    This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to Him
Mk 9:7
Family : Show openness, compassion, respect, and sensitivity to people who belong to diverse family realities. Create formation processes for couples and families, in collaboration with others

Globalization and Poverty : Develop spiritual tools to more adequately understand and address the challenges we are facing. Network for sharing experiences and taking actions.

Ecology : Develop a sensitivity towards respecting creation in our attitudes and actions. Network for sharing experiences and good practices such as the Amazon Project

Youth : Develop a sensitivity in our apostolic work with youth. Meaningfully engage youth in our community.

(Above are quotes from Final Document of 16th World CLC Assembly in Lebanon 2013 )

How did we in World CLC come to the above recommendations in 2013 at Lebanon? Certainly by the Blessed Trinity gradually and generously showering us with many graces especially the gift of discernment over the last 450 years…… our Blessed History!
We in CLC Canada have been very blessed to have John English’s gift of Communal Discernment and his enthusiasm to not only share it with our national but with the World Ignatian Family and World CLC. In fact, at Guadalarjara, Mexico, in 1990 John presented ‘the second round’ to the World Assembly. He himself said that it was not a roaring success; however, seeds were planted in some nationals who kept exploring ways in which a communitarian organization could reach consensus with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This important thread of the Holy Spirit has grown stronger over the years in our World Assemblies. We see this if we recall the blessed history of our World Assemblies , ie.,

•      Hong Kong (1994): Being One World Community sent on Mission
•      Itaici (1998): Being called to a Common Mission finding Christ in the more urgent and universal needs of our societies
•      Nairobi (2003): Awareness that to grow towards being a Lay Apostolic Body CLC needs to focus on developing structures that support the World Community at all levels. Introduction of Discern, Support, Send, Evaluate (DSSE )
•      Fatima Assembly (2008): More emphasis on the Lay Apostolic Body and the tools and structures.

•      In 2009, World Exco picked up this thread of graces by forming a working group on the understanding of the Lay Apostolic Body (LAB) and how it functions within and between national communities.

•      In 2010, Supplement #64 The Process of Growth in CLC - Guidelines for formation was published. (Resources from CLC Canada were used in this document)

•          In 2012, a survey was sent to each national to voice what their priorities were. Six months prior to the assembly the survey was tabulated with three priorities:
•          Globilization and Poverty,
•          Family,
•          Ecology.
•          These priorities were incorporated in the planning of the process of the next assembly in Lebanon.
•           In 2013, at the assembly ‘the second round’ again was introduced to the whole assembly. Delegations from each national were invited to pray the Examen together at the end of the day including the second round.
•          In the assembly the Holy Spirit surprised us with a fourth priority i.e. Youth. All in the assembly felt the communal consolation in accepting these four priorities as recommendations to move forward in mission.  

The process of Communal Discernment grew quickly in the Ignatian Family between 2013-18. CLC members from around the world were getting more familiar with this treasure.
In Buenos Aires in 2018, the process of Communal Discernment was used. However, there seemed to be confusion and desolation. The assembly did not come to clear recommendations for the next five years.
But now looking back, this could be another grace in that World CLC really can learn more about the process itself. Even better is the gift for each group now in CLC Canada and in World CLC to carry on Communal Discernment !!!! Each formed group of permanent members can focus on discerning their group’s Common Apostolic Mission (CAM) for next year(s) using a focus on the 4 World Priorities identified above.

We continue to be challenged by really understanding what it means to be an Apostolic Body in the Church and in the World. Our hope in doing so, is by living out our CLC General Principles and the Communal Spiritual Exercises as in Manual Three in the Canadian CLC Formation Program. Let’s ‘just do it’ as John English would say!

Elaine Regan-Nightingale
Lighting Lamps -  Trembling Hands Sharing Hope

How might Central Region CLC look at her Common Apostolic Mission (CAM) discerned September 2010, through the eyes of the four frontiers identified at the World CLC/CVX Assembly 2013? Youth, Family, Ecology and Poverty/Globalization?  

Let me offer a few paragraphs to situate you in the story of Central Region’s Communal Apostolic Mission (CAM); our mission  “… to actively support the poor and disadvantaged Haitian people in their efforts to raise up and rebuild their country….”    
The journey to something bigger had begun. We just needed to keep our lamps lit and navigate the narrow uncharted path; listen to the Spirit and stay attentive to the ‘how’, to reach beyond geographical distances, language barriers and easy fixes to befriend others in the Lord.             
All along the way J.P. Horrigan has shared generously the ropes of travel, finance, safety and collaborative planning and communication with Jesuit and eager CLC/CVX lay partners in mission. He has been a lamp lit and example for us.

For nearly 10 years now, Central has kept the lamps lit for the CAM:
relationships growing in the D.R. and in Haiti, through the various means of
communication, education and collaboration:  
9 annual insertion trips from Central to keep in touch face to face , gathering with CVX in Port au Prince for World Day of Prayer’s spiritual conversation and celebrations,  creative fundraising efforts to support a co-op of Haitian women in the north of Haiti who sent their own children to school with the money they made, financial support of Haitian children of migrant parents and/or ancestors in a Santo Domingo slum, sending postcards of the Canadian wilderness to D.R. children (now hanging on the school walls), joining the D.R. CVX in the 4% for Education campaign where CLC Canada (and World nationals) signed petitions to be delivered to respective Embassies voicing the demand for a 4% GDP promise for Dominican education .They(we)won!, a 2012 first retreat for CVX Haiti members to discern their call to a CVX way of life (Gilles Michaud and Leanne Salel were ‘sent’ and supported by Central) , invitations to 2 Jesuits to come to Canada , Fr. Mario Serrano and Fr. Macoby to speak to our regional members about ‘the signs of the times’ from the Haitian /D.R. perspective , learning how complacent Canadian mining companies leave behind contaminated water causing scandalous birth defects and skin disease of those who drink the once pristine water. Really?!
Having made 3 CLC/CVX insertion trips to Haiti and the D.R. it has always astonished me how children in the slum would emerge from their little tin walled homes pressed and groomed for school in their uniforms and hair neatly done with bobbles. How does that happen? It is imagined that great hope lives in the walls of homes where children get to go to school and dream of their future; where children come home to eat beans and rice everyday (who eats beans and rice every day? Do you?) to dream with relieved parents of something more for their family and sometimes have their children teach them to read.

When Central said a trembling ‘yes’ to support a school I don’t think we considered that 10 years later these kids would be entering young adulthood, or that the world CLC/CVX would be identifying ‘youth’ as a specific frontier (though several years prior ‘youth’ had been identified in Central as a means to forming the future. A chance at education inclusive of faith that nourishes the soul ranks high. In the rebuilding process following the earthquake, Foi et Joie (Faith and Joy) Jesuit schools are numerous in Haiti. These schools with a difference have a general blueprint where Jesuits serve. Ahh, now there is an Ignatian principle for mission that takes my attention! …the multiplication of loaves…even in what seems a wilderness.
Neither did Central members imagine that the recent tragic world migration of peoples in search of family safety and security would develop into the largest movement of peoples in history. Migrants in the D.R. have been wanted for cheap labour for centuries but where are they wanted and welcomed as citizens? Human dignity is the issue. The hope for their freedom lies in my own freedom to see before me a brokenness that could be me. ‘The last shall be first and the first shall be last…’(Mathew 20:16). How do I walk in solidarity with people geographically and culturally distant? A Haitian Awareness Examen developed by the late Peter Nightingale. Peter had statistics of how many Haitians historically were living in the U.S.A. and sending money back into the country for families. Pray, listen, weep and act with HOPE.

A lamp was lit in my heart when visiting a sugar cane barrio in the D.R. away outside Santo Domingo , where migrant Haitians live with their families and work sugar plantations. I was there with our insertion team led by CVX Domincan members whose discerned mission was to build outdoor shower units for the barrio’s housing complex. On tour I came upon what I call a miracle . It was in the middle of rock hard mud slopes with odd trickles of water, garbage strewn walkways and items of all description piled outside housing that was rather desolate. And there it was! Green hedging and plants surrounding a ‘home’! Then looking closer a garden with ripe red tomatoes and lush vegetation everywhere. ‘WHO? lives here?’ I asked myself. “God lives here!” came the quiet and joyful answer. Just then a lovely robust woman came from the shadows of her front door, smiling a hello. Another question: “How can this be?” Emmanuelle, God among us in this teaming life of love before my eyes, a lamp lit in the darkness . Immediately I thought ‘is she teaching the children how to garden Eden? And now I ask “Who is teaching my grandchildren to garden Eden?” We light lamps for one another. This one was for me, a grandmother who gardens.

In Haiti on another insertion trip our direction of interest was to visit a Foi et Joie (Faith and Joy) school in the deeper rural areas. There stood a huge school educating 100’s of children who walked miles to attend ..in uniform and in a wilderness?

This school was part of a bigger dream of Jesuits to reclaim a sizeable ‘dead’ lake nearby. With the purchase of the land, the dream lay ahead. Together we imagined the re-created, re-forested lakeshore and a glistening lake that one day will be alive with fish, the centre of a sustainable community where proud workers make their livelihood for their families and young people plant trees! Notice: Education came first!  
It was with great hope and joy that we would gather in Port Au Prince in a local parish with Haitian CVX members guided at the time by Denis Tchuente and his wife Eleannore ; we would be sitting in small groups, with neck strained simultaneous translation happening…we knew Ignatian language! The hope in the hearts of these young people to rebuild the spirit of their people with grace and dignity was palpable. Ignatius will lead us to the Gospel where Jesus lights the lamp and stands at the door and knocks. This lamp has been lit for one another. These days were the beginning of something much bigger that we could not have imagined.

In the last year as you know CLC/CVX Canada has become God–parents of CVX Haiti; the nationals’ 5 year commitment in this CVX baptism is to see to the Ignatian formation of Haitian communities ready to take on world membership in 2023 .  This is a moment in CLC Canada’s history that has truly expanded nationals’ communal horizons in generously accepting the World invitation to accompany our CVX brothers and sisters in Haiti. CLC/CVX Canada as nationals are the God-parent with a national Haiti WG that moves the project along step by step.

Lamps do light up the darkness. Just the other night the power went out here at home. It happens maybe 5 times a year for various lengths of time , maybe 3 – 8 hours. We scramble for the flashlights…

  “Be dressed and ready for service and have your lamps burning.” sound familiar? “Be like people waiting for their master to return from the wedding feast, ready to open the door as soon as he comes and knocks.” Luke 12:36

When we keep our lamps lit we are ready to light another’s when its growing dim…then together we will navigate the uncharted path in the spirit of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Mary Balfe - CLC Dreamer

For all the CLC members who have contributed ; sharing financial resources, planning, packing, emailing, flying to insertion destinations; have jewellery in their drawers and around their necks, written cards, have prayed and prayed and prayed, for the picture takers and the video makers….. Foie!! Foie!! Foie!!
Front Row Left to Right Andree Richard, Fr. Mario Serrano s.j, Lidvina Yoon, Duna (1st school principal)
Back Row L to R. Adreinne de Schitter, Sam Loutfi, Mary Balfe, Fr. J.P. Horrigan s.j.

The adventurous CAM insertion members since 2011:
Adrienne de Schutter, Lidvina Yoon, Andre Richard, Sam Loutfi, Mary Balfe, Central E.A. Fr. J.P. Horrigan S.J., Judith Dewitt, Magee McGuire, Laarni Muya , Julie Dwyer-Young, Jewel David, Victor Gagne, Leanne Salel, Gilles Michaud, Dominique Cyr, National EA Trevor Scott, SJ., Susan Tomenson, Marilou Gonzales, Carmen Hurtubise, Christa Streicher.
Front, left to right: David McIsaac, Gilles Michaud, Bill Costain.
Top, left to right: Ann McIsaac, Leah Michaud, Helen McQuaid, Beulah Costain.

I n late spring of 2015, an invitation was received by our Ixthus CLC from Gerri Tingley, the Atlantic Regional Representative at the time, inviting us to consider becoming the National Working Group on Ecology. This was one of the 4 Frontier priorities identified by the World General Assembly in Lebanon in 2014. We responded positively to this ‘call’ and in late January 2019, after 3 ½ years of journeying as this National Working Group, we took time to review and evaluate what we had done thus far.

In February of this year, Lois Zachariah, editor of CLC Canada’s Update newsletter, asked if we could write a short article on the discernment process Ixthus used that led to accepting this mission. We quickly recognized the challenge presented by this request. How would we go about extrapolating the discernment process from an integrated practice we had lived for over 33 years?

As residents of PEI, we are constantly aware that farming and fishing have been the historical means for industry and subsistence. Both rely heavily on water and, as groundwater is the only source of drinkable water, there is a high degree of sensitivity when any sort of degradation of this resource occurs. A water crisis in the mid 1990’s launched us into our first CLC communal mission project. From then on, we learned to be vigilant as the issues began rolling into our consciousness: soil degradation and erosion, clear cutting, over fishing, pollution of seas and streams, pesticides and herbicides leaching into the water systems and eroding air quality, fracking, deep water wells, genetically modified organisms to name a few of the areas we became involved in. Much of this took place before we were really familiar with a more formal process of discernment and decision making or the DSSE process. Nevertheless, over the years our ‘discerning’ resulted in speedy and unanimous choices to become engaged in a whole range of issues in areas pertaining to poverty, ecology, political policies and so on.

Reflecting on this and our call to a CLC vocation, we realized how from the very beginning, we were formed with the understanding and knowledge that CLC was uniquely different from every other lay movement in the Church. It was clear to us: CLC was a discerning community for mission. Sustained by the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, Ixthus was called to form community in order to discern together God’s desire as to how we were to live out our faith life in mission in the world. Faithful and attentive to following a ‘3 Round’ process in a bi-weekly gathering, it could be said that our CLC way of life was shaped by being in a state of ‘continuous discernment readiness’.
The process, with a 1st Round sharing and ‘attentive listening’ to the fruits of our two weeks of daily prayer with a common grace and scripture passages gives birth to mission (a concern, a difficulty, a dream, an event). The 2nd Round sharing highlights how the Spirit moves our hearts to ‘hear’ and name what is needed today. In the 3rd Round, the listening community gives voice and form in response to ‘what we ought to do for Christ’. In the second half of the meeting, we begin with conversation and interpretation of what we heard in light of the signs of the times and proceed to formulate a mission plan when needed. This was the process that led us to a unanimous agreement to respond to ‘discern’ mission in the variety of ecological issues mentioned above.

Therefore, when asked to discern our availability to take on the role of National Working Group on Ecology, we realized that we were already committed to mission in this area. The only issue to discern (prayer and conversation) was whether or not we had the time and energy to expand the parameters of our mission field. After a couple of weeks of prayer and discussion, we were united in feeling confident that we would have something to contribute in calling attention to the need to honour and care for all creation. We said “Yes”, and began outlining our plan of action.

What if Christ is a name for the transcendent within of every thing in the universe? We (Ixthus CLC group) have come to believe that our CLC General Principals has been trying to say this without even knowing it. As members of CLC Canada, we think that it is time that we deeply explore this message below, from Sallie McFague, theologian and Scholar in Residence at the Vancouver School of Theology, about Christ and the shape of reality for all of us.

The National Ecology Working Group
Excerpts from "A Reflection on the Universal Christ and Climate Change by Theologian and Scholar Sallie McFague."

"Augustine sees sin as 'being curved in upon oneself' rather than being open to God. In our ecological age, we now see that 'being open to God' means being open to other creatures in mutual independence. We do not meet God only in Jesus of Nazareth, because God is also incarnate in our world as the universal Christ."

"We are changing the planet's climate in ways that will make it uninhabitable for ourselves and many other species...This is a strange 'crisis' to face....it has to do with how we live on a daily basis - the food we eat, the transportation we use, the luxuries and long-distance air travel we allow ourselves...the very ordinary life we ourselves are leading."

"What then, would be an appropriate ethic for twenty-first-century people and especially for well-of religious people?"

"A distinguishing characteristic of most religions is some form of self-emptying... In the Christian tradition, kenosis or self-emptying is seen as constitutive of God's being in creation, the incarnation and the cross. In creation god limits the divine self...to allow space for others to exist. In the incarnation, God 'emptied the divine self, taking the form of a slave' (Philippians 2:7), and in the cross God gives of the divine self without limit."

"Could we live and move and have our being in the universal Christ, participating in the insight and power of the incarnate God as we address space and energy - so we ca live in radical interdependence with all other creatures. We are not alone...the universal Christ is in, with, and for the world as we struggle with climate change."
Two foundational books on discernment:

  • "Spititual Intimacy and Community: An Ignatian View of the Small Faith Community", John English, s.j., Darton, Longman and Todd, Ltd., 1992.

  • "The Call to Discernment in Troubled Times,", Dean Brakley, s.j., Crossroad Publishing Company, 2004.

This is a group photo taken at our fall Atlantic Regional Council meeting.
It was held in October 2018 at the Marguerite Bourgeoys Retreat Center, in Summerside, Prince Edward Island.

In the photo from L to R:
Back row: Beulah Costain and Gilles Michaud.
Middle row: Grant Curtis, Michelle Mahoney, Sandy Mudge, Jane Abernethy-Parker, Lorraine Bird, Yves Daigle, Doug Hubbard, Peter Chouinard, Rosemary Moorhead, Graydon Nicholas, Leah Michaud and Fr Trevor Scott.

Front Row: Linda Adams, Bob McDermott, Karen Reeves, Geri Tingley, Bill Costain and seated on the floor, Dorie McDermott.

Missing from the photo (as she took the picture) Julia Donahoe-MacDougall.
NATIVITY CLC: Sandra Roy, Linda Adams, (who wrote the article below), Ruth and Ed Coleman
Hello from Atlantic Canada

I was delighted to be asked to write an update from the Atlantic Region CLC.
We are in deep winter and it has been a challenging one, with lots of snow and freezing rain.

Thankfully our days are getting a wee bit longer and folks are starting to think of spring and all the new life, it brings.

CLC groups continue to gather in spite of the weather even if it means rescheduling meeting times.

Several of our members are dealing with health issues themselves, or with close family members.

We were saddened to learn of the passing of Lynn Basker, on February 14 th , 2019, following surgery.

Lynn was a member of the Living Water / Fishers of People CLC Group.
Lynn was described as a very kind, giving and loving person who was always ready to lend a helping hand. Her faith in God, her family and friends and especially her grandsons were her pride and joy. When gathered with Lynn, there was always lots of laughter. Lynn was predeceased by her husband Wesley in 2015. Lynn and Wesley have two daughters. Lynn was 56 years old.

We were saddened again to learn of the passing of David Lyons, husband of Wanda Lyons on February 17 th , 2019. Wanda and David have five children, nineteen grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Wanda is a member of the J.O.Y. CLC Group.


We have mixed emotions for CLC members Rev Ed and Ruth Coleman, who have decided to move from New Brunswick to Nova Scotia. Ed and Ruth have four children and three of them live in Nova Scotia, so they will be closer to their children and grandchildren. Ed and Ruth were part of Nativity CLC in New Brunswick. Although they will be missed, they are wished many blessings in their new home.

Some upcoming events in the Atlantic Region are our spring and fall Regional Council meetings. The spring Regional Council meeting is held in New Brunswick at the Villa Madonna Retreat House, on May 3 rd and 4 th , 2019. The fall Regional Council meeting is held on Prince Edward Island at the Marguerite Bourgeois Retreat Center, on November 8 th and 9 th , 2019.

A midsummer gathering, near the Feast of St. Ignatius will be held at the Villa Madonna Retreat House in New Brunswick on July 27 th , 2019.
This is a bit of what is going on in Atlantic Canada CLC as the month of February comes to an end.

Linda Adams, Nativity CLC,
Publications Coordinator for the Atlantic ExCo.

Age 56, of Fredericton, N.B. formerly of Chéticamp, died on February 14, 2019 in Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital in Fredericton. Lynn was a very kind, giving and loving person who was always ready to lend a helping hand. Her faith in God, her family and friends and especially her grandsons were her pride and joy. When gathered, with her present, we had lots of laughter. Since her retirement, she volunteered for the CWL. She loved nature, especially the beauty of Cape Breton. She had a special place in her heart for the Acadian village of Chéticamp, where she was born and raised. It was reflected by all the photos and hook rugs that she displayed in her home.

The passing of David Lyons of Charters Settlement, NB, husband of Wanda (Moir) Lyons occurred on Sunday, February 17, 2019 at Fredericton Hospice.
David was a carpenter by trade, retiring in 2002. David excelled at many sports over the years, hockey, judo, basketball, racquetball and ping pong. He was a talented woodcarver and built amazing scale models. He enjoyed chess, history and astronomy. David loved to play cards, listen to country music, play guitar, and cheer for the Toronto Maple Leafs

The Central Region Assembly will take place on April 26 – 28, 2019, at the Marylake Shrine of Our Lady of Grace, King City. The theme is “ Awaken Magis: Deepen – Envision – Be sent forth ”.

Assembly highlights :

  • The presence of Michelle Mahoney, our National President, Fr. Trevor Scott, s.j., our national Ecclesiastical Assistant, and Sr. Nadia from CVX – Haiti.
  • An opportunity to connect with the bigger CLC, deepen our CLC identity, and strengthen our bonding.
  • We will celebrate the permanent commitment of Fishers Community,
  • Liturgy.

We are asking individual and community prayers for Shaun Malone, and Tom Goettler, that they will have a speedy recovery from surgery and sickness respectively. Also, our thoughts and prayers go with Elaine Nightingale and Lidvina Yoon: both are caring for high needs, sick family members. 

We would like to share the joy and the blessing of the new grandma, Judith DeWitt, whose daughter Rachel gave birth to an adorable girl last October.  
News and Notes from CLC Prairie Region to CLC Canada

Greetings in the Lord, as we embark on our Lenten Journey.

A word about "Lent" the word in the context of the Church year. It derives from an old Anglo-Saxon word "lencten" which refers to spring, or the lengthening of days which we all experience at this time of year in the northern hemisphere. Just as nature appears to be getting closer and closer to the sun as a source of life, we are called to get closer and closer to the Son of God, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, integrally part of the Trinity, the source of our Life, through a Lenten journey of repentance, prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

As your Prairie Region Representative on the General Council of Christian Life Community (CLC) Canada, I have the privilege of a bird’s-eye view of our regional and national journeys as an apostolic body of cells (individual groups), Friends in the Lord living out the fruits of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, through the CLC way of life.  

Please allow me to share this perspective with you as a way for our CLC sisters and brothers from outside our Region to accompany us in Prayer:
Mon. March 25, 2019, World Day of Prayer and Feast Day of the Annunciation: CLC Prairie Region will observe both with a visit from our Ecclesial Assistant, Fr. Charles Pottie-Pâté. We will explore "Projects 171" from World CLC in order to focus on one of the most important fruits to have emerged from the World Assembly in Buenos Aires, Argentina last summer, that of communal discernment, a gift of Christian Life Community, the Church, and the world. 

We gather at 5:30 p.m. at St. Ignatius Church's Education Centre, 925 Jessie Ave. in Winnipeg for a 6 p.m. start with an Annunciation Day Mass presided over by Fr. Charles, followed by a simple Lenten supper (most likely soup and bread) and from 7-9 p.m. focus on Projects 171: Called to Deepen, Share, Go Forth:

Our two communities in Thunder Bay, Joshua Tree and Oramus will have the benefit of Fr. Charles' recorded reflections to follow at a more convenient time for them, either the same day or one close to March 25th.

Thurs. Oct. 17 to Sun. Oct. 20/19: National Assembly at St. Benedict’s Retreat and Conference Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Typically national CLCs hold their once in five-year assemblies the year after the World Assembly. CLC Canada is no exception, hence the 2019 date. While it is CLC Prairie Region’s turn (the last time we hosted it was in 1999!), we could not do it alone. According to the unofficial Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) number 13 of CLC Canada, there are six major areas of responsibility: accommodation, finance, hospitality/social activities, liturgy, registration and transportation. Thanks to Janet Ho of Rockies Region and Mary Lou Gonzalez of Central Region, their respective regions will take care of registration and liturgy. I’m also very glad to report that our current Treasurer Christine Butterill and Regional Accountant, Monica Storozuk, have agreed to take care of finance while Ruth and Steve Chipman will coordinate transportation. That leaves only accommodation and hospitality/social activities. The latter includes putting together delegate packages, meeting and greeting delegates and observers upon their arrival at the Centre, organizing a social evening and apostolic insertion activities/presentations. 

While not ideal, I have, as the overall National Assembly Coordinator, assumed the role of also coordinating accommodation. Thanks to Pat MacRae and her group Kairos CLC in Winnipeg, they have taken on the very significant responsibility of hospitality to pull together the tote bags for each delegate, including welcome letters from various church dignitaries, St. Ben's site maps (both an indoor floor plan and grounds), assembly schedule and program plus small souvenir-like goodies. 

My own group, Metanoia CLC in Winnipeg is discerning their role as meeters and greeters. We also have a keynote speaker in mind who will be invited once GC has approved a theme, grace and scripture for the assembly. We also hope to provide an extra special treat of "regionally rooted" live music for our social evening. So National Assembly plans continue apace, even if they have largely been behind the scenes. Stay tuned for some official announcements soon!

Believe it or not, this is my third and final year as your Prairie Region Rep., unofficially (by yours truly) extended to November 1, 2019 (in time to let me complete my responsibilities as coordinator of the National Assembly). I would have liked to have mentored an active Prairie Region member to become the next Prairie Region Rep. over one full calendar year to cover as many of the major responsibilities as they naturally arise. However, as the saying goes, "What a man proposes, God disposes." Although just over a year ago, I invited three prospective candidates to discern if they can hear God calling them to this service. All three have indicated that they did not feel so moved at this time. I have invited our Regional Elder to help Prairie Region Leadership discern how the Trinity wishes to direct us after my term ends.

We received the following from Penny Fitzpatrick, Oramus Community,Thunder Bay, on Thursday, Feb. 14th.

"It is with a heavy heart tonight I am sending you this e-mail as one of our Thunder Bay CLC members has gone home to the Lord. Oramus member Leo Arsenault passed in the night. He truly was a beacon of light and a living cross, One which he bore with great patience and love. He often reminded me of Pope John Paul 2nd. Faithful and diligent no matter what. Please keep Sharon and her family and our communities here in Thunder Bay in prayer. I will advise when I hear more about arrangements etc. God Bless always. Penny"

Respectfully submitted by your Prairie Region Rep. on the General Council of CLC Canada,

Howard R. Engel
CLC Rockies/BC Region

We start with two beautiful experiences of personal and communal Graced Histories.
A 50 year, Blessed History - Our Anniversary Story - Ralph and Sue Rambow

With deep gratitude we reflect on 50 loving years shared together, We have three beautiful married daughters and 5 grandchildren, and live in a covenant Christian Life Community called Emmaus, in Courtenay on Vancouver Island, BC

Our Journey as CLC began when we met Fr. John English SJ. We were already functioning as a committed community when Fr. John invited us to join CLC. After discernment, we did so 1988.

Prior to this we had studied for 2 years the Followers Of Jesus program (Michele Cote) and had already committed to economic sharing and adherence to a covenant mission statement.

 As part of this commitment we moved onto shared property with Andre and Mary Catherine Ruel, building a triplex, one suite for us (Rambow's) to live in, one for Sue's mother who came to live with us for15 years from Australia, and one suite called the community room dedicated to service and outreach.

Emmaus CLC consisted of 9 original members. We envisioned our outreach like a wheel with prayer, discernment, and support as the axle and many diverse outreaches as the spokes of the wheel. It was a struggle as we experienced diverse callings. Half the community began and spurred the development of yet another community around a L'Arche home, and later another administrative and apartment complex .

We, Sue and Ralph and others, were called to work doing social justice education and action (Development and Peace) and especially the ongoing sponsorship of refugee families. Our community has been involved in sponsoring families ever since since the Vietnam War and continue to this day with two families from Syria.
Recently our focus has shifted to the facilitation of two CLC formation groups within our Christ the King Parish.

CLC has indeed become our way of life. We have learned prayer and discernment tools to help us live out the Preferential Option for the poor and marginalized in our society. We praise God for the abundant graces that led us to such richness in our personal married lives and in our CLC communal journey.

In gratitude,
Sue and Ralph Rambow
Emmaus CLC Community
March 2019
By Leanne Salel
On November 4, 2018, members of the BC Rockies region gathered to celebrate temporary and permanent commitments during a mass at St. Mark’s parish, the Jesuit parish on UBC Campus in Vancouver.  Some members were making first time commitments, others renewed their commitments and all came to celebrate, witness and support.  That day, I had the joy of making my permanent commitment to CLC. I wanted to share with you about that experience and what permanent commitment to CLC Canada means to me. 
I had desired to make my permanent commitment to CLC for some time. I had long known that this was my vocation within the Church and had already been living with a ‘permanent commitment’ mindset for some time. As such, it was one of those ‘decisions of the first circumstance’ that St. Ignatius talks about. 
As I prayed on my decision, the passage from John 15:16 resonated with me: “It was not you who chose me but I who chose you.” I felt from the outset that God had called me to CLC. It was His gift to me, the means by which I was to be nourished and guided in the spiritual life. I felt filled with gratitude for the gifts of community, accountability for my spiritual life, and the spiritual formation that I had received through the years.
My introduction to Ignatian spirituality and journey in CLC began around 2006, at a retreat given by Fr. Tim Gallagher at the Newman Centre (the Catholic chaplaincy centre by the University of Toronto). Elaine and Peter Nightingale were present at that retreat and were inviting people who were interested to go ‘deeper’ in Ignatian prayer by meeting as a group.  Elaine and Peter were acting on a call they felt, which was articulated in CLC’s common mission statement at the time which emphasized reaching out to young people. I will forever be grateful to Elaine and Peter’s “yes” to that call which changed my life forever. 
As part of the permanent commitment process, I reflected and wrote about my graced history in CLC. This was a wonderful opportunity leading to deep gratitude. I recalled the members of my first community – Newman CLC (later called “Pilgrims”) in which we used the CLC ‘open-group’ format, the call for that group to start a second young adult group (which eventually became Roses of Mary), my membership for a time in the La Vraie Vigne community – a “bridge” group between CVX and CLC Canada comprised of francophone members from Ontario and Quebec (which eventually joined CVX Canada) and my move to Vancouver, which led to the formation of the St. Mark’s community – the group I continue to journey with and guide today. I was also grateful for the opportunities to serve on regional excos and at the national level, because of the rich formation it provides and the absolute joy of knowing and working with CLC members and elders from across Canada. It was there that I experienced a deeper understanding of the history of CLC in Canada and in the world.
We were very fortunate to have our CLC National President, Michelle Mahoney, fly in from the Atlantic to receive our commitments, as well as our National Ecclesiastic Assistant, Fr. Trevor Scott SJ. We made these commitments before the St. Mark’s parish congregation, representing the Church. We also read out the words of prayer and support of our regional Ecclesiastic Assistant, Fr. Charles Pottie-Paté, SJ. The act of coming together as a region was very significant. Each time we do so, we experience solidarity and a broader identification as a region and national body. The homily that morning had a message of “apostolic calling” and resonated with the Ignatian call to a simple lifestyle and solidarity with the poor and marginalized.  I was so moved by the combination of church and community presence and the significance of the day, that I choked up in uttering the words of my permanent commitment.  Luckily, I managed to sputter them out!
Since the commitment ceremony, I have reflected further on what this commitment means for my life at this time. I have desires to train in spiritual direction, give more talks on Ignatian spirituality and start a CLC group here in Calgary. However, my current reality is that I have a family of three young children, one of whom has special needs and I hold a full-time job. As a result, my primary vocation is necessarily focused on my family at this time, and fulfilling my current commitments to CLC.
As I pray the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius with my CLC community this year, I continue to experience gratitude for this way of life and for my community, which is a pillar of support and grace. I know that I cannot merely be content with these blessings; I desire to share these treasures with others so they too can experience these same graces and grow in love and service to our Lord.
Above: Fr. Erik Oland's visit
 Since the beginning of the new year of 2019, the Lord has blessed our region with exciting events.
Past events
January 8th, 2019 - The Visit of Fr. Erik Oland, the new Jesuit Provincial in Canada
Fr Erik Oland, SJ, visited the Ignatian families in the Lower Mainland, which include the Jesuit Vocations Committee, Christian Life Community (CLC), the Jesuit Spirituality Apostolate of Vancouver (JSAV), the Jesuit Alumni Group (JAG), and the Society of Evangelical Life of the Heart of Jesus.
14 CLCers (including some from the pre-clc groups) together with representatives from other Ignatian families attended the event which was organized by Fr. Richard Soo, S.J. The event started with Fr. Erik’s presentation, and ended with a Q&A and social time with Fr. Erik. 
It’s interesting to know Fr. Erik’s connection with the CLC. He said he knew Elaine & Peter Nightingale and Barbara & Peter Peloso quite well when he was in Guelph, Ontario. He showed his support and encouragement saying "May the CLC continue to flourish!" 
(Above is a group photo taken with Fr. Erik and some participants from various Ignatian groups) .
Above: Our Retreat with Fr. Rick Ganz, s.j.
J anuary 27th, 2019 - Regional Retreat with Fr. Rick Ganz, SJ
Fr. Rick Ganz, SJ, the founder and director of the Faber Institute, based in Portland, OR, gave a retreat to CLCers in our region. It’s helpful and fruitful. Many expressed the gratitude and desire to have an annual regional retreat.
Audio recordings in full available from the Faber Institute's website: https://faberinstitute.com/retreats/
(Enclosed is a group photo taken with Fr. Rick and CLCers on the retreat day) 
March 1 st – 4th, 2019 - The Visit of Fr. Charles Pottie
Fr. Charles Pottie, SJ, our Regional Ecclesial Assistant, visited local communities in the Lower Mainland. He provides spiritual guidance, clarification and encouragement which help us move forward in our CLC journey. His physical presence is greatly appreciated.
Upcoming events

March 14th, 2019 - Young People and the Church? A conversation explores the challenge and promise of being young in a rapidly changing world and in today’s Church
Although this is not a CLC organized event, CLCers are encouraged to attend. A St. Mark's CLC member will be one of the panelists of this event, which will provide insights to help us be more attentive to our CLC "Youth" frontier. (Click the link for more information
March 25th, 2019 – World CLC Day
No particular event will be organized in our region, but on this special day, all members are encouraged to celebrate it by uniting ourselves in prayer with other CLCers across Canada through participating the “Wave of Prayer”.
April 27th, 2019 – Regional Formation Event
Our region is working on organizing a formation event to introduce about the National Assembly and reflect on Project 171.
Last but not least, some members of the Rockies/BC region submitted articles to share their stories and reflections. 
Through our sharings, may we connect more personally and closely as brothers and sisters in the CLC big family in Canada.   
Blessings in the Lenten season,

Some suggestions for Lenten fasting from Pope Francis

  • Fast from hurting words and say kind words.
  • Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude.
  • Fast from anger and be filled with patience.
  • Fast from pessimism and be filled with hope.
  • Fast from worries and have trust in God.
  • Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity.
  • Fast from pressures and be prayerful.
  • Fast from bitterness and full your hearts with joy.
  • Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others.
  • Fast from grudges and be reconciled.
  • Fast from words and be silent so you can listen.

"This, rather, is the fasting that I wish: releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke. Setting free the oppressed, breaking every yoke. Sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless. Clothing the naked when you see them, and not turning your back on your own. Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your wound shall quickly be healed; Your vindication shall go before you,
and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard." (Isaiah 58: 6 - 9)