Pope Francis with the Jesuits in Quebec (Vatican Media)

By Francesca Merlo

August 1 2022

Jesuit Fr. Alan Fogarty, the CEO of Salt + Light Media, shares his thoughts after attending the meeting of Pope Francis with the Jesuits in Canada, as well as what he hopes people will take from the Apostolic Journey.

After attending Pope Francis’ meeting with Jesuits, Fr Alan Fogarty, SJ, CEO of Salt + Light Media, describes the private meeting as “fantastic”.

Speaking to Vatican News’ Griselda Mutual, the Jesuit priest noted how “at home” the Holy Father felt with his “brother Jesuits”.

The Pope: one of us

Pope Francis sat with his confrers in a circle, and Fr. Fogarty says the meeting was very relaxed and personal.

“You could tell that as he presented various points and as we asked questions; he was very open and very honest just to simply respond. And in everything, he just was one of us,” says Fr Fogarty.

Looking back at the “important” week that he spent with Pope Francis in Canada, Fr Fogarty notes the way in which the Pope “gave us images that we could engage with and think about how we could really engage as individuals.”

One of his most consistent points was that each person, indigenous and non-indigenous alike, all have to work together, he says, and must all decide to work together.

“It’s not just Canada”, continues Fr Fogarty, “but around the world because colonialism and colonization and indigenous peoples are everywhere.”

Getting the full balance

With the Apostolic Journey now over, and with Pope Francis back in Rome, Fr Fogarty expresses his hope that “really practical things” may come from this visit.

He hopes that as a respone people will start to say “I am going to be different now”.

Why? “Because I understand what is happening. I understand the people who are hurt. I understand those who are part of residential schools, as well as the Church’s perspective, to try and get a balance between the Indigenous who were are survivors and the Church’s position.”

Jesus is here

“It was a real effort for him to come here because as we see him struggling with his knee and so on, he wanted to show the love of the Church,” continues Fr Fogarty.

What the Pope wanted was to “show that there is a way forward.”

Fr Fogarty offers the example of one of the homilies in which the Pope noted that “we don’t see that Jesus is walking with us and a moment arrives as a surprise and they recognize him at the breaking of the bread.”

Fr Fogarty expresses his hope that we too will “have this moment where we arrive and there’s a breaking of the bread and we can say, yes, Jesus is here.”

Vatican News