Canada - Canadian Jesuits and indigenous paddlers form bonds to 'last a lifetime'
Erik Sorensen, a Jesuit scholastic who directed the 26-day-long pilgrimage paddling in canoes on the St. Lawrence River dedicated to the cause of reconciliation with First Nations people in Canada, said "You realize how powerless you are when you are out in nature like that, how attuned and attentive you have to be to nature to be in harmony with it." The group of about 50 paddlers completed the odyssey along a historic river-route travelled four centuries ago by explorers and Jesuit martyrs, including St. Jean de Brebeuf. They arrived Aug. 15 at a First Nations reserve near Montreal. Through shared struggles during their travels, a sense of camaraderie and understanding developed among the paddlers, said Kevin Kelly, a Jesuit scholastic and trip organizer. Being in a position of shared "vulnerability where you are struggling" helps people learn about each other and "understand how similar we are, even when we come from very different places," he said. Read more...