In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.  ~ John Muir 
Roger Yaworski, SJ
Executive Director,
Ignatius Jesuit Centre
Dear Friends,

An Advent donor included this warm note of encouragement:

"I am grateful for the community work, land conservation, and spiritual direction, growth and accompaniment that Loyola House programs and staff make possible for many and for all. Blessings and peace."

An astonishing 350 of you - our retreatants and friends, gave so generously that, in total, your donations offset 25% of our deficit this year; many of you pledged monthly support. This wonderful generosity is immensely supportive as we open our retreat house to 40 people who have been living without housing.

Our primary annual fundraising is done during Advent and Lent. Ash Wednesday is February 17. Some of you will receive our Lent appeal in the mail this month.

to support Loyola House, Ignatius Old-Growth Forest or Ignatius Farm.

When you donate online you can send a beautiful Ignatius e-card to friends or family members. 

Ignatius Jesuit Centre is a registered charity and can accept donations of stocks, bonds or mutual fund units through CanadaHelps

Considering a legacy gift and have some questions? Email or phone 519-824-1250 Ext 257 to speak with Vanessa or Leanne.

Ignatius Jesuit Centre is sad to learn of the death of Sister Margaret Kane, CSJ, former Superior General of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Hamilton and former president of the Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Canada. She devoted her life to teaching - in schools, for her congregation, and through skillful and compassionate spiritual direction. 

Margaret was a long-time friend and collaborator with the Jesuits in Guelph. In the 1970s she worked with Roger Yaworski, SJ to form the inter-novitiate program.  Afterwards she continued her Guelph connection working with John English, SJ to create programs in leadership and discernment.

The Jesuits of Canada commended Margaret as a significant "foremother" of the Service for Discernment in Common of the Canadian Province.

She will be missed by all the Jesuits she knew and the many retreatants and persons she helped in spiritual direction. May she "Rest in Peace."

Condolences may be sent to the Sisters of St Joseph, 302-911 Golf Links Road, Ancaster, Ontario L9K 1H9 or online at
The 2021 retreats up on our website! Here are some that are coming up in the next month or two:
As the IJC retreat team awaits the safe return of onsite live-in retreats and programs at Loyola House, we have decided to take our spiritual show on the road!

In addition to our online offerings, members of the team are ready to lead in-person retreats in other viable venues: religious communities, mother houses, parishes and other retreat houses are all possible stops for a visiting band of Ignatian spiritual directors from Guelph.

Inquiries can be made through our registrar, Leanne McCann, at or 519-824-1250 ext. 266. 

July 5-17 2021

The Spiritual Directors' Workshop (SDW) is an intensive 12-day training program in spiritual direction. It includes material and experience which we consider foundational to everyone engaged in spiritual direction.

This year, the Loyola House Team is taking the SDW "on the road" as this in-person workshop will be held at the beautiful Villa Saint Martin, outside of Montreal. Read more about this workshop here.

Ignatius Farm Team 2020
Feb 2 - Farmer Christine looking for her shadow - "In many ways, we're all like ground hogs on the land...occasionally eating veg straight out of the ground!"
Sign up for your garden plot or vegetable share online!
Currently many garden plots are sold out. We are currently waiting on a grant so that we can increase the number of annual plots we have available. Stay tuned. Email and ask to be put on a waiting list.

For more info email And see to learn more about the Farm!

"We want to express our sincere appreciation to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for supporting the programs at Ignatius Farm. Helping to train the next generation of farmers is a very worthwhile objective, and we all benefit over the long term" - Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott.

Ignatius Farm is grateful to the Ontario Trillium Foundation Seed grant received in 2020 to roll out our New Farmer Training program in collaboration with Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario and Everdale. 251 distinct participants enrolled in 49 Ignatius Farm NFT events, with 1,357 total registrations. More options for new farmers are becoming possible through funding and donations.

The Echo Foundation provided $50,000 for 2020-2021 to 'Expand Community Outreach for Regenerative Agriculture', which allowed us to hire Outreach Administrator, Pamela Costanzo, who has been invaluable to all of the farm programs. This fund will support the continuation of the New Farmer Training program in 2021. We have applied for additional funding to continue the program through the rest of the year.

The Farm Credit Canada AgriSpirit Fund has provided $25,000 to dig a dedicated irrigation well that will better serve current irrigable cropping areas and enable new irrigable cropland to become available for small plot agriculture farm enterprises.

"The FCC AgriSpirit Fund supports rural communities at the heart of Canadian agriculture. We are honoured to support the projects that help keep these communities as vibrant hubs for rural Canadians."- Sophie Perreault, FCC Exec VP & COO

While this funding gets the well dug, it does not cover water distribution from the well, electrical to the pump, and other costs associated with establishing the new irrigable plots.

Please consider donating to our irrigation well to get the water flowing and the infrastructure completed for this much needed initiative.

We thank all of our donors - we couldn't do this without you!  

The Old Growth Forest (OGF) Project site has now been officially recognized for its contributions to nature conservation by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. As the land is managed to national and international standards, we will now be included in the Canadian Protected and Conserved Areas Database (CPCAD) and be counted toward the 10.7% of Ontario that is recognized as protected.

It is noteworthy that the OGF Project site is the first religious organization's land to qualify as a protected area, in accordance with Pan-Canadian standards agreed to by governments across the country and consistent with international standards developed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The Jesuits mandate of caring for our common home, and Ignatius Jesuit Centre's ecological goals, are well-aligned with these broader biodiversity targets. As this is a unique example, we will be published as a case study by the Pathway to Canada Target 1 initiative as a model for other organizations and conservation land managers.
There is snow on the ground but IJC is starting the hiring process for our seasonal positions. Are you interested in working here over the summer? Do you know someone who would be great in one of our roles? Check out our employment page here  for available opportunities, and keep checking in as positions are posted.

4 PM, Thursday March 4
Everyone knows about St. Francis and the wolf. But the Christian tradition is full of stories of how animals developed unique friendships with saints. Join author Greg Kennedy SJ and illustrator/resources author Kerry Lyn Wilson for a workshop on their latest collaboration, Amazing Friendships Between Animals and Saints. Learn how this book and its web-based resources, full of fun stories, beautiful artwork and rich in lessons on how to care for our common home, the Earth, can be used in the classroom, in study groups with children, or by parents and caregivers with the children in their care. Adults will also find this workshop (and book) engaging and enlightening.  To learn more and register please visit this link here.

POETRY & STORIES - for you to read, listen to, and reflect on

by Nick Krete, Land Coordinator

Although many species of waterfowl nest on the ground, there are some that are referred to as "cavity nesters" which nest in holes in large trees.  In Southwestern Ontario, the two main cavity nesting duck species are the Wood duck and the Hooded Merganser.  Several years ago Ignatius staff and volunteers built and installed raised wetland nest boxes along the banks of Marden Creek -- a small trout stream that runs throughout the Ignatius land.    
Each year during the cold Winter months staff take down these boxes and clean them out to make them suitable for Spring nesting.  Fresh new wood shavings are added and any old nesting materials are removed.  This year each box on the West side of Highway 6 showed nesting activity by both Wood ducks and Hooded Mergansers either in the form of a successful hatch or the presence of a 'dump nest'.  The dump nest in the case of cavity nesters is a sign that one of our boxes may be too close to the others, which is to be relocated before the coming nesting season as the ground thaws.  Hooded Merganser eggs can be identified by their white colour, larger rounder shape and hard shell fragments in the case of a successful hatch.  Wood duck eggs are smaller, more oval in shape, light brown in colour and the resulting pieces of a successful hatch are larger and soft in texture.    
Keep an eye out this Spring while walking along the trails for these boxes and our cavity nesting friends!

1 - Nick checking out a nest box     2 - A successful hatch     3 - A dump nest

Borrowed Ashes Lent 
Borrowed Ashes Lent
Borrowed Ashes Lent
Greg Kennedy, SJ
An original song by Greg Kennedy, SJ with photography by James Baturin.

A Lenten reflection

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