CLC Canada Graced History Summary Draft 9
In Canada our CLC way of life traces its beginnings to the arrival of Jesuit missionaries in 1625 and
the blazing saga of the Huron Missions. Jean Brebeuf SJ and others planted the seeds of Ignatian
Spirituality in this fierce new world with purpose and passion. Despite the often deadly collision of
Old and New World cultures in North America, brilliantly documented in the Jesuit Relations, the
work of the Trinity is visible, moving throughout our history. Ignatian Spirituality grew and evolved
through the sodalities begun in the 1640’s to Canada’s acceptance into the World CVX-CLC in
1982 and continues to challenge us today.
While CLC Canada can trace its kinship to the Sodalities its formation was founded directly on the
Spiritual Exercises (SE) of Ignatius rather than on the Ignatian and Marian spirituality within the
Sodality. The leadership of giving the SE individually one-to-one and the communal exercises was
passed on quickly from Jesuits, John English and John Veltri, to the laity
In 1974 John English SJ and Art Walters, a layman, started a community of 4 couples, which
became the roots of CLC Canada. The radical and critical work of this period was the reintroduction
of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius and the training of lay people as Spiritual Directors.
The first community used CLC notes (Vie Chrétienne) from France. In 1977 the “Growing Together
in Christ” program was developed. 1989 saw the publication of CLC Canada’s Formation Manual I,
followed by Manual II in1991 and Manual III in 1994. Canada’s leadership manual was published in
Over the course of 30 years John English and others traveled across Canada engaging and training
others in the CLC way of life. New communities struggled where there wasn’t support and guidance.
The need for well trained and supported group guides was identified. Using resource material
developed in Atlantic Canada, adapted and shared across the country, regions began to train group
guides and develop group guide peer support groups. Following the 2006 Leadership Formation
Encounter in Rome, Leadership Encounter weekends were planned for members of each region.
Currently CLC Canada is comprised of 4 regions; Atlantic, Central, Prairies and Rockies.
Common Mission-Adopted unanimously at the 1999 Assembly, Winnipeg
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. As Christian Life Community Canada will act
as communities, not as individual identities. We will develop leadership in CLC Canada that
will move communities to action with special attention to youth/young adults. Through the
apostolate of the Spiritual Exercises Communication, Education, Social Justice in Action, we
will strive to better love and serve the Blessed Trinity in our world community as the Canadian
CLC Canada: Evolving Structures and Relationships
The World Federation accepts the English-speaking CLC’s of Canada.
Peter Peloso and Jean Floyd represent Canada at the World Assembly in Providence R.I.:
“Act justly, love tenderly, walk humbly.”
First Continental meeting of CLC members from USA, Mexico, French Canada and
English Canada in Montreal.
ExCo is mandated to develop a constitution and is responsible to implement formation,
National Community organization, finance, and mission committees.
The beginning of a General Council with representatives from across Canada
National Assembly Guelph.: “Releasing New Energies for Mission.”
Gilles Michaud, Joanne Mawhinney and Fr. English attend the World Assembly in
Guadalajara, Mexico: “CLC at the Service of the Kingdom”
National Assembly, Guelph: “Appreciation of the larger Vision of CLC.”
Gilles Michaud, Fran Morrison and Fr. Dave Creamer, S.J. attend the 12th World Assembly
in Hong Kong: “CLC Community in Mission.”
National Assembly Halifax: “A call to act justly, love tenderly, to walk humbly with our
CLC regional Structure Committee is formed with representatives from each region.
13th World Assembly in Itaici, Brazil: “Our Common Mission” is attended by Elaine Regan
and Fr. Earl Smith S.J.
CLC Canada mandates Gilles & Leah Michaud to serve as the World CLC Executive
secretaries in Rome
National Assembly, Winnipeg, Manitoba: “Appropriating Our Identity as an Apostolic
Body as Called by the Spiritual Exercises and General Principles.” At the Assembly The
Western Region is divided into the Prairies and Rockies. (Canada is now composed of 4
Fr. Earl Smith S.J. appointed National Ecclesial Assistant
Action plan for renewal is developed: “to become discerning apostolic communities in
North American Conference, Guelph.
ANIA [Friendship], Midland, Ontario. 7 CLC members participate as animators. (Ignatian
Experience before the World Youth Day in Toronto.)
14th World Assembly, Nairobi Kenya: “Sent by Christ, Members of One Body.” Is attended
by John Sumarah, Kati Gumbmann and Fr. Earl Smith S.J.
National Assembly, Lethbridge, Alberta: “One Apostolic Community-Our Way of Life.”
Fr. John English S.J. passes to Eternal Life on June 9.
North American Conference, Chicago: Peter Chouinard and Ruth Chipman attend.
Leadership Formation Encounter, Rome. Gilles Michaud represents Canada.
Fr. Charles Pottie-Pâté, sj . appointed National Ecclesial Assistant.
World CLC president, Daniela Frank visits Central Region.
World Vice- Ecclesial Assistant, Alberto Brito, S.J. visits Atlantic, Central, Prairie Regions