I have spent about eight years of my Jesuit life living in the United States. The first time was in the beginning of the 1980s, when I was a scholastic in philosophy studies at St. Michael’s Institute (Gonzaga University) in Spokane, Washington.
Later on, in the 2000s, I was assigned to St. Paul, Minnesota for several years as novice director. Both periods were very significant for me. The time as novice director counts as one of the ministry assignments that I am most grateful for.
As well, over the years, I was often in the USA for meetings and programs related to my responsibilities in Canada. One of the many gifts of those experiences was recognizing and deepening my personal sense of a Canadian identity and how radically different that is from the identity of someone in the United States.