An Article And Details
John English's Death And Funeral Arrangements


-- The Article From The Guelph Mercury, Tuesday June 15, 2004 --

Priest Was Spiritual Focus For Many

           Father John English left his mark on the spiritual community around the world. For 55 of his 80 years, he was a priest, the rector and superior at Ignatius Jesuit Centre of Guelph and, for the last seven years, superior of the Jesuits for St. Paul's College at the University of Manitoba. Father English died last Wednesday from cancer.
           "He was a wonderful contributor to St. Ignatius Parish and to our college," said St. Paul's College Rector John Stapleton, from Winnipeg. "He gave lectures at the university and was a strong supporter of our discussion group."
           But his legacy in the faith will lie in his dedication to writing essays and exercises about spiritual guidance within the Catholic faith. His writings and his reputation drew people from around the world to seek his guidance, both in Guelph and, after 1998, in Winnipeg.
           In the early summer of 1969, he became a leader in the renewal of personal spiritual guidance.  His ‘Spiritual Exercises’ program drew priests and other religious leaders to Guelph, and he conducted spirituality workshops and training sessions throughout Canada, the United States, Britain, Ireland, Spain, India and Japan.
           "When it comes to interpreting traditional classics, it is important to remember that the reason they are classics is that they continue to dialogue with us across generations and cultures," he said.
           His funeral is being held today in Winnipeg, with a memorial service in Guelph at Loyola House at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
            "He had a great sense of humor," said Carolyn Arnold, who was hired by Father English to work in the office at Ignatius in Guelph. "He was a very charming man. People came from all over the world to do his spiritual exercises."
           "He was a real people person," Arnold said. "He was a very dear man and was loved by anyone who knew him. He kept his spirits up even through his battle with cancer."
           "He was very highly thought of by those who had the good fortune to meet him," Stapleton said. "What characterized him for me was his constant curiosity, especially into the interface between science and religion. He looked at science as it referred to God. "He was a gem to have around."
           He is survived by a sister-in-law, two nephews and three cousins. Donations in his memory can be made to the John English Fund. Donors should specify if their gift is for Christian Life Communities or Spiritual Exercises.

-- (scanned through the kindness of J.Mitchell)

-- The Earlier Obituary From The Guelph Mercury --

                 ENGLISH, Father John Clifford Joseph, S.J. - The Jesuits of Winnipeg and the rest of Canada both mourn the loss and celebrate the life and faith of Father John English, S.J. who died peacefully in the company of a fellow Jesuit and close friends at St. Boniface Hospital on Wednesday, June 9, 2004 in his 55th year of religious life. The son of the late Len and Dessa English, he was born in Dubuc, Saskatchewan, February 7, 1924. John entered the Jesuits on July 30,1949, was ordained a Priest on June 18, 1961 and took his final vows on January 31, 1969. The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius were John's abiding passion along with his commitment to furthering Christian Life Communities in Canada. After many years of work in the Toronto-Guelph region in these areas, he came to Winnipeg in 1996 where be served as Superior of the Jesuits, as a member of the Jesuit Centre for Catholic Studies at St. Paul's College, University of Manitoba, as National Ecclesial Assistant for the Christian Life Communities and as animator extraordinaire of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. John authored a number of books on the Spiritual Exercises and was sought after as a Spiritual Director throughout most of his life. Blessed with an easy manner and delightful sense of humour, he was able to discover the goodness of God in everyone he met - even if it took some digging. John will be especially missed by his sister-in-law, Mary English; his nephews, Pat and Len English; his cousins, Leo (Phillis) Smyth, Mary (Gene) Toner and Neil (Betty) Smyth. Friends may pay their respects at a Prayer Service on Monday, June 14 (today) at 7:30 p.m. at St. Ignatius Church, Stafford and Corydon. Visitation will follow in the Education Centre Chapel until 11 p.m. The funeral will be celebrated on Tuesday, June 15 at 11 a.m. at St. Ignatius and will be followed by a reception in the Church's Main Hall. Burial will follow at St. Mary's Cemetery. A Memorial Service will be held at Loyola House in Guelph, Ontario, on Saturday, June 19 at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, Father John had asked that donations (care of St. Ignatius Parish) be made to the John English Fund: please specify either Christian Life Communities or Spiritual Exercises (at St. Ignatius). LeClaire Brothers in care of arrangements, (204) 775-2220.

-- (scanned through kindness of J.Mitchell)


-- From The Official Notification Of Jesuits of Upper Canada, June 11, 2004 --
1325 Bay Street, Toronto, ON Fax: (416) 962-4501

      Father John English, S.J. died 09 June 2004 in Winnipeg.  John was born 07 February 1924 and entered the Society of Jesus 30 July 1949. 

         He was ordained 18 June 1961.   He completed his Tertianship in St. Beuno’s College, Wales in 1963, and  took his final vows on 31 January 1969.  John taught theology at Loyola for two years.  He was appointed Master of Novices in 1965, a post he held for the next six  years.  In 1971-72 he had a sabbatical year and was then asked to be the Province Promoter of the Spiritual Exercises. 

          Although John was Director of Tertians for only one year while he was Master of Novices, he took up this post again in 1976 and continued in it for ten years and was Director of the Retreat House at Guelph from 1977 to 1984.  For one year, 1983-1984, he was also acting-Rector at Guelph.  He became the National Director of the Christian Life Communities in 1986 following a sabbatical period and having been for a year the Assistant Director of CLC. 

          In 1990, he was named Rector of Ignatius College in Guelph and served for a full six years.  After this period, he was assigned to Winnipeg to be the Superior of the Jesuits, a Member of the Jesuit Centre for Catholic Studies at St. Paul’s College and as National Chaplain of the CLC. 

          In August of 2002, he asked to be relieved of these responsibilities to devote himself to writing. John was well known nationally and internationally in the field of the Spiritual Exercises and for his work among the Christian Life Communities.  He was also sought after as a Spiritual Director throughout most of his life.   John wrote a number of books on the Spiritual Exercises and he was instrumental in developing the methodology begun by Fr. David Asselin, S.J.  John’s work at Guelph and his publications drew attention to the work being done there in this field. 

          He was a man of deep faith and insight as a spiritual director.   His many friends appreciated his kind sense of humour and the fact that he always seemed to find the good in a person.   He was in his 81st year and in the 55th year of his religious life. 

Funeral Mass
St. Ignatius Church
11:00 a.m.
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Memorial Mass
Loyola House Chapel
Guelph, Ontario
3:00 p.m.
Saturday June 19, 2004
Interment: June 15, 2004
St. Mary's Cememtery
Winnipeg, Manitoba


Reflections by Michael Higgins from Toronto Star

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