Gerard Myriam Paul, SJ
Highlights of Jesuit Formation:
- Did pastoral work with Haitian migrants in the Dominican Republic.
- Served at Foi et Joie, a Jesuit educational network, as regional pastoral coordinator and later as regional director.
- Hosted a radio program for the Spanish-speaking community in Québec City.
Will finish his Licentiate in Sacred Theology at Regis College in Toronto.
Gerard Myriam Paul, SJ, was born into a Catholic family in Haiti and entered the Jesuit novitiate there in August 2009. He professed first vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in the Society of Jesus two years later in 2011. That same year, he began studies in philosophy and humanities at the Pedro Francisco Bonó Philosophical Institute in the Dominican Republic, which lasted four years. During his studies Gerard was involved in the pastoral care of migrants, especially within the Haitian community. This experience led him to publish a booklet entitled “Two Languages, One Eucharist,” which was designed to facilitate the participation of the Catholic faithful of Haitian origin in Eucharistic celebrations before they were able to speak Spanish. In addition, he was a member of the national Ignatian youth ministry team. From 2015 to 2017, during his regency in the northeast region of Haiti, Gerard served at Foi et Joie schools, a Jesuit educational network, as regional pastoral coordinator and later as regional director. He was also involved in pastoral ministry in a Jesuit parish. Next, he went to Quebec and earned a bachelor’s degree in theology from Laval University. During his studies, Gerard participated in pastoral activities in a parish and was one of the hosts of a Radio Galilée program dedicated to the Spanish-speaking community. After completing his degree, Gerard was ordained a deacon at Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral on June 24, 2020. While awaiting priestly ordination, he began a Licentiate in Sacred Theology in the fall of 2020 at Regis College in Toronto, which he hopes to complete in the summer of 2022.
Bachelor’s degree, philosophy and humanities, Pedro Francisco Bonó Philosophical Institute, Dominican Republic; Bachelor’s degree, theology, Laval University
What is your favorite movie show you’ve encountered since entering the Society?
My favorite film is “The Mission” (1986), which includes a variety of Jesuit figures. Each is unique, but all are motivated by the same desire to serve God in the midst of his people. They have even gone so far as to sacrifice their lives. This fits in well with the idea that a Jesuit is a man for others.
What are three words a family member or fellow Jesuit would use to describe you? (Ask someone.) Do you agree with his or her selections?
The three words I hear most often when someone talks about me are: calm, understanding and respectful. I think these three words do say a lot about me. I can use them just as easily to talk about myself, along with other words such as friendly, prudent, etc.
What was one particularly meaningful experience you had during your formation, and why was it meaningful to you?
My hospital ministry, as part of my novitiate formation, which occurred during the aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, affected me deeply. This experience was very special in every way. Instead of feeling like someone who was there to help people, I felt like a fragile being who makes himself available to help others who are fragile and wounded in body and soul. This experience also allowed me to discover my ability to listen and my empathy — and to put them at the service of others.
How has your spirituality changed since entering the Society?
One simple answer is that I did not have as much time dedicated to prayer in my daily life before I joined the Society. A second thing was that I did not have as much experience or knowledge in various ways of prayer, like meditation, contemplation, etc. One thing is certain: My relationship with God has intensified, and I can approach him as a friend talks to his friend, as the colloquies invite us to do in the Spiritual Exercises.