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Patrick Michael Smith

Patrick, 29, completed degrees in political philosophy and English literature at McGill University. After attending law school at the University of Alberta, he practiced as a litigation attorney for two years. He then decided to work in a L’Arche community for five months, which strongly inspired his Jesuit vocation. Living with people with intellectual disabilities gave him a sense that there was a “different world out there.” Patrick is fully bilingual and enjoys creative writing and doodling. (Canada Province)

“Law was very fulfilling in some ways, but it wasn’t very relational. It was more competitive and, in some ways, superficial. L’Arche was all about entering into friendship and building community. That’s the real world. Those are the things that matter most.”

“The influence of my dad helped me finally take the leap [to enter the novitiate]. The way he lived his life… There were times in his life when he was offered positions that were more lucrative, more status focused. But his conscience led him to turn them down. He was able to break away from what the crowd was doing. That’s not something that comes naturally to me. His example gave me a deep sense of love, of hard-won, bittersweet love that I knew was somehow connected to God. It was really difficult, but I followed it. It felt like scuba diving towards a light that was deep down in the ocean.”