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March 15, 2024 — The Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) announced the appointment of Fr. Jeffrey S. Burwell, SJ, as the next provincial of the Jesuits of Canada. This appointment is the culmination of a thoughtful, prayerful process of consultation and discernment, marking a significant milestone for the Canadian Province.

Fr. Jeffrey Burwell, SJ

Fr. Burwell will succeed Fr. Erik Oland, SJ, assuming his new responsibilities on July 31, 2024, with an inaugural Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Toronto. A special celebration will also take place at the Jesuit infirmary in Richelieu, Quebec, on the Feast of the Assumption, August 15, 2024.

Fr. Burwell, 48, is an educational specialist whose doctoral research took him to the Holy Land, where he focused on Catholic schools in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. A lecturer in Catholic studies, first St. Paul’s College at the University of Manitoba and now Campion College at the University of Regina, he balances university work with pastoral service as a chaplain to police (RCMP) and to prisoners. He dedicates his university holidays to ministering in the Dene and Cree Indigenous communities of Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Holding positions as a local superior since 2017 and a province consultor since 2021, Fr. Burwell brings a profound understanding of the Jesuit mission and a significant appreciation for Canada and Haiti’s diverse cultures.

This leadership change comes at a time when the Society of Jesus seeks to deepen its engagement with contemporary challenges, oriented by their Universal Apostolic Preferences: showing the way to God through the Spiritual Exercises and discernment; walking with the excluded; journeying with youth; and caring for our common home.

A Jesuit provincial leads a specific geographic region. This role is deeply spiritual, with responsibilities that extend beyond administrative tasks to include guiding the province’s mission and providing spiritual and pastoral care for its members. Provincials generally serve a six-year term.

There are five provinces within the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States. The Canadian Province of the Society of Jesus encompasses a wide range of works, including colleges/universities, secondary and pre-secondary schools, parishes, retreat houses, formation in spirituality, Indigenous ministries, social justice center and ecological endeavors.

The Jesuits of Canada, together with their partners, look forward to supporting Fr. Burwell in his new role as they continue to serve the mission of the Church and society in Canada and beyond.