Pilgrims’ Progress: Journal Entries from a 60th Anniversary Pilgrimage – #9

On August 15, 2019, thirteen Canadian Jesuits will note their 60th Anniversary as members of the Society of Jesus.  Two members of this group – Charlie Pottie Pate, SJ and David Eley, SJ  – have chosen to make a special pilgrimage to mark the occasion.  They have graciously agreed to share their journal entries and photos with igNation which will post them once or twice a week.


# 9 Journal, Friday June 14, 2019

We started our day at 4:45 am! Getting practice for our Trappist retreat later on in month! The train left for Stockholm at 5:56 am. On time but we were playing “musical places” for a while since we unknowingly had not reserved our seats. So we had to move if anyone else had already reserved these seats. David was on the outside and so he was the one moving the most.

But about half way we were settled in our seats till Stockholm. Pilgrims have to be flexible, n’est-ce pas?  We were an hour late arriving due to delays on the way. Variable landscapes on the way – water, lovely fields, forests, etc. from Oslo to Stockholm. Again the differences in each of the countries was noticeable.

But we arrived in Stockholm with glorious sun and warm weather  21 C. The station wasn’t that far from the Jesuit community in Old Town Stockholm.  We were greeting warmly by the youngish (40) pastor, Dominik (from German province) who showed us our rooms.  I put photos of entrance to parish and community.

Doesn’t look like a church (not allowed in Sweden) but inside the building – church, offices, Jesuit community, etc.) on main street close to harbor and beautiful garden just opposite. The city was bustling with people and activity. Wonderful first impression.

We rested a bit than went for an hour walk towards the harbor.).  We came back for 6 pm Eucharist. Dominik, the Jesuit pastor presided and we had short chants throughout the Eucharist. A diverse group of people there (Sweden is very open to immigrant populations). And at the end we sang the Salve Regina in Latin. People knew it.  So it was the universal/catholic sense of the church.

We then went upstairs for something to eat. Another German Jesuit was visiting and Dominik came in shortly after and offered us white wine from Italy (Frascati – which both David and I were familiar with from our Roman days). In fact, the pastor had done his theology studies there as well in the late 90’s.  He teaches theology at Uppsala and in Stockholm as well as being pastor. Very friendly and hospitable, both of them.

So we sat and chatted till about 9 pm with the evening light still with us.  David went off to bed. I took another walk in the warm summer evening along the harbor quay.  It was less busy but still lots of people out walking.

A wonderful first (half) day in Stockholm getting the background of our Jesuit ministries there for well over a century but in different forms. This parish in the centre of old town is the latest shape and it seems to be going very well with a very active parish community. They probably could use another Jesuit or two from the sounds of it.

There is much to take in and the weather is very promising.

Ps. I’m a little late with this report since I started it but got a bit tired and decided to finish it next day.  The photos are only a very small taste of some very beautiful sites around this Old Town section


Charles Pottie Pate, SJ, is the Prairie and Rockies regions Ecclesial Assistant for CLC. He resides at St. Mary's Cathedral Rectory, Calgary.

  • Peter Bisson
    Posted at 08:52h, 30 August Reply

    Thank you Charlie!

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