Pilgrims’ Progress: Journal Entries from a 60th Anniversary Pilgrimage – #10

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.


#10 Journal, Saturday June 1

Today was a full and glorious day here in Stockholm! We had breakfast with a number of the community including guests (ourselves and one German Jesuit). An elderly Jesuit with hearing and sight disabilities. Enjoyable conversation.

David and I then took the boat cruise “under the bridges” that was recommended to us by Dominik, the pastor. A 2 hr cruise in the harbor going under bridges that connect the islands and through locks that link the Baltic Sea with Lake Malaren,  seeing all the main important sites (Royal Palace, Museums, etc.) along the shore in the various islands that are connected to Stockholm.

Stockholm is surrounded by water. Feels a bit like Halifax or Vancouver. Maybe even Toronto with Lake Ontario! And probably other parts in the world. But with a bright sun and 22 C.  it was a beautiful boat cruise with an excellent commentary on the history and culture of Stockholm and Sweden.

We would have had to read 5 books to get all that much in 2 hours. Since we were moving at a good pace with limited ability to take good pictures.   The Swedes are noted for many important discoveries in electronics and other areas. They have a composting and recycling plant that keeps the air clean and they also are very environmentally conscious.

So these 2 hrs + were relaxing and informative. We had a simple lunch at the garden opposite the Jesuit house. Then later we went to tour the Royal Palace – the state room, the chapel and treasury (no pictures of all the crown jewels – not allowed!)

 After this we went to the Alfred Nobel Peace Museum not far from the Royal Palace where there was a huge band playing in the plaza (plats). This is in the oldest and original part of Stockholm. Lots of people.

The experience of the Nobel Peace Museum was very moving for me. All these wonderful human beings who have used their creative gifts for the good of humanity whether in science (Our Donna Strickland’s picture was there), medicine, literature, chemistry, for cause of peace, etc. all these people since 1904 (and how many before them?!!).

They had a special exhibit on Martin Luther King, Jr. who received the prize in 1964. This was very moving for me. He is one of my heroes in his struggle against racism and poverty. I never get tired of hearing of how he became a martyr for this cause. Wonderful pictures, videos and even music sung by Mahalia Jackson and other black artists.  Really, the whole thing was almost overwhelming after 2 hours of going from one part to another.

It was a different kind of “museum” but affirming of the beauty and creativity and determination of the human spirit in so many fields of human endeavor. And there’s still more to do!

We had our supper at one of the several small restos in the plaza.  I had pasta a la carbonera with local beer. David had a tuna like sandwich with salad and beer. Just enough after a full afternoon.

We came back and had great conversation on many topics – political, social, cultural etc. at table with the community over a glass of wine and other spirits. The extended light of the day is deceptive. Seems like it maybe ca 7 pm  but it’s really 10 p

Time for bed.  Grateful for another beautiful day…. Happy Trinity Sunday to all…

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 07:01h, 31 August Reply

    Thank you Charlie!

  • Maria Skarzynski
    Posted at 11:56h, 31 August Reply

    You definitely make the reader want to see the Nobel Museum !! and then have a beer as you did ! Thank you.

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