Listening to the Land. Listening to the Spirit. Listening for Easter

Written by Michael MacPherson - President at CPCO

As Easter approaches, one of the best things about the liturgical season is the opportunity for time to reflect. From the beginning of Lent until Good Friday, we are in a time of reflection and preparation for Easter. It is like a time of spring cleaning. One of the things I like to do to prepare for Easter is to spend time outdoors.

In Guelph, Ontario, we have the Ignatius Jesuit Centre and adjacent property. Whether wandering through the forest trails or participating in reflective ceremonies, the Centre provides a space for introspection, renewal, and connection with something greater than oneself. It is one of the most beautiful places to seek respite, quiet, and peace, to engage with the natural world, and to foster a deep appreciation for the interconnectedness of life.

For me, Ignatius Jesuit Centre is more than just a physical location—it's a place of refuge and renewal, where I can pause amidst life's uncertainties to seek guidance and find solace in faith. During some of the most challenging times of my life, when I've needed to ponder decisions, reconcile faith, and navigate challenges, Ignatius has been a constant source of strength and support. It is common to find one of the spiritual directors on the property, as they spend time praying and reflecting. Your day will improve if you meet and speak with Greg Kennedy or Fr. Bill. The property contains the Stations of the Cross, a perfect place to pause and thank Jesus. It is here where I am moved most by the spirit.

In the quiet moments spent among the towering trees and winding trails, I find clarity, perspective, and a sense of peace that transcends the challenges of the present moment. It is here, amidst the beauty of nature and spirituality, that I am reminded of the cyclical nature of life—the seasons of growth, decay, and renewal mirrored in both the natural world and the journey of faith.

As Easter approaches and my family gathers to celebrate traditions rooted in faith and reflection, Ignatius Jesuit Centre remains a sacred space where the death and resurrection of Jesus are echoed in the rhythms of nature. In embracing this sanctuary, I find comfort in knowing that, like the ancient forest, my faith is a constant presence that endures, evolves, and sustains me through life's ever-changing seasons.