Greater Glory

Greater Glory: Thirty-Seven Years with the Jesuits

Copyright Date: 2007
Pages: 264
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  • Book Info
    Greater Glory
    Book Description:

    The Greater Glory is a candid memoir about a way of life that, after fifteen hundred years, is disappearing. Casey offers a vivid and incisive portrayal of the seminary, especially the training for novices - the physical and spiritual discipline, the asceticism, the anxieties that surrounded the socialization of young seminarians, the struggles that their chosen careers held for them.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-7623-0
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xi)
  4. [Illustrations]
    (pp. xii-xviii)
  5. 1 221 Yale
    (pp. 3-26)

    OLD DOCTOR “DAVEY” was telephoned – only five digits in those days – to come at once. Dr Davison lived only three blocks away in a fine old house at the end of our street where Yale meets Ruskin Row. He had come before: now he was here to deliver mother’s fifth and second-last child, me, six pounds, ten ounces. Everything went well, and the baptism took place a week later, performed by Father Edward O’Gara, our beloved pastor of St Ignatius Church. The first vague memory I have of my existence was being coaxed by my father to take my first...

  6. 2 The Nuns
    (pp. 27-37)

    MUCH OF MY EARLY LIFE from six to fourteen revolved around Saint Ignatius School, run by a fine group of Nuns, the Sisters of Jesus and Mary. They had their headquarters in Montreal, where their young aspirants were trained in spirituality and the elements of teaching and then posted to schools in Canada or to Lesothto in southern Africa – Basutoland as it was known then.

    They were, by and large, friendly and kind to their young charges, but always strict, and if school discipline was abused, punishment was swift and sure, though not severe. In grade five I was once...

  7. 3 Scruples
    (pp. 38-50)

    I WAS EXCITED about starting high school. The nuns had done their work; they had prepared both the girls and boys well for the next step. I was very grateful for what they had done but was glad to go forward.

    St Paul’s College was located in downtown Winnipeg, one block north of the Hudson’s Bay Company store, at the corner of Ellice and Vaughan. I had to leave home about 8:10 for the nine o’clock class. Later I would take my old bike and ride like the wind, weaving through morning traffic, though there wasn’t that much in 1940....

  8. 4 “Soft Lydian Airs”
    (pp. 51-66)

    AFTER A SUMMER at our cottage at Beachside on Lake Winnipeg I felt much better and was ready and eager to enter university in the fall. I was in good physical shape because of the work on the lawns and gardens, swimming, playing golf and some tennis. It was 1943 and I had just turned seventeen. I registered in late September – ostensibly to accommodate the Agriculture Faculty students working on the harvest but beautifully late for the rest of us – in the Faculty of Arts at the Fort Garry Campus of the University of Manitoba. In Freshman Arts we had...

  9. 5 “Elected Silence”
    (pp. 67-106)

    THE JESUIT NOVITIATE was located on a fine property just north of the city of Guelph, Ontario. It was a large farm that had been acquired by the English Jesuits of Canada sometime before the First World War. Until that time English-speaking novices had joined the Order in Montreal at the francophone novitiate outside the city. The main building, which was the original farmhouse, had an elegant façade with white pillars and large, high windows flanked by luxuriant spiraea bushes. Behind was an ugly stucco structure of three storeys that included dining-rooms and kitchen on the first floor, classrooms on...

  10. 6 Repetition
    (pp. 107-115)

    THE FALL TERM in the new environment of the juniorate began after the celebration of Our Lady’s Feast Day on 8 September. The two-year program consisted mainly in the study of the Greek and Roman classics, with a minor in English and a half course – sad to say – in French. I was eager to dig in once again into my first love, but I soon discovered to my great disappointment that the first year of the program was set at the first-year college level. I had already studied all the material to be covered in my four years at the...

  11. 7 No Kant
    (pp. 116-143)

    THE NEW “PHILOSOPHERS,” as we were called, were driven across country from Guelph to Lake Joseph near Gordon Bay. Some had been sent to the French-Canadian Jesuit seminary in Montreal to improve their French and take their courses there. I had asked to be sent there but Father Provincial had thought otherwise and I had been assigned to Toronto with most of the others. In the past all the “philosophers” had gone to England for their studies at Heythrop College in Oxfordshire, but after 1930 most went to Toronto where the English-Canadian Jesuits had opened up their own seminary for...

  12. 8 “Get the Grass Seed”
    (pp. 144-153)

    AFTER BREAKFAST on July 31, 1953, once again we all ran to the bulletin board to see where we were to be posted the following year. I went down the list, divided according to the various Jesuit houses and colleges, and found my name among those assigned for the second time to Regiopolis College in Kingston. I wasn’t overjoyed as my experience there hadn’t been particularly pleasant, but at least I knew what to expect. My fellows were happy to get postings that would take them away from the seminary and into contact with what they thought was the real...

  13. 9 The “Ad Grad”
    (pp. 154-172)

    SO BEGAN the second-last and longest part of the marathon course of studies, the four-year program of theological studies. The first session took place in early September with our assembling in the cavernous chapel for the professors to renew their vow against the teaching of “modernism” in their classes. Little is said or thought about modernism today but it was a movement within the Catholic Church, especially in France, in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth that criticized, among other things, the Church’s interpretation of scripture, the Church as an institution, and its method of teaching theology. Some of...

  14. 10 The Third Degree
    (pp. 173-182)

    AFTER SPENDING the summer helping out in a parish in Winnipeg, I was sent for the final year of fifteen years of Jesuit training – although I had skipped one year – to a small house at Port Townsend in Washington. There, along with about thirty other young Jesuits from North America and Europe, I was to spend ten months to the day in a period called tertianship, the third year of novitiate, not studying but praying, visiting the sick, teaching catechism, giving short retreats and missions, and in general doing good works and preparing one’s soul and body for the full...

  15. 11 Scotland Yard
    (pp. 183-194)

    IN THE SUMMER I learned that I was to be sent to Montreal to teach at Loyola High School, the largest and oldest of the English Jesuit high schools in Canada. I was to be the class master of one of the fourth high classes, the science and mathematics group of boys, Four B. They were a very bright bunch of young men, having chosen this demanding stream of studies. It did not call for Greek like the Four A class, but besides the very heavy maths program they were still required to take Latin, which was my assignment. I...

  16. 12 Sleeping with the Mummy
    (pp. 195-213)

    I LIKED the high school, the teaching, the faculty, the activities, and especially the students. I made many friends among them, friendships that have lasted even after all these years. Gradually, however, I began to want to go on for my doctorate in classics. I received much encouragement from my friend Fr Cyril O’Keefe, who taught European history in the university section of Loyola, and finally from the provincial who happened to be a classicist and had taught me years before. He was the man who counted, the one who would or would not grant me the necessary permission. The...

  17. 13 The Greater Glory
    (pp. 214-229)

    BACK IN MONTREAL at the Jesuit Residence on the Loyola Campus of Concordia University I had a pleasant room on the sixth floor looking out over some trees towards West Broadway. It was next to the little chapel where the community gathered to celebrate Mass on feast days, and I often dropped in to pray before the Sacred Presence before I went to my room next door. There was also a small library that contained mainly theological books helpful for general reading and the composition of sermons. On the top floor were the dining room, kitchen, and a large comfortable...

  18. 14 “Pastures New”
    (pp. 230-238)

    DURING THE WINTER of 1983, a heavy depression began to settle over me without my knowing the root cause of this distress. I began to feel steadily worse until towards the end of term I could hardly concentrate on my lectures and perform my other responsibilities. Even after lectures were over and my examinations turned in, I was unable to read or study, and finally almost unable to speak. I knew that I had to act, to do something that would alleviate the distress. Remi Limoges, my close friend in Toronto, suggested taking the following year off and going to...

  19. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 239-240)
  20. Index
    (pp. 241-243)