On 21 September, Canadian Jesuits International (CJI) hosted a reception with longstanding supporter Mary Ellen Sullivan to celebrate the Halifax Regional Municipality’s proclamation of 26 September as “Father Murray Abraham Day of Peace, Joy and Love.”
“Fr. Abe,” as he was affectionately known, devoted his life to working with the people of West Bengal, India. At the reception, his cousin Kathleen Martin described him as an entrepreneur and an innovator who was always looking to find ways to highlight the needs of the community he accompanied in a manner that was collaborative and preserved their dignity.
Fr Dave Creamer SJ opened the reception with a reflection on the work of Canadian Jesuits in India and the impact of Fr Abe’s work, which continues today. Fr Abe’s family provided personal anecdotes that gave attendees the opportunity to see Fr Abe not only as a visionary community builder, but also as a beloved family member who is still dearly missed.
Mary Ellen shared pictures of Fr Abe’s memorial service, held in Kurseong in 2015, and talked about her friendship with Fr Abe. The friendship began through her father’s regular correspondence with him and the discovery of a common love of the land and its people.
Uju Umenyi, CJI’s Youth and Outreach Coordinator, provided insight into the work of CJI and how CJI, as part of the Xavier Network, works in collaboration with mission offices around the world in addition to working closely with program partners in the Global South.
Halifax Councillor Waye Mason read the City’s proclamation, and in his address he expressed his hope that by celebrating the life and work of Fr Abraham each year there will be an opportunity to reflect on how Haligonians and Canadians in general can work for peace, joy and love.
We at CJI would like to invite you to be part of a Canadian network of people committed to raising awareness of Fr Abe’s legacy and the projects he initiated. Please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 1.800.448.2148.