Time, effort and education
By Jo Anna Royackers
Canadian Jesuits International is one organization dear to my heart. Its outreach is so wide I cannot fathom all of it. I just have seen what was done in Jamaica when my son Fr Martin Royackers SJ was there in the nineties, among a lot of other things that I only heard about. We saw the time, effort and education that went into the organizing of co-operatives so that farmers could get better prices for their produce. I remember, on our first visit, we went to a meeting to try and get a bunch of them to commit to the co-op. Fireflies were floating around through the long grass, there was a presentation and finally a board got voted in, but not before the streetlight died and votes were counted by the light of a truck.
We were there when Martin made his final vows and told his parishioners he would never ask to leave them, which he did not; his grave is up in the hills, a place he loved.
I was familiar with the work of Fr Michael Czerny SJ in Africa. In 2010 I went to Burundi for the opening of the Martin Royackers Clinic, an experience I will treasure as long as I live, to see the wonderful work being done there in education and support.
The Jesuits have been a wonderful part of my life. I have been blessed to meet so many wonderful priests; some are my dearest friends.
This is only my personal experience of some of your work but I wish you God’s blessings on all the causes that you are involved in.
Jo Anna Royackers is the mother of Fr Martin Royackers, a Canadian Jesuit who was gunned down in 2001 at the door of his parish of St Theresa’s in Annotto Bay, Jamaica – his murder was never solved.