We Cannot Live with Pesticides

Before leaving for Guelph this Friday, James’ sister, Angela, sent us this very poignant and haunting article by James, wherein he had written about his own father’s death from Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma due to pesticides.

She wrote:

Richard this was an article written by James in the Guelph Mercury, back I believe in 2003. I knew I had saved it from back then. I found it when I was looking for pictures of him. It is a very interesting read in light of James’ passing.

We Cannot Live with Pesticides

May God grant James a Remembrance from Eternity.

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The Funeral Mass in Summerside, PEI

The Provincial wrote me this morning saying:

We’ve just come from the funeral and reception. There is grief aplenty of course, but underneath it gratitude, hope in the resurrection and much love….

Here is a pdf of the Order of Service for the Funeral Mass:

James’ Funeral PDF

Here is an article on James in the Catholic Register:
http://www.catholicregister.org/news/canada/item/17471-cancer-claims-life-of-jesuit-ecologist-fr-jim-profit

Obituary article in the Guelph Tribune

please find herewith infra the link to an article about James in the Guelph Tribune:

http://www.guelphtribune.ca/news/father-james-profic-left-his-mark-on-guelph/

May God grant James a Remembrance from Eternity.

ps:
I also received this message from Lisa, the Operations Manager of the Ignatius Jesuit Centre in Guelph:
Also, following James’ wish, we are naming a trail in the Old-Growth Forest after him – and I quote “But only if we raise the money for the trail”…….”

–even then, talking about his funeral arrangements, James was concerned about the financial sustainability of his beloved Old-Growth Forest project….God bless him!

pps:
our prayers are with James and his family and friends in PEI this day when they hold the Wake on the Island.

Funeral & Obituary (from the Jesuit Provincial Curia)

FUNERAL SERVICES:

SUMMERSIDE, PEI:
14 January, Tuesday: Wake
–2:00 – 4:00 pm; 7:00 – 9:00 pm
–East Prince Funeral Home

15 January, Wednesday: Funeral Mass
–10:30 am: ST Paul’s Church

GUELPH, Ont:
19 January, Sunday: Wake at Holy Rosary Parish (175 Emma Street)
–3:00 – 5:00 pm; 7:00 – 9:00 pm
–Prayers at 8:00 pm

20 January, Monday: Funeral Mass
–11:00 am at Holy Rosary Parish

20 January, Monday: Burial at Jesuit Cemetery, Ignatius Jesuit Centre, Guelph
–1:30 pm approx.:
–Burial will follow Reception at Parish Hall after Funeral Mass.

+++++++++++++++++++++++

ENGLISH CANADA PROVINCE
“I am the resurrection and the life”
January 13, 2014

FATHER JAMES WILLIAM PROFIT, S.J.

Father James Profit, S.J. died on Saturday, January 11th, 2014 in Summerside, Prince Edward Island after a struggle with cancer. He was in his 58th year of life and 34th year of religious life. James was born in Summerside, P.E.I., of James Profit and Catherine Wallace and was the third oldest of nine in a very close knit family. It was out of his deep rootedness in his family and in P.E.I. (which for him was the closest you could get to heaven on earth) that he returned there for his final weeks of life. He studied at Summerside High School and later at the University of Guelph earning a B.Sc. in Agricultural Science. His commitment to healthy sustainable agriculture would mark his entire life. He entered the Society of Jesus in August 1980 and engaged in the Jesuit course of studies in Guelph, Spokane, Washington State, and Toronto. Shortly after ordination to the priesthood on May 25th 1991, he moved to Jamaica (1991 – 1995) to work as an associate pastor in St. Theresa’s Church in Annotto Bay and to do agricultural development work with local farmers. From 1996 – 1999, James worked on Manitoulin
Island, Ontario among the Native Peoples. He was deeply appreciated in both Jamaica and northern Ontario and enjoyed the friendship of peoples from both places for the rest of his life.

In 1999, James returned to Guelph, Ontario and the farmland there where he would spend the rest of his life. There he was very creative in the context of the Jesuit Centre for Social Faith and Justice, always with a focus on ecological issues. He initiated the development of organic community farming on the Jesuits property as well as celebrating a spirituality focused on the gifts of creation throughout the world. He saw his Christian faith as a loving response to the gifts and responsibility of and to the earth, drawing on the work of Rev. Thomas Berry, CP. He worked very much in the soil, and the flower gardens that beautify the settings of both Loyola House and the Red House. His vegetable garden that nourished the Jesuit community is a testimony to his care and cooperation with the earth. He grouped with local farmers and their families as well as with the social activist community of the area. With others, he became a leader in a new consciousness that would articulate a fundamental responsibility of all persons and nations to respect and protect the earth. Among many who came to work with him and learn from him, he expanded the concerns of Ecology to the daily concerns of life and as matter of our innermost spirit. He would take groups for a walk on the farm, and lead a deep meditation on its life significance. He travelled to many parts of Canada and the world to lead Ignatian retreats with an Ecological focus, doing ground breaking work in the greening of the Spiritual Exercises. In 2003, he was asked to be the superior of his community and the director of its major works. His work was affirmed in the official documents of the Society of Jesus and the Church.

James was a tall, charming and caring man who was appreciated by Jesuits he lived with and by many others. He embodied intelligence and had a twinkle in his eye. His family, his Jesuit companions, and many friends and associates will miss him. His faith-filled struggle against his cancer, which he believed was related to the illness of the earth itself, has been a source of inspiration to many. He never gave up hope for himself or for the earth.

Rest in Peace

preliminary information re funeral services

An update will be posted when I received definitive advisements re the exact funeral arrangements for James.

At this point, the preliminary information that I have been given is as follows:

Wednesday 15 January: Funeral for James in Summerside, PEI.
Fr. Peter Bisson, the Provincial Superior has altered his plans in order to be present there.

Sunday, 19 January: Prayers and Visitation at Holy Rosary church (Guelph).
Monday, 20 January: Memorial Service at Holy Rosary Church, 175 Emma Street, Guelph, Ontario, (http://www.holyrosaryguelph.com/Index.htm).
Burial will follow at the Jesuit Cemetery at Ignatius Jesuit Centre (http://www.ignatiusguelph.ca/contact.html).

You that have walked the narrow way of grief,* you that have borne the Cross as your yoke in life,* you that have followed me in faith,* receive the heavenly crowns that I have prepared for you.
Give rest to the soul of your servant, James, O God,* and establish him in paradise,* where the choirs of the saints and of the just, O Lord,* shine like the stars of heaven.

James passed away tonight…..

I just received this email from Angela after getting home from Church tonight….

Hi Richard;

I just wanted to let you know personally, that James passed away at 9:50pm tonight with his loving family around him and Fr. Bill Clarke. It was a holy event and very moving. We prayed, sang songs, and told stories. I am so grateful that James was able to give us this final gift at Christmas of his presence.

Each one of us has our special memories of James/Jim…
I remember the first day I met him when he entered the Jesuits in 1980 at Guelph. I remember the last time I said my “Goodbye” to him in Guelph just a few weeks ago…..

Words cannot encompasss…

Yet prayer can transcend words and connect us with the unreachable….
May I offer up these few lines from the Byzantine Funeral Office:

O Creator, You created me at the beginning to be a citizen of paradise and a tiller of the earth…

Grant me the homeland of my heart’s desire, making me again a citizen of paradise

O Master, You are the fountain of life…. Make Your faithful servant, James, who has left this life to dwell in the delight of paradise.

May God grant James a Remembrance from Eternity and place him where the Just repose.

Declining all Week

The Provincial Superior advised as follows:

Jim’s mother Kay told me last night that Jim has taken a turn for the worst. He has been declining all week, sleeping more, eating and talking less, and his lesions have been increasing. Yesterday he stopped being able to swallow. He seems to be in no pain. Yesterday evening he would open his eyes from time to time and seemed to recognize people, but did not speak.
Let us keep up our vigil of prayer.

Bill Clarke SJ has also advised that he:
will be going to PEI tomorrow morning [Saturday 11 Jan.] for a few days

James’ Strength, Kindness, & Love in the face of death

James’ sister, Angela, was kind enough to send us this update (winter storms on PEI notwithstanding) on Saturday, January 4, 2014.

I am very thankful to God for giving us a Christmas and New Year’s with James. For James’ family in P.E.I., we don’t always have the pleasure of his company at Christmas time. So, this year has been a precious and blessed Christmas season for us. James was able to come home to the Profit Homestead for New Years Day. What a way to begin 2014. The wonderment of the Christmas season has been revealed to us in many ways. I have witnessed James’ strength, kindness, and love in the face of death. I have so many times wondered how I would handle such circumstances, as I experience James’ journey. I guess what comes to mind is the mystery of God’s will. The statement in our Lords prayer, “Thy will be done,” so eloquently stated by my sister Sheila, when we were experiencing what we thought was James last moments, rings clearer to me now. My maternal grandfather stated that; you only need ever to say one prayer, the “Lord’s Prayer,” because “Thy will be done.” This prayer has had more meaning to me lately. I have also felt that the story of Jesus is more evident to me now than before. When you experience a love one going through the pains of cancer, it is hard not to see the connection to Jesus. My hope is that James will be filled with grace and peace, as we continue on this journey.

I spent yesterday evening and through the night with James. We had a major winter storm in P.E.I. yesterday and getting to the hospital was a challenge. However, with dinner in hand, we made it safe and sound. James had stated earlier in the day to my sister Jean that he would like pizza, so Jean set off to fulfill that wish. She went to the grocery store, in the snowstorm and purchased the ingredients to a most wonderful pizza. She made three types of pizza to satisfy everyone’s desires. As we gathered together with James for dinner, it was evident that he was pleased. The evening continued with, . . . a game of cards. We played a most favorite game with our family “Auction 45’s.” Now, thankfully, James was my partner. As I have stated in previous blog entries, James has been undefeated at cards. Well, last night he did not disappoint. With a bid of 25 he securely defeated his challengers. I was only too glad that I happened to be on his team. Two thumbs up for James. This was quite a feat for him yesterday, as he was very tired and had slept most of the day.

As this New Year continues, I am reminded that God works in mysterious ways. I am not sure just yet what the end plan is for James. I know that what ever it is, God is with us. May you continue to enjoy 2014 and the grace and peace that comes with it.