Guyana - Provincial's last trip

Fr Paul Martin SJ with Guyanese village people

Fr Damian Howard SJ, the Provincial of the Jesuits in Britain, travels to Guyana this week after brief visits to two other South American countries, Brazil and Colombia. He hopes to sustain a long term relationship with the Jesuits in Guyana once they leave the British Province to join a new entity which is the result of a re-structuring of the Jesuit mission to the countries of the Caribbean.

It will be his first time visiting Guyana, a former British colony which has been an important part of the British Province for well over 150 years.

Guyana boasts a diverse multi-cultural population. Speaking of his up-coming visit, Fr Damian he said: “I am hoping to gain an understanding of the complex situation of the Church and the Society of this often-forgotten South American nation.” 

British Jesuits have been working for the people of Guyana ever since they first came in the nineteenth century. A large part of the Guyanese Catholic Church is served by them. Jesuit missionaries from the UK have been present both in the coastal regions and in the deep interior of the country much of which nowadays forms part of the larger Jesuit mission to the Amazonian region.

This may be the last time a British Provincial goes to see the Guyanese Regional Superior. After a lengthy process of discernment, Guyana will be leaving the British Province within the next two years to be incorporated into a new Caribbean Province. Jesuits in Britain would be saddened if the Province were to lose all its links with a country with which it has been so closely associated.

The Provincial will be met by the Regional Superior, Fr Paul Martin SJ and joined by two other Provincials from India to discuss arrangements for the future. Damian looks forward to meeting all the Jesuits of the Region and discovering the lively faith of the people of Guyana.