Aug 23, 2004 / 22:00 pm
In a classic David and Goliath struggle, the Canadian Jesuits are up against one of the world’s largest corporations in a fight to keep a sprawling mega-store from being built next to the priests’ retreat centre.
Fr. James Profit, SJ, the director of the Ignatius Jesuit Centre in Guelph, Ont., is leading his community in the battle against Wal-Mart.
The corporation has wanted to enter the Guelph market of 100,000 people for quite some time, and it has decided that the best span of land for its department store is just south of the 600-acre retreat centre. The Jesuits have been able to keep the company at bay for the last nine years but it’s becoming more difficult as Wal-Mart won’t back down.
Fr. Profit says the department store would bring with it a lot of traffic, noise and pollution, which would alter the life of the Jesuits and the experience of the people, who come to the 90-year-old complex for silent retreats. According to Fr. Profit, the green expanse of land, which Wal-Mart is eyeing, is “an expression of God” and should be protected as such, reported the National Post.