Pilgrimages – Fixing Churches – Youth Teams Visit Our Diocese

This summer is shaping up to be very full. It is in keeping with our theme for this year: FAITH In ACTION. This is a summer of celebrating the faith throughout the pilgrimages across the North, but also doing some very needed repairs on the churches of our Diocese.


Materials delivered via the winter road in March 2017, to prepare for summer work.

Members of TEAM TULITA and TEAM TRAPPER’S gather for photo before Team Tulita departs to the Sahtu region.

Ray and Therese Steiner and family prepare to depart in boats from Wrigley to Tulita on June 19.

Ray and his “angels”

TEAM TULITA arrives for the project. (Peter Dai Nguyen; Joseph Bennoit; Douglas Pham, Roman Blain; Patrick Le).

Ray Steiner, his brother Ken, and friend David install the truss carry system to provide secondary foundation for the foundation.

Installing insulation.

Newly insulated building, with new windows and roofing, takes shape.

An exhausted-looking Ken Steiner eyes the delicious pizza and pasta after a hard day of work!

TRAPPER’s LAKE RETREAT CENTER – always in need of maintenance and renovation

The summer season is also a very important time to do the greatly-needed maintenance on the Retreat Center. Much of the work includes: scraping and staining/painting  the exterior of buildings and walkways, replenishing the fire-wood stock for winter, and grounds maintenance. This year the team focussed on the difficult-to-access lake side of the main lodge.

A rainbow arcs over the retreat center.

Members of TEAM TRAPPERS, (Thomas Bruneau, Paul Vo, Halle Manangan, MC Vaz – with visiting Kings College Service Team Coordinator, Zack Fitzmaurice) meet us at Yellowknife airport.


The interior of the Church area as insulation and windows are being installed.

Exterior of new building takes shape.

Sacred Heart Church Community continues to gather at Bompas Elementary School until completion of the new Church.

The old bell tower sits on the parish site. Upon completion of the Church and Residence, the community plans to restore and move the bell to a new ‘tower’.

WRIGLEY CHURCH gets new Wood Furnace

Volunteers pose with our beautiful church.

New wood stove arrives for the Wrigley Church. The stove was donated by Kings University Parish community. Members of Wrigley purchased an insulated stove pipe and installed the stove.

Members of the community warm up around the new stove.

COLVILLE LAKE COMMUNITY begins planning for Church Restoration

Our Lady of the Snows Church – as the foundation and log structure deteriorates, community members plan for a new building before the current one is unsafe.

Elders Hyacinth Kochon and Johny Tutcho, Sr with Richard Kochon examine site.

The young community of Our Lady of the Snows gathers for the Easter celebrations in the old church.

Candidates celebrate their Confirmation.


Funds for church restoration projects were in part raised through this year’s Bishop’s Dinner. The hard work of many – in the communities and in Yellowknife – makes it possible for the Diocese to help the communities restore their Churches.

The Bishops Dinner Coordinating Team

The Catering Team. (These guys work also part time as teachers, and then on the side as professional wrestlers!)

Visit of Bishop Robert Kasan, CSB, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Toronto

From June 12 to 15, Bishop Kasun visited our Diocese, as part of the beginnings of a relationship between our two Dioceses of support and ministerial sharing.

Visit of Bishop Kasun to St. Michael’s Parish with Grand Chief Eddie Erasmas Chief Clifford Daniels, and John B. Zoe.


For the 27th year, the people of the Athabasca Region gathered to Pine Channel for spiritual pilgrimage. As typical, the weather began hot, then became cold and rainy, and then finished hot and dry again.

The pilgrimage again included guests from Kings University College, London, Ontario, who participated in various youth activities throughout the week.

Pilgrims arrive via boat.

Father Cornelius ‘Cornelius Ngurukwem’ joins the beach front greeting for new arrivals to the Pilgrimage.

Team from Kings University College.

Youth of the Athabasca region play “Hand Games”, as King’s Students and community looks on.

Willy-John Laurent prepares fire-cooked trout for the students.

Passing of my Mother: July 5, 11:15 p.m.

My mother Almyra suddenly passed away while I was attending the Pine Channel pilgrimage, late evening on Wednesday, July 5.

My Mother Almyra

We celebrated her funeral at St. Clare’s of Assisi, Coquitlam on Tuesday, July 11. My mother had struggled with dementia for the last several years. During her last hours, she was with my father, Eric, and my brother Dan.

At the time of her dying, the young people of Fond du Lac and Black Lake unexpectedly wanted to share an honor with me on my last evening – a drum song. I feel now that song was for Mom and my family.

May Myra rest in Christ’s Peace and Light. Mahsi Cho!

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