Bishop’s Letter for June

With the month of June upon us I take this opportunity to share a little news of the diocese and beyond.

To begin, in Canada the month of June is National Aboriginal History Month, an opportunity to honour the heritage, contributions and cultures of Indigenous peoples in Canada and particularly in our diocese. On June 21, Canadians from all walks of life are invited to participate in the many National Aboriginal Day events that will be taking place in our communities. I personally look forward to celebrating Sunday Mass at the Yellowknife River on Sunday, June 17th with the people of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation. All are welcome.

Congratulations to the students of the High School Graduating Classes of 2018 across our diocese. We recognize especially those students in the Yellowknife Catholic Schools graduating from St. Patrick’s High School this weekend. I am looking forward to celebrating at the grad Mass taking place at St. Patrick’s parish on Saturday morning, June 2. Have a safe grad everyone.

Immediately after the graduation Mass I will be driving south to take part in the annual meeting of the Alberta/NWT Bishops. This will be my first formal meeting with the bishops of our region and I am looking forward to renewing and making new acquaintances with my brothers. The agenda is full for the day and a half meeting and I trust it will be a productive time for the good of our dioceses.

On the weekend of June 8-10 women and men will gather at Trapper’s Lake Spirituality Centre for a Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat. This time of healing focuses on providing a safe place to renew, rebuild and redeem hearts broken by abortion. Here women and men can express, release and reconcile painful post-abortive emotions to begin the process of restoration, renewal and healing. I ask that you keep the participants of this retreat weekend and the team leaders in your prayers.

Confirmation season is typically around this time of year in the southern dioceses although it seems that in our diocese the opportunity for confirming candidates seems more to follow the course of our summer spiritual gatherings in the various regions. So far, I am scheduled for confirmations at St. Patrick’s in Yellowknife on June 19 and at the Pine Channel gathering in the Athabasca Region on July 5. There may be others as time goes on, feel free to contact me if you would like to arrange something for your community this summer.

This summer we welcome Fr. Gerald (Mick) Fleming, C.Ss.R. to the diocese. Fr. Mick is a Redemptorist priest who has already spent some time with us last year for the season of Lent and the Easter Triduum in Inuvik. This summer Fr. Mick will be taking about 6 weeks to visit the Sahtu region beginning in Fort Good Hope for first communion Sunday on June 24. I am very grateful to the Redemptorists and to Fr. Mick for their ongoing commitment to helping provide pastoral support to our missions.

Finally, I offer my thanks to the wonderful response to Sr. Mary Lee’s call for stories and pictures for your communities. Please don’t be disappointed that they haven’t been posted yet. I need to do some editing and get them prepared for the website and they will show up over the course of the summer. Please keep them coming.

I wish you all the very best for the summer months ahead and look forward to joining with you at your spiritual gatherings. May God bless you and your communities.

In the Redeemer

+ Jon

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