Flores de Mayo

Thursday, May 24, 2018 Written by

The month of May is a reminder to many Filipino Catholics to be thankful for the bountiful harvest, not only for staple foods and fruits, but also for the flowers of many colours and fragrances. This is also the month dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Filipinos’ close relationship with Mary is reflected in numerous celebrations around the country, but nothing tops the Flores de Mayo (Flowers of May) which is celebrated everywhere...

When Mother’s Day Becomes Real

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 Written by

I realized many, many years ago that all of those beautiful creations that we, as children, made for Mom for Mother’s Day never really survived much past, say 10 days, after the event. Maybe I dreamed that somewhere my Mom would have a hope chest cherishing and keeping all of those treasures. Now it was by no means a traumatic realization. In fact, most years my supposed “treasures” were about as artistic as, well, off-white paint. I knew in her heart Mom treasured the gifts and the efforts but she knew and I knew even more that my name wasn’t Van Gogh. 

And so countless Mother’s Days passed with phone calls and overly sweet Carlton cards and the annual Prayer over the Moms at the Mass. It’s the day, as a priest, you get more hugs than Christmas Eve. 

But this year was different...

Passing on the Faith

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 Written by

When Jane and I were expecting our first child, we began looking at how we’d like to pass the faith on to our children. We started by considering things that helped us as we grew up.

One thing I remember is my dad reading from a children’s bible or bible story every night after supper. As a child, I thought it was terrible. My friends got to go out and play a whole 5 minutes before I did! Oh, the injustice. But by the time I was a teenager, I had a pretty decent knowledge of the major stories throughout the bible. It was a great foundation for my relationship with my loving God.

My Little Pity Party

Thursday, May 3, 2018 Written by

So, about a month ago, I chipped one of my teeth. After a short period of mild panic, I called the dentist and got an appointment for him to check it out. Sure enough, I would need a couple more appointments to get the problem (and a few other minor issues) fixed. I guess that’s what I get for not visiting for a few years.

Well, after a bit of waiting, the time had finally come – my week of appointments. This morning, I got myself to the dentist office for Part 2 of the appointment series – finishing the fixing of the tooth. After a freezing job that left one side of my face feeling nothing, and yet ridiculous at the same time, and an hour and a bit of holding my mouth open, it was all done. I stood up from the chair and went to go talk to the dental office receptionist. That’s when my personal pity party began...

Phase 7

After my One Dark Night, my attitude to life changed and I became more focused on prayer to God for peace and guidance. I phoned my good friend Lorne to give him the good news. His Mom said Lorne had moved to Edmonton to attend a 2 year Certificate Music Program to train as a vocalist (singer). With no hesitation, I asked for Lorne’s phone number in Edmonton. After speaking with Lorne, I drove to Edmonton to get more information and get a tour of the Grant MacEwan Performing Arts College. I picked up an application form and planned to attend the Program...

Of Lives and Fishes

Friday, April 20, 2018 Written by

It’s been a few years now since my Mom passed away. She was quite excited with my role in the design and construction of the Cathedral as volunteer Chair of the Building Committee. Sadly, she never got to see the finished building. I actually interviewed for my position here as Facilities Manager a few days after her funeral.

She died in 2011 at the age of 89, some 6 years after Dad, who had lived to 92. Like many other young women of that depression/wartime generation, she trained as a school teacher after leaving home. Through her position in a one-room country schoolhouse, she met and subsequently married my father. They raised 8 kids while farming 3 quarter-sections of land - practically a hobby farm by today's standards...

This Easter season has been full of twists and turns. I went to the Easter Triduum at the Cathedral, and it was absolutely beautiful. The Easter vigil will be a highlight of the year, with breathtaking music and an awesome experience of our faith community. It was an absolute joy to see the congregation huddle around the baptismal fount to welcome twenty-six new members into the church.

But this past week has also been spent meditating on the mystery of God’s ways. Amongst the joy of the Easter season, the celebrations of God’s mercy for us, we mourn and lament the tragedy of the Humboldt Bronco hockey team. We light the Easter candle and finally sing Alleluia, while simultaneously offering prayers of sorrow and devastation...

Getting a Bit More out of Holy Week

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 Written by

Holy Week, the week leading up to Easter, is the busiest on the church calendar. It begins with the pageantry of Palm Sunday, with the faithful processing into the church amidst the waving of palms, commemorating the arrival of Christ in Jerusalem. Good Friday and Easter Sunday services later that week are traditionally very well attended, but if you’re able to put in the time, there are additional elements relating to these celebrations that help to accentuate and give deeper meaning to the mystery of Holy Week...

‘Gators and Gophers, Sand and Snow

Friday, March 23, 2018 Written by

Recently my wife, Danielle, and I went on vacation to Florida, a place neither of us had ever been. It was beautiful. We plan to go back some time…gonna have to collect a lot more bottles and cans to supplement the vacation fund though... hahaha. As a part of our time in Florida, we took a tour of the Everglades National Park. What an incredibly interesting place. The tour began with a bit of a video, then the tour guide gave a short presentation, then we all loaded up onto the tour trolley. It was all very exciting. Danielle and I wondered if we would get to see any alligators and crocodiles as the video showed and the tour guide explained earlier. The trolley lurched forward and we were off.

These past few months have flown by as I settle into my position here at the Cathedral. Easter is quickly approaching! I am often struck by the amount of changes I have seen in my life as I transitioned from being a full-time student to a full-time employee. This has come with ups and downs, but I can see that God has a plan for me through it all.

I have recently met many, many students, and I find so much hope in this generation of young people! I am overwhelmed at the focus given to the Catholic faith in our school communities; coming from a small town public school, it was quite a different experience to participate in Ash Wednesday liturgies that entire schools attended...