Happy Fall!

At the beginning of October, my team and I flew out of Ottawa, Ontario and arrived in Vancouver, B.C. Due to some complications, we weren’t able to start ministry until the end of October. This was very difficult for our team at first, as we were prepared and excited to start. However, we realized how much this time away from ministry was a part of God’s plan, and we recognized the beauty He bestowed on us through it. 

After a 5-hour flight from Ontario to British Columbia, involving a flash mob of praise and worship amidst several meaningful conversations, we continued our journey with a 30-hour drive filled with wonder through the mountains, spotting bison and swimming in hot springs. Soon enough, with both excitement and relief, we arrived safely at our lodge here in Whitehorse, Yukon. Although most days it seemed like we were completely skipping the season of Autumn, observing the beauty of God’s creation on our journey North was incredible and provided our team with a new way of marvelling at the Lord’s grace and His presence in our lives.

Hello! Welcome to the Tri-Parish ministry update coming to you from Antigonish, Nova Scotia! 

Our team arrived in Nova Scotia at the beginning of October, and after patiently quarantining for a week, two COVID-19 tests each, many movie marathons, and countless bursts of laughter, we finally started our long-awaited ministry! 

What a beautiful start to the year my team and I have had, filled with joy, challenges, uncertainty, but most importantly with the strength of the Lord. Our first stop was Bouvale in Northern Saskatchewan, where we were warmly welcomed. From Bouvale, we had the wonderful opportunity to reach out to a few of the surrounding communities, where we were able to connect with the adults and children through after-school programs, classroom visits, The Holy Mass, Adoration nights etc. 

Seven days, five provinces, one van, six people with one shared mission: challenging young Catholics to love Christ and embrace the life of the church. 

At the beginning of October, we started our journey across Canada. We drove all the way from Ottawa, Ontario to Vancouver, British Columbia. Along the way, we saw the beautiful country that we live in; from the colourful trees in Ontario, to the open and never-ending land in the Prairies, to the breathtaking mountains in British Columbia. We filled our days with van-karaoke, rosaries, snacks, games and of course naps. At night we would stop at host homes where we met so many kind and loving people, and we had the opportunity to share conversations and meals together. 

I have always been very passionate about rock climbing. I got into the sport at a very young age, my parents were always concerned about me getting hurt because I climbed everything I saw!

Are you afraid of discomfort? Personally, I’d like to say “Pfffft nah, no way, I’ve been through my share of stuff I’ll have you know, I’m no stranger to discomfort.” But you watch me, and my actions will betray that answer. It’s true I’m no stranger to discomfort, and in truth I think all of us have had more than our fair share of discomfort even with just these past few years. Though I find no matter how much I may have been through, my ability and willingness to bend over backwards to avoid even the smallest amount of discomfort never decreases. Unfortunately for sincere followers of Christ, discomfort is unavoidable, but fortunately for followers of Christ, it is made worthwhile.

I woke up at 4 AM.  I didn’t plan on it; my year-old son was stirring and I helped him get back to sleep.  But then I was wide awake.  Seriously? I thought.  This has been happening so often lately.  Once a week for the last month or so I’ve been wide awake for hours in the middle of the night.  Part of being a young dad, I guess.  My mind goes a million miles an hour.  I tried to pray and calm myself down.  This time it didn’t work.  Alright, Lord.  I can hear the birds chirping and I can see dawn rising.  Should I fight to sleep or just get up and make a coffee?  Today I chose to get up and begin the day.  

“If the wind goes where you send it, so will I” This song verse has been a common theme for our team this past year, and especially in these past few months. When just about everything seemed to be becoming a strong solid routine for our team, God decided to change the course of the wind. Being a school based discipleship team, we had developed a solid plan with three main forms of outreach in order to intentionally disciple students. We had started up many small groups where students had the chance to open up about questions related to the Catholic faith inside the classroom, we had established a few intentional small groups after school for students who showed interest in growing deeper in a relationship with God, and we also began one on one discipleship ministry with students who desired mentorship. With these three driving forces in our ministry and the fruits that came from them, our team was finally able to be at peace with a well established plan in place.

This blog is part of the Alumni Week 2021 Collection!