Brothers and sisters in Christ,
I hope that this update finds everyone happy, healthy, and feeling a renewed sense of zeal after Lent and our Easter Triduum celebrations.
The last month and a bit was exceptionally busy. I finished up my very difficult course “Intro to Catechism” and I am now about half way through “Intro to Prayer”. I have one more core course to complete, then I will be taking two Social Justice “optional” courses this summer. My current course on Prayer is fantastic, and I have already taken away many things which I will incorporate into my own prayer life as well as my ministry.
On March 21 myself and the other three deacon aspirants attended a “Faith and Ecology” session with Bishop Paul. As always, Bishop Paul spoke very eloquently and passionately. We are truly blessed to have such an amazing shepherd. It was also the first time we had a group photo taken.
Anna and I are also co-facilitating with Mary Anne a 5 session Confirmation “prep” process. This is for adult Catholics who for various reasons have not received the Sacrament of Confirmation. It has been a great experience for me to learn under Mary Anne’s guidance, as well as for Anna and I to co-facilitate together. Aspen has been joining us for the first half of these sessions and I’ve been proud to near bursting at some of the amazing insights she has shared during these sessions. Being an aspirant to the deaconate with a young child is extra challenging, and so far the support has been amazing!
We then rolled into the busy Holy Week. All 4 deacon aspirants for the diocese were able to attend the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral, so it was another opportunity for us to connect and increase the bond of our mutual vocation. I was very proud of Greg who served as an Adult Server during the Mass, as well as Joe and Amy who received the oils on behalf of their church in Fort McMurray. Our group was well represented!
I snuck in to Mass of the Lord’s Supper (I was on shift so I took my lunch break) and was again super proud to see Anna and Aspen have their feet washed by Father Andrew. All jokes about pedicures and Aspen saying how it made her feet felt “warm and fuzzy”, it was a very humbling experience to have my “girls” involved in the Mass. On Good Friday I was able to serve as a reader, and then on the Easter Vigil I had the honour of serving as Adult Server. The Easter Triduum is a special time liturgically for deacons and Father Andrew was great in showing me where the deacon is involved.
Speaking of being an aspirant, this weekend I will be submitting my formal Petition for Candidacy. This handwritten formal petition will be included with my first year evaluation and submitted to Bishop Paul. Should my calling be in alignment with the Church’s evaluation of me, we will be admitted to candidacy at the end of June! Please pray for me!
Wow, busy month! What is coming up for us? We have our deaconate formation weekend this weekend, which starts off with attending the Feast of St. Kateri Mass at the Cathedral. This weekend is being facilitated by Deacon Lynn Pion from the Archdiocese of Edmonton. We have one more mandatory course left before the majority of the aspirants (they will hopefully be candidates by then) will be taking the summer off of school. I will be switching for the next 6 months to St. Dominic, so it will be interesting to exercise my ministry with a new set of parishioners!
My challenge to you this month is to sign up for ministries! Whether it be to help with yard work or as an adult server, please consider sharing your time, talent, and treasure with the Church. If there is one thing I am learning as I grow within my ministry, it is that it takes ALL of us to make the Church function. The more people that sign up for ministry, the easier it is for everyone to participate.
God bless you, and continue to pray for me,