Brothers and sisters in Christ,
Happy Easter! I pray that this monthly entry finds you enjoying the beautiful (if slightly wet) spring weather on this the fifth Sunday of Easter!
This past month has been exceptionally busy. Aspen has started sacramental preparation for Confirmation and her first communion. As my ministry schedule keeps me very busy, I often miss out on Aspen’s events. Because of this, I have committed to attending all of her sac prep activities. It’s a great opportunity for us to spend a bit of time together as she journey’s towards these two very important sacraments. This past month we also started our 5 part Together in Christ series which studies the Protestant Reformation through a process of mutual prayer and dialogue. We had our last diaconate formation weekend for the year, which was on youth ministry. While youth ministry is not specifically a “diaconal” ministry, it was a great weekend to learn about engaging our youth, so very important for the health and future of the Church. I put some of what I learned into practice when I attended the SEARCH weekend. I have attended Live-In, and so it was very exciting to see the youth version in action. Similar to my feelings at Camp St. Louis, the youth I met there give me such faith in the future of our Church! We also celebrated the Feast of St. Kateri. This was a beautiful Mass as the official diocesan painting of St. Kateri was unveiled, as well as a new prayer was released. This marked the 5th time we have celebrated the Feast, and was particularly appropriate as St. Kateri has now been officially designated as our second Patron Saint of the Diocese. I also had the honour of representing the diocese as well as the students of Newman Theological College at the 48th Annual Friar’s Ball in Edmonton. This event, not affiliated with the Franciscans, is a fundraising event to raise funds for the seminary. From there, Anna, Aspen and I drove up to Fort McMurray where I attended 4 Masses to promote Camp St. Louis. It was an excellent opportunity to visit with Fr. Andrew, Fr. Reddy, Jestoni, and many others. Before we arrived home on Sunday evening we already had over 10 additional Fort McMurray registrations! Last week I had a chance to attend the Mass for Life at the Basilica in Edmonton with Bishop Paul, after which we went into our 2 day Diocesan Assembly. This year the focus was on the new religious education program Growing in Faith, Growing in Christ. What a wonderful resource for our schools! I continue to attend weekly faith formation sessions and Marian hour. I also had my usual social justice, Knights of Columbus, and Camp St. Louis meetings!
On a proud parent note, I attended the volunteer appreciation event at the MFRC, where Aspen was the recipient of a “Leaders of Tomorrow” award for her volunteer activities. I am so proud of her. She inspires me to continue my diaconal ministry through her example and service!
For school, I wrapped up Moral Theology and Synoptic Gospels and started my Intersession (a short 6 week long term) course on Contemporary Catholic Philosophy. This is the 3rd of 4 philosophy courses which I must take in order to obtain my MDiv. I also finished my course on youth ministry and Holy Orders. Tomorrow I start my last diaconal course for this year, Christology. Anna is taking it with me, so it should be fun! We have never taken a course together. In 3 weeks we have our diaconal retreat, which is on the same weekend as Aspen’s Confirmation/first communion (another busy weekend). As well, this is an exceptionally busy time as we get ready for another amazing summer at Camp St. Louis!
My challenge for you is to please pray for all of our youth, teens, and adults who are preparing for Confirmation. Pray that their hearts and minds are opened to allow the gifts of the Holy Spirit to more deeply impact their lives.
God bless you and keep you safe.