Thursday, March 11, 2010

12 Step Pilgrimage Canoe Narrows, Sk Feb 25-28, 2010

The 12 Step Pilgrimage was developed in Browning, Montana and brought into Alberta decades ago, from which it spread to Saskatchewan. Oliver and Ann Shouting from southern Alberta were instrumental in spreading it to northern Alberta and came once to northern Saskatchewan. Frank and Florence Large picked it up and have been key facilitators of the pilgrimage for years, especially in the St. Paul area of Alberta. They made great sacrifices to come to Canoe Narrows to help us get the pilgrimage re-started in our archdiocese.

All the 16 participants and the team made a huge sacrifice to make this event happen, as it turned out to be the closing weekend of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. This pilgrimage featured 10 youth participants who took it seriously and worked on their own personal growth and healing - certainly a sign of hope for the future. Sr. Diane Laejunesse came with two young men from Whitefish Lake near Debden, Sk., for this event. The other participants were from the local area. Much support from the local chief and council was appreciated.

Here pictured is the team leading the pilgrimage: Archbishop Sylvain Lavoie OMI from The Pas, MB., Mary Fleury who did the cooking and gave one presentation; Marcel our music man who also gave a talk, Marilyn Bouvier who took the initiative to organize this event after the tragic death of a child in the community, and Frank and Florence Large who found their way to the community on the Keeley Lake road, finally.

The 12 Step pilgrimage is a unique retreat experience that blends 12 Step spirituality, First Nations spirituality and Catholic Christian spirituality, It is open to anyone who wants to grow personally, learn more about the 12 Steps and find support in living a life of happy free sobriety. It is truly an experience of holistic family life for almost four days the will hopefully empower the participants to go back to their communities better equipped to meet the challenges of daily life without resorting to addictive behavior.

Music and singing is a very important part of each pilgrimage. Here Frank and Florence Large assist Marilyn and Marcel with the singing of our theme song, "One Day At A Time."

Each morning of the pilgrimage begins with a prayerful meditation on a specific theme. Here the participants are gathered for a reflection and prayer centered on the Our Father which began with a sweet grass smudging ceremony.

Talks on the themes of addiction, our Creator God, Who is my Saviour, the Gift of Faith, Death and Resurrection, Prayer and LIving a New Life are a major part of each pilgrimage. The presenters receive a lot of hugs after each talk. Here Florence Large gives a hug to Mary Fleury who spoke on how prayer helped her to cope with the challenges in her life

A feature of Saturday evening during the pilgrimage is performing skits that exemplify the joy of having fun without resorting to addictive behavior. Here Veronica Bouvier and Ival Lariviere entertain us with a skit entitled "Welfare Scam."

Nina Corrigal, Fr. Louis Legare and Sr. Diane Lajeunesse dramatize the end result of the pilgrimage experience in their skit.

The Renewed Spirits family group led by Marlene Opikokew and including a participant from Whitefish Lake.

The Charlie's Angels family group, led by Sr. Diane Lajeunesse pm and including the pastor of Canoe Narrows, Cole Bay and Jans Bay, Fr. Louis Legare OMI, who was training to be a team priest for the 12 Step Pilgrimage movement.

The Believers family group, led by table counselor Veronica Bouvier.

Frank and Florence Large at the closing mass presenting a certificate to Archbishop Sylvain Lavoie OMI. Each participant received a certificate at the mass which was well attended by the communities of Canoe Narrows, Jans Bay and Cole Bay.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon Bishop Lavoie, this is from marilyn, marlene, audrey and Nina, Just to let you know that we are thinking of you and the fun that we had at our 12 step Pilgrimage. always did a fantastic job, hope to see you soon and God Bless!!!