Saturday, March 27, 2010
The Christopher Leadership Course is a course on effective speaking that not only develops leadership skills but also helps people overcome shyness and grow in self confidence. The Christopher Motto is: "It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness." The course was introduced into Canada from the USA in 1953 and has spread across the country. It was brought to Beauval area in 1975 by Archbishop Sylvain Lavoie with the help of two teachers at the time, Garry Vermette and Paul Boudreau. Ed and Angie Mihalicz took the first class offered in Beauval and have been instructing it ever since. Serena Kraychuk, who is missing from the picture of graduands below, is seated here in the front row, far left.
Originally a ten week course, it has been adapted to run Thursday and Friday evening, all day Saturday and Sunday afternoon. it closes with a graduation banquet Sunday evening. The course covers topics such as reading skills, introducing and thanking guest speakers, presenting and receiving awards, organizing talks, impromptu speaking and putting speech magic into talks. Each session involves a fun Warm Up and closes with a spiritual talk. Each participant is encouraged to develop a Christopher Service Project in which they will utilize their leadership skills. Here we see the class in action as a participant, Getty Landego, carries out her speaking assignment.
The course is usually taught by a team of five trained instructors. The team pictured here that came together for this course is Sr. Andrea Dumont csj, JOdi Vienneau, Troy Paul, Ed Mihalicz from Beauval, Fr. Eugene Whyte OMI who helped out as organizer at the back, and Archbishop Sylvain Lavoie (missing from the picture) who helped out on Friday and Saturday before leaving for a commitment in Eastern Canada.
Every lesson starts with a Warm Up that helps participants loosen up, gain confidence, develop gestures and practice voice projection. They are also a lot of fun. Here Sr. Andrea Dumont csj puts a lot of enthusiasm into demonstrating the Warm Up for Lesson 9 and teaching how it is done.
Each instructor takes turns teaching parts of the course. Here Jodi Viennwau explains how to construct and deliver a 4 Step Action talk.
The proud graduands, new Christophers all, are pictured here after their graduation banquet held on Sunday with the instructors. They are, from left to right standing: Jodi Vienneau; James Hickey; Sr. Andrea Dumont csj; Troy Paul; Betty Landego; Ed McTavish; Imran Barlas; Fr. Eugene Whyte OMI and Ed Mihalicz.
Seated from L to R are: Liza Dew; Wanda Niholas; Tammy Human; Rossina Astorga; Ruby Penoliar and Bernadette de Cesco, who was the Christopher Pin winner. Missing from this picture is Serena Kraychuk.
2010 is the 35th anniversary of the Christopher movement in our archdiocese. Hopefully, an instructors’ seminar will be held in the archdiocese this fall to help mark that anniversary and to perhaps train some of these new Christophers to help carry on the Christopher flame.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
The Emmanuel Process is a five evening mission given within our archdiocese by a team of Sr. Ethel Detz OP, Fr. Bill Stang OMI and Archbishop Sylvain Lavoie OMI. It is introduced at the Sunday Eucharist in the morning and starts Sunday evening. The themes are Setting Out Into the Deep, Who is Jesus for Me? Forgiveness, Healing and Reconciliation, The Spirit and Mission of the Church, and finally, Moving Into the Future. The session in Flin Flon was attended all five evenings by around 50 enthusiastic participants.
Each session begins with a teaching on a saint, prayer for the qualities of that saint, and a procession with the Word, proclamation of the Word and enthronement of the Bible. Here Fr. Bill proclaims the Gospel with the help of candle bearers Susanne Fortin and Jan Gourlay.
After each presentation there is sharing in small groups to allow each participant an opportunity to share their experience of the topic if they wish.
This small group is obviously having an intense discussion of the theme.
A highlight of this session was an elder, Marie Bjornson who though hard of hearing, came every night just to be present and pray for all the participants. She was our prayer warrior and greatly appreciated.
After the small group sharing, there is an opportunity for any participant to share with the whole group if they so wish. Here Lucille Rossington, the Religious Education coordinator, shares some of her thoughts and experience.
Extra chairs had to be brought in to make sure that everyone had a place to sit.
Each session closed with a ritual based on the theme of the session. Here participants placed on an outline of a human figure representing the Body of Christ, slips of paper on which they had written a God-given gift that they were making a commitment to use in service to their brothers and sisters.
A pleasant surprise for the archbishop was to discover that the Renew process that had taken place within the archdiocese a decade ago was still alive in the form of a bible study group – this one focused on the role of women in the bible. Fr. Cally is pictured here with the group, as he attends whenever he can.
Each session finished with abundant food and warm fellowship. The last evening session was preceded by a pot luck supper.
A spontaneous jamming session involving some of the participants and the archbishop on the violin provided entertainment between the supper and the closing session. Here Lola Leclerc is playing the guitar, Harold Romo the mandolin and Archbishop Sylvain is on the violin (he can't fiddle but is able to play the violin!)
Here Sr. Ethel and Fr. Bill are facilitating the closing session which involved an experience of a Lectio Divina style of prayer, followed by a discussion around where the parish wants to go from here and how the archdiocesan personnel can be of assistance.
Each night the participants gathered in a circle to pray the Our Father together, sing a closing hymn and share the peace of Christ. This was the fifth Emmanuel Process held within the archdiocese. Plans are to take this event to as many communities as possible, and to follow up with other programs such as the Christopher Leadership Course, 12 Step Workshops, retreats and other initiatives in response to the particular needs and requests of each community.
Friday, March 19, 2010
This year, the AWCB met in at the St. Michael’s Retreat Centre in Lumsden instead of
Fr. John Hibbard was our guest presenter this year. He shared a power point presentation with us on liturgical books, the translation of the missal and the GIRM (General Instructions on the Roman Missal) that will be forth coming and will certainly have an impact on the life and worship of the Church in the English speaking world.
Archbishop Daniel Bohan of
Bede Hubbard, Associate General Secretary to the CCCB gave a report to the assembly.
Thursday, March 4th was the exact date of the 100th anniversary of the Archdiocese of Regina. All of the bishops were bussed in for an anniversary Eucharist at one of the first parishes in
A highlight of the week was a visit to the Marian Centre in
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Members of the Committee from L to R: Harry Lafond of Muskeg Lake (Member at Large), Myra Charlie from Victoria; Bishop Richard Gagnon of Victoria; Sr. Eva Solomon; Carl Sydney, Whitehorse; Rosa Mantla, McKenzie-Fort Smith; Archbishop Sylvain Lavoie OMI of Keewatin-The Pas (chair); Doris Reid of The Pas; Archbishop Daniel Bohan of Regina and President of the Western/Northern Bishops; Bishop Murray Chatlain of McKenzie-Fort Smith and Bishop Garry Gordon of Whitehorse.
In 2007, the Assembly of Western Bishops formed an ad hoc committee on aboriginal affairs made up of four bishops. They engaged Sr. Eva Solomon csj to provide workshops on First Nations spirituality and ministry throughout the dioceses of northern and western
The first meeting of the full committee took place on March 2, 2010 at St. Michael’s Retreat Centre in Lumsden prior to the annual assembly of the Western Bishops. Sr. Eva facilitated a workshop on authority, responsibility and power. The participants then discussed an agenda that included their structure, organization and mandate. They reviewed the First Nations Elders’ Dialogue that had taken place the previous December and looked ahead to this summer’s Basic Directions, a possible Cultural Awareness Experience and the upcoming Basic Directions session. They suggested a focus on youth, catechesis and orientation for First Nations ministry as a priority for the group this first year.
St. Michael's Retreat Centre just outside of Lumsden, Saskatchewan. Home of a Franciscan community and run with the help of a lay staff, it is guided by an ecumenical board.
Thursday, March 11, 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.