Monday, December 7, 2009

For Better and Forever and other good things.

Recently a workshop for pastors and parish workers involved in helping couples prepare for their marriage was held at Holy Child Parish. It introduced a new option for marriage preparation in our Archdiocese. The program is called "For Better and For Ever." It has been developed by Fr. Robert Ruhnke, a Redemptorist Priest who is shown here next to me on the far right of the picture. His book is a best seller and has become one of the mostwidely used resources of its kind.

One of the reasons for the program's great success is that it uses trained married couples to sponsor and train other couples who follow the program. The group heard John Mungham and Jocelyne Lajoie, a Sponsor Couple, who live in Calgary and have been working closely with Fr. Ruhnke for some time. John and Jocelyne are on the other side of me, next to Sr. Bernice.

There was a very good turnout of people both on Friday and on Saturday to learn about this promising program. What is attractive for me about "For Better and For Ever" is that it is parish based allowing the parish to provide the preparation for this Sacrament. It is within the parish comunity that the sacraments are celebrated and it is within this community that we can best discover the meaning of these miraculous encounters with Christ that are the great treasure of our Catholic faith.

The Association's Fally Convention was held in Weyburn this past month, hosted by Holy Familyh Roman Catholic Separate School Division No. 140
In this picture, on the left is Mike St. Amand of Prince Albert who is the outgoing President, and in the middle is Jerome Niezgoda of Yorkton who is the new President.
I was happy to be able to take in part of the convention and lend my support to those who work very hard to maintain the excellence of Catholic Education. Fr. MIke Dechant spoke on the triangle of Home, Church and School and its importance in the education of our children.

We were expertly entertained by a group of students from the High School in Weyburn who performed with the exuberance of young people and the excellence of training and guidance by their teachers.

It was great to see the number of young men who were part of this group.

And the ladies as well who showed great confidence and presence in their production.

And they had a lot of fun putting on this show.

I had the challenge of giving the keynote address on Sunday morning to conclude the Convention. As you can see, despite the end of the event feeling of the morning, these people were giving their best in attentiveness and listening.

I would like to give you some words spoken Pope John Paul II on Catholic education:
"The ultimate goal of all Catholic education is salvation in Jesus Christ. Catholic educators effectively work for the coming of Christ’s Kingdom; this work includes transmitting clearly and in full the message of salvation, which elicits the response of faith. In faith we know God, and the hidden purpose of his will (Cfr. Eph. 1, 9). In faith we truly come to know ourselves. By sharing our faith we communicate a complete vision of the whole of reality and a commitment to truth and goodness. This vision and this commitment draw the strands of life into a purposeful pattern. By enriching your student’s lives with the fullness of Christ’s message and by inviting them to accept with all their hearts Christ’s work, which is the Church, you promote most effectively their integral human development and you help them to build a community of faith, hope and love."
Catholic education seeks to promote the full human development of each student who comes into its care. It is a special treasure we posess and one which we need to foster, promote and protect.


On November 13th I travelled up to Sturgis on a beautiful Fall day to celebrate this special anniversary of St. Patrick's parish. The history of this parish goes back much further in history than it's 75 years as a parish. Indeed it reaches back into the last decade of the 19th century when a group of Irish Catholic families came from North Dakota to settle here over 110 years ago. The parish grew and was made up of people from different nationalities who came to Saskatchewan to build new lives for themselves and their families.

The parish community celebrated a beautiful Mass with many friends from neighbouring parishes taking part as well. Fr. Marcin Mironiuk OMI, the present pastor, concelebrated along with Fr. Casimir Krystkowiak, OMI and Fr. Jerry Talarski, OMI both of whom had been former pastors with Fr. Jerry having served the parish for twenty five years as its Shepherd.
The Oblate Fathers came to St. Patrick's in 1933, the year before St. Patrick's was erected as a parish, and have continued their pastoral ministry and leadership here to this day.

Here we all are at the end of the Mass with the 4th Degree Knights of Columbus.

We had a very nice reception and turkey dinner in the Sturgis Community Hall after Mass, with of course, an anniversary cake. The big shamrock on the cake made me feel right at home! It was a very pleasant afternoon with greetings brought by a number of special guests including Mayor Don Olson and a very interesting Power Point presentation on the history of the parish was prepared by Majken Wagar. All of this was unfolded by the Mistress of Ceremonies, Carole Hauber.

No comments: