By Fr. David Purcell, C.Ss.R.
Surprise! Surprise! God is a Surprise! … part of a song written by Carey Landry, this was certainly the theme of my Easter. What an adventure!!
I arrived in Yellowknife, NWT on Tuesday before Holy Week. I met a very courageous young man from Vietnam who came to Canada with the inspiration to become a missionary priest. Peter Van Dai Nguyen has now learned enough English to begin studies toward priesthood.
Here are Peter and I, visiting with Sister Mary Lee Przybylski, at the Retreat and Resource Centre for the diocese of Mackenzie-Fort Smith. Sr. Mary Lee joins a long line of Felician Sisters who have served as missionaries in northern Canada. www.feliciansisters.org/nwterritory
If you have any yearnings or promptings to be a missionary for the sake of the Gospel, then come and join us.
The next day I landed in Inuvik. More than surprised …what a shocking experience!!
As you may know, Fr. Jon Hansen C.Ss.R. was recently installed as pastor at Our Lady of Victory Parish. The plan was for him to orient me and ease me into the northern culture. However, “surprise, surprise, God is a surprise” he had to drive two hours south to Tsiigehtchic. He presided at a funeral and then stayed over till the next day for the Palm Sunday Mass as well. So I was pressed into service to serve the parish in Inuvik for the weekend. These are some of the parishioners who attended Palm Sunday celebrations at Our Lady of Victory. I was quite surprised to see how many people who come from the Phillipines have settled in Inuvik. As you may guess, the weather is one of the things that brings about a culture shock for newcomers – even for me. The weather is so cold, for so long, that the air is extremely dry. When Fr. Jon or I would touch anything metal, especially light switches, a long bolt of lightening (sometimes up to two inches long) would leap out and attack us?! Just in case you don’t believe me, maybe seeing is believing….