Leave behind your nets and…

In Mark’s Gospel we hear about Jesus walking along the beach and inviting His future apostles to come and follow Him. I’d like to share with you a short reflection, which really spoke to me;

“From St.John’s Gospel we know that Jesus had already met and spent time with the four apostles whom he calls so suddenly in this passage. It’s important to keep this in mind: far from unexpectedly demanding an irrational abandonment of family, career, and previous plans, Jesus built up a relationship of mutual knowledge and trust before he invited Peter, Andrew, James, and John to become His full-time disciples.

Likewise only as we cultivate a true friendship and an intimate and ongoing exchange of hearts with our Lord will we be able to hear and heed his call in our life. This is not a God who demands blind obedience to his awesome power; this is Jesus Christ, true man, who meets us right where we are and walks along the shore of our lives, who wishes to get to know us, to spend time with us, and to call us by our names. This is a Lord and God who wants our friendship, so that he can share his life with us.” *(taken from ‘The Better Part’ p.347)

This reflection speaks so closely to my heart: “…as we cultivate a true friendship and an intimate ongoing exchange of hearts with our Lord we will be able to hear and heed his call in our life.” In my own life I can look back and recognize many of these moments. I would like to share one such example with you today; why I (along with my family) am here (in Telegraph Creek) today. I share this, not out of a self-righteousness (that I am so close to the Lord) but, from the joy of my heart and to give glory to God for how he has worked in my life, and in the life of my family, and how he can work in all of our lives.

Denise and myself first felt God pulling us to serve as missionaries, about 6 years ago, after hearing a priest share about the northern Catholic missions and the shortage of priests (and even the lack of a spiritual presence) in many of these remote locations, even within our own province. As we thought and prayed about this we came to the realization that our family was our first missionary territory; that we need to be rooted in love and hope in order to share that with others. We joined a group of other like-minded people; seeking to enter into the heart of Jesus. We felt a continual pull to the idea of reaching out to others in a remote community, but we continued to wait on God’s timing.

Reading the line from Mark’s Gospel, “…[James and John] left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed Him”, struck me today as I read it, because this was much of my experience. Being involved in the family business, I almost literally dropped the “net” and followed. This was my biggest struggle. It was a “net” that I had a hard time letting go of and giving to God; “Should I leave the family business high and dry? What about my future in the family business? How would we provide for our family, and meet their needs?” It came to a point where I/we had to open myself/ourselves to a deeper trust in God’s plan. This decision led us to a point where we told the Bishop, of the Catholic Diocese of Whitehorse, that we would go wherever the greatest need was. This symbolized, especially for me, a letting go of that “net” of control and of our own plans. Moving to Telegraph Creek was also the first time we had ever been there, but what a glorious abandonment.

Our time here has already been filled with so many blessings; everyone here has been so generous and hospitable, we feel welcomed as a part of the community, we have had more time to spend with our children, and God has provided so much for us financially. We feel that the biggest blessing is being able to serve others and to be a witness to God’s love for us, as our ‘job’. I am, we are, in no way perfect, but continue to be open and active in my/our relationship with Christ, that He may transform my/our heart/s.

In sharing this I realize that we are not all called to serve in the church, as Denise and myself are, but in our relationship with the Lord He leads us to where He needs us. It is through this relationship with Christ that even something as simple as a smile or a “hello” can be ways of bringing Him to others.

I would encourage you today, even right now, to take a look at how you have been led through your relationship with God, or maybe you haven’t; either way, take some time to sit with this scripture passage (Mark 1.14-20) and envision yourself as one of the apostles, sitting in the boat, as Jesus asks you, “Come follow me.” And think about what nets you are being called to leave behind for Him.


The scripture readings for today;

Jonah 3.1-5, 10

Psalm 25

1 Corinthians 7.29-31

Mark 1.14-20

…remind us that God wants to be a part of our lives, He can work amazing things when we are open to Him, and He is never very far away.


*Excerpt taken from: “The Better Part: A Christ-centred resource for personal prayer”, by John Bartunek

Happy New Year! Happy Feasting!

Today, as Catholic Christians, we celebrate Mary as the Holy Mother of God, along with the world day of peace.

To reflect on this great feast you may want to refer to this article here, by a great friend of mine! I have used this for my reflection for our service. Hopefully there is no copyright on it:) Here are the scriptures used for the reflection:

Numbers 6.22-27holding-god-holy-mother

Psalm 67

Galations 4.4-7

Luke 2.16-21


In the words of Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, “Let us ask Mary, the Mother of God, to help us to welcome her Son and, in Him, true peace. Let us ask her to sharpen our perception so that we may recognize in the face of every human person, the face of Christ, the heart of peace.”

Blessings to all of you, for a happy and peace filled new year!


Welcome to our town!

We wanted to take some time to show you around our town, so that you can get a picture of where we live. The town of Telegraph Creek is split in to 2 different sections. As you come in to town you will pass the road maintenance shop and yard on the left, with the airport/airstrip immediately to your right. Further up the road you will find the hydro station(huge generators), cemetery, school, a bunch of houses, and the post office.


Airstrip (west)


Airstrip (east)


coming in to town


leaving town








Telegraph Creek hydro station(generators)


Hydro station



Tahltan school playground

Directly after the post office you start going down into the valley, but not before crossing a single lane bridge spanning the narrow chasm formed by Telegraph Creek. As you drop into the valley there is a Y in the road, the branch road taking you down to the Stikine River and the old part of town…

Post office

Post office


Bridge over Telegraph Creek, with post office in the background


Telegraph Creek



The road down to old town


The beach below old town


The old Catholic church


St.Aidan’s Anglican church


Stikine Riversong (now a cafe and souvenir shop)






…while the main road takes you back up, out of the valley, to the other side of town and, further on, to the old ‘ghost town’ of Glenora(about 20-30 minutes).This side of town is where there is the majority of houses, the Catholic church, RCMP headquarters, Rec Centre, gas station/grocery store, Tahltan band office, health clinic, Headstart school, 2 playgrounds, volunteer fire department, and the community garden. That’s about it.


Rectory house (our house)


Health clinic


Tahltan Centre (gas station/grocery store)


Rec. centre


RCMP detachment, with our house in the background


St.Theresa’s Roman Catholic Mission












Community garden

Community garden


Community garden


our back yard


our back yard


a view down Sawtooth Road


the shed


the driveway, from our living room window


Church basement & wood furnace


view of the back of the church, from the altar


view of the church

































Some interesting facts(all distances from St.Theresa’s Catholic Mission):

Closest gas station/grocery store: 150 m

Fuel prices(2 options):  Regular Unleaded 1.699, Diesel 1.679

Next closest gas station/grocery store: 114 km(1.75 – 2 hours)

Fuel prices:  Regular Unleaded 1.339, Diesel 1.669

Closest airstrip: 2 km

Closest commercial airstrip: 693 km(Terrace)

Town dump: 4.5 km

Population: approx. 300-350

Closest shopping mall: 690 km

Closest hardware store: 680 km

Grocery list(fresh groceries/produce every Wed):
Milk 4L   $9.15
Cheese 2.3 kg   $46


Favorite things to do:

-go for a walk

-go to the post office to pick up the mail!

-play at the park

-have campfires and roast hotdogs, with the neighbors

-games night, @ the church house!

-go to the store and buy a treat(popsicle/ice cream)


View from the end of our street (Sawtooth Rd), looking West


View from the end of our street, with the sawtooth mountains on the horizon






Jordan took some great panoramic shots of the Stikine River valley:

IMG_3117 IMG_3115 IMG_3112 IMG_3111  IMG_3101 IMG_3105IMG_3100 IMG_3096 IMG_3095 IMG_3075 IMG_3075-2

Remembrance Day – Let there be Peace

We attended the Remembrance Day Assembly at the Tahltan School on Friday. Below is a video of Kateri’s class doing their “Poppy Poem”.

At the end of the assembly I closed with a prayer:

Let us take a moment to bow our heads and pray to our Lord for peace…

God, our Creator, help us to be peacemakers who have the power to be gentle; the strength to be forgiving; the patience to be understanding; and the endurance to accept the consequences of holding to what we believe to be right. We thank you for those people who have showed us this, by their example. May we put our trust in the power of good to overcome evil and the power of love to overcome hatred. We pray for the vision to see and the faith to believe in a world emancipated from violence, a world where fear would no longer lead men to commit injustice, nor selfishness make them bring suffering to others. Help us to devote our whole life and thought and energy to the task of making peace.

In your name we pray. Amen.

Our/Your Missionary Call

In reading the pope’s message, for World Mission Sunday, we were both very encouraged by his words, to share the gospel with joy, and the importance of all God’s people taking part in sharing the gospel message, even if it is just in our corner of the world. We were also very encouraged by his commenting about the increasingly important role of lay missionaries in the spread of the gospel.

Here is an excerpt from the “Papal message for World Mission Day 2014”(with sections bolded and italicized, by us, for emphasis on what really spoke to us):

…Jesus wanted to let the disciples share his joy, different and greater than anything they had previously experienced.

2. The disciples were filled with joy, excited about their power to set people free from demons. But Jesus cautioned them to rejoice not so much for the power they had received, but for the love they had received, “because your names are written in heaven” (Lk 10:20). The disciples were given an experience of God’s love, but also the possibility of sharing that love. And this experience is a cause for gratitude and joy in the heart of Jesus. Luke saw this jubilation in a perspective of the trinitarian communion: “Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit”, turning to the Father and praising him. This moment of deep joy springs from Jesus’ immense filial love for his Father, Lord of heaven and earth, who hid these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to the childlike (cf. Lk 10:21). God has both hidden and revealed, and in this prayer of praise it is his revealing which stands out. What is it that God has revealed and hidden? The mysteries of his Kingdom, the manifestation of divine lordship in Jesus and the victory over Satan…

…The Father is the source of joy. The Son is its manifestation, and the Holy Spirit its giver. Immediately after praising the Father, so the evangelist Matthew tells us, Jesus says: “Come to me, all you who labour and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy and my burden light” (Mt 11:28-30). “The joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew” (Evangelii Gaudium, 1).

The Virgin Mary had a unique experience of this encounter with Jesus, and thus became “causa nostrae laetitiae”(cause of our joy). The disciples, for their part, received the call to follow Jesus and to be sent by him to preach the Gospel (cf. Mk 3:14), and so they were filled with joy. Why shouldn’t we too enter this flood of joy?

4. “The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience” (Evangelii Gaudium, 2). Humanity greatly needs to lay hold of the salvation brought by Christ. His disciples are those who allow themselves to be seized ever more by the love of Jesus and marked by the fire of passion for the Kingdom of God and the proclamation of the joy of the Gospel. All the Lord’s disciples are called to nurture the joy of evangelization

The joy of the Gospel is born of the encounter with Christ and from sharing with the poor. For this reason I encourage parish communities, associations and groups to live an intense fraternal life, grounded in love for Jesus and concern for the needs of the most disadvantaged. Wherever there is joy, enthusiasm and a desire to bring Christ to others, genuine vocations arise. Among these vocations, we should not overlook lay vocations to mission. There has been a growing awareness of the identity and mission of the lay faithful in the Church, as well as a recognition that they are called to take an increasingly important role in the spread of the Gospel…

… Dear brothers and sisters, on this World Mission Day my thoughts turn to all the local Churches. Let us not be robbed of the joy of evangelization! I invite you to immerse yourself in the joy of the Gospel and nurture a love that can light up your vocation and your mission. I urge each of you to recall, as if you were making an interior pilgrimage, that “first love” with which the Lord Jesus Christ warmed your heart, not for the sake of nostalgia but in order to persevere in joy. The Lord’s disciples persevere in joy when they sense his presence, do his will and share with others their faith, hope and evangelical charity.

Let us pray through the intercession of Mary, the model of humble and joyful evangelization, that the Church may become a welcoming home, a mother for all peoples and the source of rebirth for our world.

If you would like to read the entire document put forth by Pope Francis, instead of our excerpted version, click here.

A Few Tidbits to Munch On

Just thought we would share a few tidbits from the Pastoral Study Days with you. The theme was “Reclaiming lost holiness”:

-Keeping in mind that we received our souls at conception and will live beyond our physical death: the importance of reclaiming holiness.

-This idea of reclaiming our lost holiness starts with realizing that we are sinners, but also, brother/sister of our Lord Jesus Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God. His forgiveness is for the asking, as such it is a joyful asking. We are exalted.

-Prayer is our fuel to holiness.

-Prayer is not about length, but rather depth.

-All we have is a gift from God and we need to reclaim that sense of extraordinariness. Don’t let your prayer life become so routine.

-Prayer is a process of ‘theosis’, becoming more like God(Matthew 5:48).

-The role of family in holiness:
-our church was born at Pentecost, but also at the foot of the cross, in a filial way. when Jesus entrusts his mother to his beloved disciple.
“When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!’. Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’” (Jn 19:26-27)
-in the family is the pattern of life set.
-nurturing/promoting a sense of holiness in our homes is important. They are our domestic church.

-If God has given us a vision for our church community we need to make it visible, making a list of meaningful roles people can become involved in.
-We need to be prepared to share our vision; that all know they are welcome and will be honoured.
-We need to look to Jesus’ example in the gospel of how he recruited. He didn’t do all of his ministry himself, but deemed his apostles/disciples as being worthy of the highest work.

Installation Mass

Today was a very exciting day. We were able to celebrate our first Mass here, with the community, since our arrival. Fr.Kieran drove down from Whitehorse to celebrate Mass in Iskut, Dease Lake, & here, in Telegraph Creek, at 5 pm. Half the day was spent in preparing the community supper, firing up the wood furnace in the Church, and just making sure we had everything together for the celebration of Mass & Reconciliation.

During the celebration of the Mass we were installed as the Pastoral Administrators of St.Theresa’s Catholic Mission. It was a very beautiful installation with us promising on our part that we would seek to support and nurture the parish community in a spiritual manner and the community, on their part, would support us. There were 11 other community members present.

Afterwards we were able to join at the Parish house for supper and fellowship and we were able to meet some members of the community whom we had not yet met.

The Lord is truly blessing this time! We wish we could write more, but we wanted to leave you all with something as we will be leaving early in the morning for Whitehorse. We will be spending Tuesday to Thursday at the pastoral study days for the Diocese of Whitehorse, and then our Holy Family Apostolate meeting on Friday, to arrive back here Saturday evening!




Our Trip

Some of you were interested in hearing about our trip in, from Chilliwack to Telegraph Creek. It was quite uneventful, but we will share a little bit about it with you!

The day before our departure we managed to load everything, we assumed and thought we would need, into our van, the work truck, and our parents’ horse trailer. This made for a smooth departure the following morning, on Monday. With alternating drivers and naps we were able to make it to Cache Creek for lunch, in the Husky Truck Stop parking lot, and then on to Prince George. We stayed at Josh’s sister(Chelsea) and brother-in-law’s(Dale) place for the night. It was nice getting a chance to visit.


 Lunch in Cache Creek & all of us at Chelsea & Dale’s place in Prince George

The next day we started out fresh and ready to make the next leg of the journey, hitting Smithers for lunch break and a nap (by Josh) on the field of a school. The kids enjoyed the playground and had lots of time to run around and burn off all of their energy☺ A short way up the road from there, at Kitwanga, is where we headed North, and where civilization really started to thin out. From there it was to Meziadin Junction and up through the mountains to Bell 2, where we stayed the night. Bell 2 is basically just a lodge in the middle of nowhere. It is like a little hamlet with chalets, camping, and even a covered hot tub. It also serves as a base for heli-skiing.


Kids on the playground in Smithers; Aliz chilling in the field with daddy


 Bell 2 hot tub, kids on the balcony of our chalet, and the main lodge(below)


Our last leg of the journey proved to be the most exciting. Stopping in Iskut (the southernmost point of the Whitehorse Diocese) by late morning we met up with the Pastoral Administrator there, Rob. After a short visit we made our way up to Dease Lake, where we found another school playground and stopped for lunch. The kids were starting to get very anxious and excited to be getting close to the end of the road trip. Maybe we adults were too☺

The final part of the drive was the most scenic. It’s hard to believe that the fall colours were already starting to show on the trees, even though it was still August. The drive in took about 2 hours, the road stretching straight through the countryside at first and then winding down into the Stikine River valley, also known as BC’s Grand Canyon. At one point the road narrows out along a ridge and then hairpin turns down into the ravine and across the river, then climbs back up a steep section of road (which you can tell has been washed out before) dropping off to the river on the one side. I don’t mean to make it sound scary yet it is very awe-inspiring. Unfortunately we were not able to get very many good pictures on the way in, so we are hoping to post some more after we make our trip to Whitehorse at the end of the month. We pulled in to Telegraph Creek late in the afternoon, but decided to leave the unpacking until the following day.



Highway from Dease Lake to Telegraph Creek [112 kms] (above pictures)

We were excited to see our new home and realized it was only slightly smaller that what we were used to back in Chilliwack. It is cozy, and in the end the kids had a bedroom the same size as the one they were used to back home, while mom & dad had to settle for a bedroom half the size that they were used to. But the kids are really liking their big playroom in the basement and mom & dad are enjoying the bigger kitchen!