A successful outing!

With the kids being off school on Fridays (they attend the Head Start program M-Th) we took them on a short trip up the road, yesterday. So, we don’t actually live at the end of the road! An 18 km trek down the gravel road led us to the old and fairly non-existent historic settlement of Glenora. What I mean by fairly non-existent is that we couldn’t find it, but assumed a little kind of fishing camp had taken over where it used to be. I’m sure it was a bustling settlement back in the gold rush.


The road to Glenora follows the Stikine River and there are some very scenic views along the way. About 3.5 kms out of town is where the power line stops, so everyone past there is, “off grid”, running on solar panels, etc. There is even a lovely bed & breakfast place out there, so if anyone is interested in coming up here to get away from it all; hint, hint, wink, wink. There are also 2 separate fishing camps, used by the Tahltan people mainly during the month of July. They have a big music festival and ‘culture camps’, where they teach the children about fishing, canning fish, crafting, etc.


We got to the end of the road looking for Glenora but, as I said, didn’t really find much of anything. The main road led straight out onto the sandy beach along the river. As we were driving in a man approached us, completely soaked and muddy from elbows down. Mark and his wife, Janette, were up on holidays from Vancouver Island and had driven down the sandy shore of the river about half a km. but when they tried to turn around had hit a soft spot and got stuck. They had been digging for 2 days, trying to get their truck out. Needless to say they were very excited that we had a truck with 4 wheel drive and were willing to pull them out. It took a whole 30 seconds and in the end we found a great spot for a picnic lunch along the river, making sure we were parked on the hard packed part of the beach.


By the time the kids played in the sand and the water and we loaded up and got back home there was only one child left awake! A very successful outing!


a Gift, not a Burden!

Settling in, I feel now that I have more time to ponder life. I always felt that I got so caught up in my work and found it really hard to be present to my family, but that’s not what life is about. And I guess that is what I was most looking forward to about this change. I had a beautiful conversation with someone the other day about raising a family and the quality time that our children are in need of. It seems that society draws us into this notion of having to always be pushing so hard. But what if we could simply provide for our families basic needs, without having to worry about a payment on that car or the mortgage that’s keeping us tied down. I guess that’s the mentality in the big city, it just is what it is. But I have noticed a difference with what I see from the people who live out here; A different way of looking at things. Being out this far it’s just the lifestyle. I guess you could say a bit of freedom in a way, but we are each called to some way of life.

Family life definitely has been having it’s challenges too though. One soon realizes, when you have the only children at Mass, how out of control and distracting they can be. So here I am trying to lead the Sunday liturgy, reading a reflection, while Denise is trying to feed Aliz, Isaiah is pulling the tulips out of the vase in front of the lectern and waving them around, Gianna is running down the aisle and Kateri is having her own reflection muttering away to herself. I’m sure you can picture it. I just hope we don’t scare any of the locals off. It was reassuring to hear one of the local ladies say, “Just let them be.”
To be real though, it was a hard day. We were only able to have a prayer service, as our first Mass out here won’t be till Sept 28th.
We couldn’t help but feel our blood boil and wonder how to discipline our children so they can behave better in church. We know this is not the right spirit but it was how we were feeling yesterday. Denise’s sister, a Catholic school teacher, had some excellent advice about preparing the children so it is easy for them to feel they succeed. Walk through with the kids the expectations and have them model what walking quietly and sitting quietly looks like. Praise them in abundance when they follow through with sitting quietly and for having good listening ears. Good advice. We will try these!
I (Denise) was left all day with an anxious heart and tried my best to cast my worries and fears on the Lord.
Today while standing outside of the Nursing Station, a lady approached me and asked if I was new in town, I introduced myself and said we were the new pastoral assistants at St.Theresa’s. When she heard we have 4 kids, she was excited, she has four also. Her youngest is 6. I asked if she went to St.Theresa’s and she said she used to but she would bring her daughter who was the only child there and her daughter would make so much noise, it was embarrassing for her. I told her, “Mine too! My children make noise too! She smiled and probably wondered why I was so excited. I told her it would be so nice to have other children in the church. She smiled and said her daughter just can’t sit still for more than 15 mins. I said it’s the same with my children, but if you come we can figure it our together! She smiled and asked what time.
I walked away from our conversation filled with thankfulness. Here the day before I was feeling like my children were a burden and I was acting like they were but the Lord showed me that no, my children are gifts and gifts are meant to be shared. Perhaps it will be our children who will help to bring back some of the families in the community.
This helped us remember the words from Bishop Gary, “Your primary role is to live out your family life in the community. Be a witness by your life…Be very, very patient and remember the reason you are there…JESUS!”

Love and the Pain of Leaving


A beautiful quote from Henry Nouwen that was shared with us

“Every time we make the decision to love someone, we open ourselves to great suffering, because those we most love cause us not only great joy but also great pain. The greatest pain comes from leaving. When the child leaves home, when the husband or wife leaves for a long period of time or for good, when the beloved friend departs to another country or dies … the pain of the leaving can tear us apart. Still, if we want to avoid the suffering of leaving, we will never experience the joy of loving. And love is stronger than fear, life stronger than death, hope stronger than despair. We have to trust that the risk of loving is always worth taking.”

Take up my cross…

Sorry it has taken so long to get this post up. We have been without internet to this point and our posts will be (God-willing) more frequent from here on in. We just had our internet set up earlier today. And we do have high speed DSL out here, believe it or not!

“ I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy… I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace.”                                              – Philippians 1:3-4,7

In getting ready for our move I have been very touched with how many people have said, “You will be in our prayers”, or “We will be praying for you.” I couldn’t help but ponder why would people pray for us now more than they have before, or maybe just voice it more now than they had before. It may sound foolish. Sure we’re making a radical decision, to move to the most isolated community in BC accessible by road. Yes, we will be leaving our family and community, but they will be with us now more than ever in all that we do.

Yes, it will be a challenge. Yes, it will be hard, at times. Yes, it will be joy-filled. Yes, it will be a time full of grace, I am sure.

But isn’t that what the life of a Christian is? Isn’t that what family life is? This is where God has called us at this moment in our lives, and so he has called you yourselves and countless others to their vocations as spouses, mothers, fathers, priests, singles, consecrated lay people, religious brothers and sisters, to be missionaries in our own corner of the world, to bring Christ into our own corner of the world. Is one path more radical than the other? I guess you could make an argument for that. But my point is, we should be praying for and supporting eachother at all times and in all situations through prayer. Maybe you already do, and maybe I’m just over analyzing, but I find I only tend to pray for others when they ask for prayers or when they are going through a challenging time or a particular struggle.

And I believe that this is what prayer is about, that it unites us to others, as we are all united in Christ, even at great distances.

In pondering this I hope to, from now on, be more aware of praying for others on a daily basis; for faithfulness to a spouse and/or to God and for strength and resolve against temptations. Because although our daily needs may not seem significant, living the life of a follower of Christ is a constant choice to pick up our crosses daily and follow Him.


“Take up My cross, their cross, and follow Me”

-The Little Mandate

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

We arrived in Telegraph Creek last Wednesday (Aug 27th). The trip went fairly smoothly and the children did amazing. It is great to see how vast our province is and to realize that the leaves on the trees are already turning colour up this way. I still don’t think it has fully hit us yet as to exactly what is happening, but this last week and a half has been such a graced time for us. With having mom & dad Grimard help with the move and some of my siblings as well it couldn’t have gone more smoothly. It has been a gradual transition in some ways, with meeting new friends that we were connected to before we left and getting to meet them in person and also with how welcoming the community has been. Yet also a quick transition as we led a communion service our first Sunday here. I was able to attend a funeral at the community centre Tuesday evening, for one of the elders who had passed away on the weekend, and discovered the Tahltan people are very musical people. Then, earlier today I was involved in the transferring of another person’s ashes from the church to the burial site 15 miles out of town. It is interesting being immersed in a different culture, a different pace of life, and a different way of being. But it was so beautiful to see a people’s love for their friend and relative who had passed, this is one thing that I can relate to and so enter in to their sorrow and their pain. And to realize that we are all on this same journey, of life.