As Lent draws near…

Just stumbled upon a great idea today as we received an e-mail from HolyHeroes.com: to pray a novena to the Holy Spirit in preparation for Lent!

“We want to prepare our Lent in imitation of Jesus, who was led by the Holy Spirit into the desert of His Lent.

This Lent, rather than trying to change ourselves by penances and sacrifices of our choosing, we want to be led by the Spirit so that He can guide us in the ways He would like to transform us.”

You can find the article here.

Blessings!

Advertisements

Late 2016 HIGHLIGHTS and … then some more!

Well, here is a long overdue recap of the last few months, by way of pictures. It will be short, in the way of writing, and sweet! Enjoy!!

We had a family photo shoot down at Glenora. We were able to enlist one of our friends, who enjoys photography, to spend some time with us to do this.

edited1edited9edited19edited39edited43edited60Version 3Version 2

p1260375

Riding in the RCMP Cruiser during the Terry Fox run. It was a long way for the little ones, but they did make it just past the half way point.

p1260381

Enjoying ice cream after the run!

p1260394

Kateri up to her face painting again!

p1260442

Dressing up at the McBride Museum, in Whitehorse

p1260453

p1260459

Holy Family Apostolate meeting at Maryhouse, in Whitehorse; starting with a meal, then a holy hour, and finishing with reflection and sharing.

p1260474

A fairly typical Whitehorse run; loading up the groceries and building supplies.

p1260476

Stopping overnight in Teslin, to visit with Trudy, one of the other Pastoral Administrators in the diocese. Driving was a bit dicey as we hit a snow storm.

p1260504

Kateri posing with Constable Warkentin

p1260510

Denise’s mom had flown to Whitehorse and travelled down with us, so she was in town for 2 weeks.

p1260554p1260559

p1260615

Our new pet, Tuffy

p1260638

Carving pumpkins in preparation for All Hallows Eve

p1260639p1260640p1260642

p1260661

There’s Tuffy again:)

p1260664p1260669

p1260733

Our first snowfall, at the beginning of November

p1260747

Tobias’ first snow:)

p1260762

Celebrating mommy’s 33rd birthday

p1260778

Baking Christ the King cookies

p1260785

Getting ready for our procession on the Solemnity of Christ the King. It was pretty cold out so we didn’t get too many takers

p1260789

p1260815

Something we were inspired to try this year; rolling our own beeswax candles for our advent wreaths. A few people from our church community joined us to make some for themselves also.

p1260817p1260824p1260826

img_2186

Celebrating Mass during our Diocesan Retreat for pastoral staff, at the beginning of December, at the Cathedral in Whitehorse. 

p1260845

p1260958

Singing for the Christmas concert

p1260963

Every year Santa shows up after the Christmas concert to bring presents for all of the kids.

p1260970p1260984p1260990p1260992

p1270018

Christmas tree hunting. We even found an ‘ethical’ tree (or at least we were told we did!) because we found it underneath the power lines. I guess one day it would have to eventually be cut down anyways:)

p1270058

A late night skate, across the street, at the Rec with some hot chocolate to warm them bones

p1270067

p1270094

Out at another one of our friends’ places, having a winter pre-Christmas party on their pond

p1270099p1270116

p1270130

Our Nativity Pageant, complete with a live baby Jesus:)

p1270131

Fr.David Reilander, President of Catholic Missions in Canada, sharing his Christmas message, up close, with the children

p1270146

Christmas morning, unwrapping Baby Jesus the best gift ever!

p1270150

Putting Baby Jesus in the manger

p1270190

The view from our living room window, over to the Rec Centre and the RCMP. It had warmed up just enough for the snow to slide part way down the roof and give us the snow cave feel. It stayed like this for quite a few weeks as we had a pretty long run of colder temperatures.

p1270226

Putting together our new family puzzle

p1270253

Aliz helping mommy make biscuits

img_2208

St.Ann’s Mission in Watson Lake. Joshua went to help one of the other Pastoral Administrators with the major renovations being done in the rectory to make it ready for our two new priests from India. He went for a few days in the middle of December and then for 1 week at the beginning of November.

img_2231

Celebrating Mass in Watson Lake

img_2232

Our 2 new priests from India, Fr.Deva(L) and Fr.Suresh(R), and Jean Claude(another of the Pastoral Administrators in the diocese), working on the rectory renovations in Watson Lake

p1270257

Here is Tuffy’s brother, Sven, who we picked up a few weeks after getting Tuffy, so that he would have a friend to keep him company.

p1270266

p1270271

The three magi, following the star and bearing spiritual gifts for the good people of Telegraph Creek, on the feast of the Epiphany!

Now you may have noticed that we do not have too many pictures of the community. To explain, we are wanting to respect the people here that are a part of our church community, and wider community, by limiting the amount of photos we put of them on this blog. We hope you enjoy what you do see though and that it may give you a little snapshot of what is going on up here with us. We will share stories(hopefully), inspirations, and highlights as we feel prompted!

Blessings to you!

New life & Sledding

Well, it appears like we have blasted into the new year, and missed posting our pictures for  most of the fall and into the tail end of 2016! With family life and ministry it seems that life has still happened and time has passed. Sometime soon we will post some highlights for you, but until then….

We ended up getting out to do a few fun things on the weekend.

On Saturday we visited with our friends, who just had a new baby goat born. Kateri was loving holding the animals, including the chickens. We went sledding at their place and stayed for a bit of a visit, warming up inside on hot chocolate!

p1270422

P1270425.jpg

P1270427.jpg

Then on Sunday afternoon, after visiting with our Church community post Communion Service, we decided to hit the ‘ski hill’ for some more sledding. It has been nice here lately with temperatures dropping down to around 20 below at night but warming up to the mid teens during the day. It hasn’t snowed here in a while, so the hill was mainly ice(or really, crunchy snow), but we all had a blast!

P1270430.jpgP1270434.jpg

P1270439.jpg

Many blessings to you all!

Ice Fishing

We are getting a true northern experience up here! Last Monday the kids had a day off school, as it was a professional day for the teachers. And we wanted to do something outdoors with them, being that the weather had warmed up to above zero after a couple weeks of sub 20 below. The skating rink was covered in snow and melting from the rain the previous day, so when ‘Grandpa’ Jim offered to lend us his auger we decided ice fishing would be a great thing to do. He even decided to join us, as it was too icy on the roads for him to go hunting as he had planned to do that day. ‘Grandpa’ Jim and ‘Grandma’ Kitty are the kids’ adopted grandparents 🙂  (Being that their grandkids don’t live in town they take the opportunity to shower our kids with love, and hugs, and treats!) We went up to Sawmill Lake, a couple kms above town, and drilled 4 holes. The ice was about 18 inches thick! It was a perfect day; a couple degrees above zero, partly overcast. The kids lasted quite a while, especially with the snacks!

p1270292

p1270296

Kateri caught the first fish!

p1270298

p1270300p1270302p1270310

A Christmas Reflection

While I don’t normally share so much in a deep way with others in writing this seemed to be a good opportunity to share a little about what has been happening in our lives through my(Joshua’s) experience of Advent and the coming of the Christmas season. I find it helps me to process thoughts, feelings, and events when I write them down. As such, I wrote this last Friday, the evening before our Christmas Mass, however I had written it down on paper. I find that my creative flow is stifled by the keyboard so whenever I reflect it is by writing down my thoughts on just plain old paper with a pen. So I am transferring it here for your benefit, hopefully! Enjoy!!

As I await in joyful expectation the arrival of the Christmas season my heart is yearning and leaping, it seems almost as a bride awaiting the coming of her bridegroom to her.

At the turn of every season of the Church I find myself opening up to what the Lord has to offer me or teach me. In prayer I ask to be led deeper, but what is so different about this Advent, about this year? Why do I feel the ardent yearning, this great desire for my true lover. For he is surely already near to me, indeed with me!

Amidst the fullness of life with 5 children(age 7 and under) we have been the worst this year with maintaining a daily Advent prayer. It has been busy, with being in Whitehorse for the first week of Advent, however grace filled with being able to enter into the mystery and depth contained in this beautiful season, and in our faith during our pastoral retreat. Coming back and feeling like I haven’t really caught up with certain “business” things(letting go of control) and leaving to go to Watson Lake in 30 to 40 below temperatures to help with renovations at the rectory there and returning with oozing power steering fluid and air in the system, arriving back safely I’m sure on the many rosaries prayed during the five and a half hour drive. Then having to deal with a squealing alternator, which I will more than likely have to replace next week with the new one that just arrived with the new drive belts today. And this week, with all of the preparations, God has called me deeper in prayer and I am really just encountering a new zeal and love for Him. He has led me into prayer this week, helping me to recognize in a new way the importance of starting my day with a substantial committed prayer time, even being joined by one of my daughter’s one morning.

I continue to recognize His blessings in my life that, even being what seems so far away from family, all I need is Him yet being blessed with so much more. He has even blessed me with breakdown in entertainment technology, (as silly as it may seem that the old iPhone I have that I would watch youtube videos on no longer supports youtube videos, and it happened two weeks into Advent.) so that I have had more time in prayer and reflection while washing the dishes; really one less thing to pull at my time and attention has made a big deal for me. Sometimes it is just so hard to let go of things on our own, although hard at first I can now thank the Lord with a fuller heart.

So with fresh snow on the ground, a beautiful time of adoration on Wednesday evening, and anticipation for Mass(the last one here being three weeks ago) I can run with joy and awe and hail Him as the lover of my soul, my Saviour in whom is wrapped up my heart.

I pray this also for all of you, that you may find yourself open to Him and His great love for you. Ask the Lord, as I now remember doing near the beginning of this Advent, to help you to encounter His great love for you in new ways. He will not disappoint you, and maybe even surprise you!

 

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.” – John 1.1-3

(An excerpt from the Christmas Gospel reading for Mass during the day)

 

May the Lord richly bless you and your family this Christmas season!

 

 

Your “YES”

I am always struck by the Gospel story we hear today(Luke 1.39-45), especially the line; “Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.” And Elizabeth’s reception of Mary, and Christ in her womb, is such a beautiful image for us to ponder and imitate.

In truth, it was Mary’s “Yes” to God working through her that brought Him forth into our very midst.

Mary’s life, and more specifically her response to God, is such an example and a witness to us. How do we respond to God’s promises in our lives? How do we respond when he seeks to work through us? How do we respond when we see Him working through others for us?

For a few moments today I thought it would be good for us to dwell in Mary’s Spirit, in her thoughts, in her witness.

I am going to play a song and a little reflection. The song is based on Mary’s response, in Scripture, to God inviting her to share in His plan. And I would encourage you, as you listen, to place yourself in the presence of the Lord with the words of Paul’s letter on your heart, “I have come to do your will, O God.”

Click here for the video, as the link wouldn’t copy!

 

Scripture for reflection:

Micah 5.2-5

Psalm 80

Hebrews 10.5-10

Luke 1.39-45

Mercy & Expectation

Today we celebrate “Gaudete” Sunday, meaning “Rejoice” in Latin. As we are now over half way through the season of Advent, a time of waiting and preparation for Jesus’ coming, it is a time of joy filled anticipation and rejoicing, as we hear from both Paul and the prophet Zephaniah. “The Lord is near.” (Phillippians 4.5) “Sing aloud… Rejoice and exult with all your heart.” (Zeph. 3.14)

I also want to mention that earlier this week(Dec 8) Pope Francis inaugurated this Church year as a Jubilee Year, a holy year, marking the 50th year since the close of the second Vatican Council. A Jubilee is a year of celebration and outpouring of God’s graces, and the particular theme for this year is Mercy. Pope Francis is inviting us to reflect on the mercy of God and has released a document highlighting the key concepts and point for reflection for this year; “How much I desire that the year to come be steeped in mercy, so that we can go out to every man and woman, bringing the goodness and tenderness of God! May the balm of mercy reach everyone, both believers and those far away, as a sign that the Kingdom of God is already present in our midst!”

While in Whitehorse last week, during our pastoral retreat we had the opportunity to ponder and reflect on this document and so I wanted to share two key points that connect closely with the readings today.

Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy; Jesus embodies the mercy of God the Father. For our salvation we need to contemplate the face of mercy; Jesus Christ. I could simply leave you with that and you would have enough to contemplate for a while.

But, what is mercy? In a nutshell, forgiveness, forbearance (all our sins committed yet unpunished as to our due. God endures with us and is patient with us), and compassion (specifically for the suffering). These translate from God to us, and from ourselves to others.

In the Gospel today(Luke 3.10-18) many people were coming to John to be baptized. They were looking for something more, they were filled with expectation and asking him, “What should we do?” In other words, they were not content with their lives and saw that they needed to make changes.

Have we come to this realization yet? How do you need to change your life in order to prepare for Christ? What do you need to do to be expecting Him?

I think our answer is quite simple, from the wisdom of Pope Francis; Contemplate the face of mercy, the face of Christ. Unlike the people in the Gospel, who were coming to John, we have the knowledge of whom we are to expect! Should we not be that much more open to receiving him and allowing him to change us? Should we not be that much more filled with joy? And should that not show in our lives?

As we rejoice in the expectation of Christ’s coming during this third week of Advent and as we open ourselves to the graces that this Jubilee of Mercy has to offer us, I would encourage you today to contemplate the face of Jesus Christ; whether it be the child in the manger or the man on the cross, in the face of a neighbour, a child, or someone on the street! He is the “good news” that John the Baptist proclaims! He is the Father’s mercy and love to you! Rejoice!

Logo_Jubilee_of_Mercy.jpg

Scripture for Reflection:

Zephaniah 3.14-18a

Isaiah 12

Philippians 4.4-7

Luke 3.10-18

Hiking & Camping & Life, oh my!

Hello! We’re back! Yes, we’re still here, still in action. After a month of being all over the place we have had a chance to sit down and gather our pictures and our thoughts, so enjoy:)

At the beginning of June, Josh had the opportunity to take a 9 day trek through the wilderness of Mt.Edziza Provincial Park with his brother, Jordan, and one of the RCMP officers from in town. The three of them left from Telegraph Creek, taking a boat ride across the Stikine River and then trekking in to Buckley Lake, south past the West flank of Mt.Edziza, and skirting down the Chakima Creek Canyon to Mowdade Lake, covering 131 kilometres! Here is a quick snapshot of a trip of a lifetime!

Scan

The topographical map we used for our trek. If you would like to take a look at our actual route, click here!

P1200658

An a.m. farewell!

IMG_5276

The spoils of Buckley Lake. Amazing what you can catch with a tin can fishing rod!

IMG_5278

Buckley Lake

IMG_6320

Approaching Mt.Edziza

IMG_5338

Approaching the north slopes of Mt.Edziza. Eve cone located on the right of the picture.

IMG_6338

Approaching Eve Cone

IMG_5372

Eve Cone

IMG_5399

On the rim of Eve Cone

IMG_6369

Looking out at Mt.Edziza from the top of Eve Cone

IMG_5463

Day 4 camp, above Elwyn Creek

IMG_5464

The sun setting on our camp at the end of Day 4

IMG_5472

Greeted by spectacular views over every rise

IMG_6406

Stopping for a picture at a trail marker/cairn

IMG_6408

Day 5 camp, at Sezil Creek

IMG_5499

Traversing over the tundra, west of Mt.Edziza

IMG_5501

IMG_5503

One of many stunning bluffs

IMG_5504

IMG_5541

IMG_5505

IMG_5539

We had traversed through the snow, from the right side of the little lake; a little more snow than we had expected.

IMG_5536

Scanning ahead for the next trail marker/cairn

IMG_5534

IMG_5527

IMG_5550

Sitting in camp on day 7, staying dry out of the rain, for a day

IMG_5552

Our way out!

IMG_5551

IMG_6489

Coming down into the Chakima Creek valley

IMG_6499

Chakima Creek: “Avalanche Zone”

IMG_5560

Another avalanche through the Chakima Creek valley, covering the creek in sections

IMG_6509

We made it! Lunch at Mowdade Lake

P1200708

The kids checking out Grandpa’s plane before he leaves to pick us up at Mowdade Lake

P1200714

P1200711

P1200636

St.Theresa’s Heart Garden. Click here to find out more!

P1200696

From our front patio to yours:)

P1200679

Kateri receiving the Owl Star Award, for student achievement! Standing with her teacher, Ms.Calijou.

P1200673

Isaiah loves making potato head mix-ups:)

P1200672

P1200746

 

P1200747

“I really enjoy eating sand, for some strange reason.”

P1200750

Hanging out at our friend’s place, up the road near Glenora.

P1200760

P1200773

The mosquito’s got me again! Aliz seems to have quite the reaction to mosquito bites!

P1200784

P1200781

Her eyes were completely shut when she woke up in the morning, poor thing!

 

P1200778

… Still smiling though!

Towards the end of June we left town for a trip to Juneau, Alaska. Denise was taking a course for teaching the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

P1200800

White Pass train station in Carcross (Caribou Crossing)

P1200794

Carcross General Store

P1200791

Stopping for treats

P1200812

The road down to Skagway

P1200813

P1200821

Playing at the park in Skagway, Alaska

P1200835

Waiting, and dancing, for the ferry, with cruise ships in the background

P1200838

P1200842

On the ferry!

P1200851

P1200845

Playing games on the ferry, in the kid’s corner.

P1200868

Enjoying breakfast

P1200873

Our crib, for 2 weeks

P1200871

Helping wash and dry the dishes

P1200877

Receiving their Junior Ranger badges!

P1200882

Happy Father’s Day! Playing at the park, after going to church.

P1200901

Stopping for a pose on the trail out to Mendenhall Glacier and Nugget Falls

P1200895

Mendenhall Glacier

P1200903

P1200907

At the base of Nugget Falls

P1200929

P1200926

P1200917

P1200909

P1200933

selfie:)

P1200936

Reach for the sky!

P1200941

P1200938

P1200946

P1200955

P1200980

At the touch tanks, at the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery

P1200975

P1200971

 

P1200969

Oh my!

 

 

P1200982

P1200988

The fish ladder at Macaulay Salmon Hatchery

P1210008

At the ocean.

P1210052

On the wharf

P1210050

P1210046

 

P1210101

Taking the tram up Mt.Roberts

P1210099

P1210095

Douglas Island on the other side of the channel

P1210071

Up Mt.Roberts. Our little eaglets.

P1210074

P1210105

P1210108

Eating a grilled cheese and fried tomato supper in the parking lot

P1210114

It was really wet! Thankfully, friends in Juneau shared some shelter.

P1210125

P1210129

Story time and crafts at the library

P1210143

Aliz’s favourite thing to do at the library

P1210138

P1210132

Isaiah’s favourite thing to do at the library

P1210160

Family game night at Heritage Coffee Shop

P1210167

Making pizza to cook over the fire

P1210173

P1210186

Shrine of St.Therese

P1210191

P1210198

P1210211

Playing after church, at St.Paul the Apostle

P1210209

IMG_0909

Free Toddler Time at “The Rock Dump”

IMG_0924

IMG_0922

IMG_1018

Downtown Juneau. Can you believe the stairs to these houses?!

IMG_1019

Yes, these are the stairs to someone’s house! Take note the mailbox at the bottom!

IMG_1028

The Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The smallest Cathedral on North America.

P1210220

Douglas, across the bridge/channel from Juneau

P1210230

At sandy beach, on Douglas

P1210227

Wasssup?!

P1210234

Dinner at The Island Pub

P1210235

“Complimentary puzzles while I wait for my food? No way!”

P1210251

A branch off of the Juneau Airport Dike Trail

P1210270

P1210266

Juneau Airport Dike Trail

P1210271

Chillin by the fire at the campsite

P1210277

Games night with our friends that we met on the ferry. We got to hang out with them a lot, as we had discovered that we were staying at the same campground.

P1210272

IMG_1051

Sleeping on the floor of the ferry on our over-night boat ride to Haines, Alaska

P1210282

Guessing the feces specimens at the Haines Junction Interpretive/Visitor Centre

P1210296

Our Lady of the Way, Haines Junction

P1210294

Our Lady of the Way Church was made from an old bunker that was used during the building of the Alaska highway.

P1210286

Jenga!

P1210297

Visiting with Renee, our friend and member of Madonna House at Mary House in Whitehorse

P1210300

Above the Tahltan River, on our way back in to Telegraph Creek

P1210301

Welcoming Fr.Terry Larkin(far left) and Project Brotherhood(Rita, second from right, and others not in picture) for Mass and Potluck Supper. (Far right Rob Lacroix, lay volunteer from Iskut, 3rd and 4th from right: Diane & Maria, parishoners). Summer time is quiet at St. Theresa’s as most of the faithful are busy at their fish camps.

P1210304

P1210318

Celebrating Aliz’s Baptism anniversary

P1210309

Frogs at Sawmill Lake

P1210322

Fishing with my tin can fishing rod, on my birthday!

P1210351

P1210343

P1210336

P1210326

P1210324

P1210355

A froggy home

P1210359

Sadly our frogs only lived for three days.

P1210370

We made you a cake daddy!

P1210379

Happy Birthday Daddy!

P1210396

Our two blondies

P1210385

At 6 mile, on the beach

P1210409

Supper at a fish camp

IMG_1104

Josh & August Brown, cutting wood for the winter

IMG_1100

Went to visit Josh & August in action!

IMG_1084

The spoils

P1210418

Working on building a wheelchair ramp at the church

P1210426

P1210428

P1210475

The finished product!

P1210419

I was constantly looking for my ear plugs. For some strange reason they were highly popular with the kids!

P1210422

IMG_1105

Oh, is that how you use them?

IMG_1106

P1210433

Visiting Edna, at her camp. Her cabin was built in 1936. We enjoyed trying our first dried salmon.

P1210456

Edna’s family’s fish camp is the site of an earlier settlement of the Tahltan people.

P1210453

An old church

P1210451

P1210443

Another old church

P1210440

P1210437

P1210436

The smoke house

P1210434

IMG_1112

An air band performance!

IMG_1113

P1210458

Fr.Vincent blessing/dedicating the new sign! Donated by our twin parish St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Victoria. Now people can find us!

P1210462

Fr. Vincent Travers is a priest from Ireland who comes every summer to the Whitehorse diocese to help our priests. It was wonderful to meet him. Seven years ago  Fr. Vincent visited St. Mary’s in Chilliwack. He had just returned from the Yukon and spoke to the faithful during his homily about the role of the laity in serving in Northern communities. That homily was the spark that ignited our whole journey north! Fr. Vincent said, “You never know the impact your words will have on others!”

 

Good Friday

The death of Jesus Christ, on which we contemplate and reflect today, in the gospel, can be a hard reality to face. Jesus, the Son of God, is mocked and scorned, alienated and abandoned, executed like a common criminal, ALL FOR US.

But WHY?

We can stand today, along with the mother of our Lord, the mother of the Church, at the foot of the cross. If we do stand here, with purity of heart, we open ourselves to enter into this mystery of love, a love that goes beyond anything this world can offer. Standing here we see the cross, we see the innocent and kind Son of God hanging there, battered and bloodied, fastened to the tree in such a cruel way.

Our loving Lord willingly choosing that brutal death in order that we might be saved, BECAUSE he loves us. Through his Passion and Death on the cross our God rescues us from ourselves!

Today, let us ask ourselves and meditate on, “What is my response to this?”

And let us open ourselves, our hearts, to receiving His deep and life-shaking love for us; His love that says, “I do this all for you. I choose YOU”, as he stretches out His arms to embrace us and free us.

JesusCrucified-3