“The missions need you. Our Canadian missionaries can’t cover every place,” Catholic Missions In Canada’s “ambassador-designate,” Missionary Bishop Gary Gordon of the Diocese of Whitehorse, Yukon, told parishioners at St. Patrick’s Church in the Diocese of Victoria, British Columbia, recently.
“We are looking for people who have been touched by the Holy Spirit. They may not even know it yet, but I think there are people out there who would like to get out and be in the lives of the people, to put their lives on hold for Jesus and be there for the missions.”
Catholic missionaries are giving their lives to serve the poor and disenfranchised people across Canada, Bishop Gordon continued. “And I see every day the deep desire of the people for the ministry of the Church and the sacraments.”
Early this spring, to promote the work of the Canadian missions and Catholic Missions InCanada, Bishop Gordon traveled to Vancouver Island on a speaking tour in the Diocese of Victoria March 14th to March 22nd.
Bishop Richard Gagnon of Victoria and his staff, pastors and their parishioners, opened their hearts to welcome one of our amazing missionary bishops in a week-long journey which took him from Victoria in the south to as far as Courtenay/Comox in the north of the diocese.
Pastors assisted by diocesan and parish councils of the Catholic Women’s League and the Knights of Columbus organized and hosted Bishop Gordon at luncheons and receptions across the diocese.
Bishop Gordon said after one of the Masses, “I couldn’t put a single tank of gas in my truck without Catholic Missions In Canada. Their help is absolutely crucial to the Diocese of Whitehorse. With only 7,500 parishioners in your whole diocese, you don’t get much in the collection plate!”
When he spoke at St. Andrew’s Cathedral, the bishop said, “It was frightening. I haven’t seen so many people in one place in such a long time!” He celebrated at four Masses and held rapt audiences of more than 9,000 people at those Masses.
During his stay, Bishop Gordon had the opportunity to:
• Speak at all Masses on Saturday, March 14th and Sunday, March 15th at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Victoria
• Join Father Dean Henderson for the special Youth Mass at Holy Cross Parish at 4 p.m. in Victoria, and enjoy Soup and Soul in the parish hall with the students afterwards
• Speak at an evening Mass at St. Patrick’s parish, followed by a reception in the parish hall, open to all interested parishioners in the Victoria area
• Celebrate Mass with students, faculty and staff at the Interfaith Chapel at the University of Victoria, then joined them for a “bag lunch”
• Drive to St. Peter’s Parish in Nanaimo to celebrate Mass, followed by a reception in the parish hall
• Join parishioners of our Church of the Ascension in Parksville for rosary and Mass, followed by a reception in the parish hall
• End his week by preaching at all Masses at Christ the King Parish in Courtenay/Comox on Saturday, March 21st and Sunday March 22nd, concluding with a luncheon in the parish hall.
Bishop Gordon added that the speaking tour also got a “bonus.” He caught the 3:15 p.m. ferry to Vancouver, and went to stay with his friend at St. John the Apostle parish. He told his friend: “Look, I’m really on a roll here. Why don’t I do your 7 p.m. Mass and talk up Catholic Missions In Canada?” He preached up a storm!
Founded in 1908, Catholic Missions In Canada supports more than 580 missionaries in 26 mission dioceses from the East Coast to the West Coast and northward into the Arctic.
Across Canada, people will continue to celebrate Catholic Missions In Canada’s centennial.
Dioceses interested in hosting a missionary bishop’s speaking tour may call at 416-934-3424, or toll free, at 1-866-937-2642.