Father Augustine Ezediniru, S.M.M.M., associate pastor, foreground, with Father Father Malachy Ekezie, S.M.M.M., pastor of St. Alexander and Missions parish, in the Archdiocese of St. Boniface, Manitoba. Photo by Anne Hanley
‘There is joy in sharing the mission of Christ’
In January 2008, then Archbishop Emilius Goulet, P.S.S., of the Archdiocese of St. Boniface in
St. Alexander Catholic Church is situated in rural
There is joy in sharing the mission of Christ. Despite the remote geographical location and social issues surrounding these rural communities, the people are open to God’s promises: “I will never forget you my people….”—Isaiah 49:14-15.
When Archbishop Goulet commissioned us to serve and attend to the pastoral duties in these communities, he said to me: “I can see you have the charisma to work for and be with these people—be happy and smile always.” These words have since inspired me and gave me zeal to serve the aboriginal community here.
Each morning when we wake up, we consecrate our activities to God. We let the Holy Spirit guide us through our day—from our prayer time (Mass), receiving those in need of spiritual assistance and visiting the sick, to preparing for funerals or visiting the youth at the local high school. We end our day with an examination of conscience and ask God for forgiveness for ourselves and for others. The gift of religious community living helps us to renew our vigour and spirit, for every day brings different challenges and needs.
I am pleased to experience the spirit of the people—I find many similarities to my tribal culture at home in
The parish and its missions have many needs—we struggle every day to maintain our buildings and land. Thanks be to God for Catholic Mission In Canada, they have been our major support. Last September, we reopened our church in Hollow Water which was burnt down in 2007 by fire. Through Catholic Missions in
Meanwhile, we have some pressing needs to attend to: our church in
Living with the cold weather has been the biggest adjustment for me. Until I set foot here, I had never seen snow. It was quite exciting to see it for the first time and to learn to drive in winter across frozen rivers and ice roads or to watch young children playing in the snow and tobogganing in the ditches. After experiencing the four seasons in
Once more, I want to express my gratitude to Catholic Mission In Canada for supporting our Parish of St. Alexander and Missions and helping spread the Good News among the aboriginal community in fulfilling the mission of the Crucified Christ. As one family of God, let us always aspire to inspire others with good works and charity.
Father Augustine Ezediniru, S.M.M.M., associate pastor, assists pastor Father Malachy Ekezie, S.M.M.M., minister to St. Alexander and Missions parish, in the Archdiocese of St. Boniface,