Father Vincent Travers, O.P., on assignment to the Diocese of Whitehorse, Yukon, with the now deceased diocesan mascot, Celty.
‘There is a natural quality in the
Dominican Father Vincent Travers, on loan from the Diocese of Dublin, celebrated his 50 years as a priest on the weekend of July 16, 2010, while on assignment in the
On the weekend of July 16, 2010, I woke up in the early hours of the morning, in
My mind travelled back to
Well, that was my thought as I lay in bed, fifty years later. I never thought I would live to see this day.
I visited three mission stations on the jubilee weekend in the Yukon North West, bordering Alaska— Haines Junction, Burwash Landing, and Beaver Creek.
I knew from experience that I was facing a long day’s journey to my final destination.
A river runs through in the Yukon wilderness, in the Diocese of Whitehorse.
Distances in the
There is a natural quality in the
The Alaska Highway in that area of the
I made no mention of the jubilee at Haines or Burwash. I knew if I did, the community would make a fuss, and that was the last thing I wanted. After Mass, in both villages, we had coffee and cookies, laughter and hearty conversation. I eventually reached Beaver Creek in time for Mass at 8:15 p.m.
By then, I had a change of heart about the jubilee. I felt the need to say something about it to someone. So, at the end of the Mass, before the final prayer and blessing, I mentioned the anniversary briefly. The reaction of the small community took me by surprise. Straightaway, they grasped the significance of the day. Their faces lit up with surprise and delight, honoured, that they were the only people I had made part of the day. And then, quite spontaneously, in their own gracious way, they made a little fuss. With kind words and warm hugs, they affirmed the way of life I had chosen. I was invited to a small little restaurant across the road from the Church, to a simple meal of fried chicken and hash. I was deeply touched at the thoughtfulness that prompted this kind gesture, and it did wonders for me. It gave me the feeling that the fifty years was worth it!
Now based in
Reprinted with permission from Catholic Missions In Canada Magazine. (www.cmic.info).