BUILDING AND REPAIRS
Many mission parishes are unable to maintain the upkeep of their church. A majority of churches are old buildings still heated by oil or coal furnaces. For much of the year, they are beset by inclement weather and frigid temperatures; many in dire need of replacement, repair and maintenance.
In some parishes, there is no church. Catholics must celebrate Mass and other public liturgies in homes or other buildings—and find the means to travel hundreds of kilometres for weddings or funerals.
Costly utility bills, leaky basements, mould infestations, snow plowing to clear massive amounts of snow are just some examples of how your dollars are funding building and repairs through CMIC.
Read on about the needs in Standing Buffalo, Saskatchewan.
Mission Update: Fire Guts Church in Standing Buffalo
By Sister Bernadette Feist
No Masses after loss of church: Ministry to First Nations ‘still mission country’
Ursuline Sister Bernadette Feist, in an update, says there has been no celebration of the Eucharist at Lakeview Lodge, the home for many elders in Standing Buffalo, Saskatchewan, since the burning of Our Lady of Light Church in Standing Buffalo last September.
The community has been without a church where people could gather monthly for Mass, lay-presided liturgies, or faith instructions. There are no water or plumbing facilities there. In addition to driving 1-1/2 hours to get to the mission, the missionary would need to look after some basic needs.
Sask Power expenses are paid by Catholic Missions In Canada, through the Archdiocese of Regina. Collections from the First Nations communities pay for half of the hydro bill. Our Lady of Light Church in Standing Buffalo did not carry insurance. In all likelihood, says Sister Feist, the church will not be rebuilt. “We gather now at the Care Home at Lakeview Lodge, and the Valley Native Ministry Centre in Lebret-where gatherings for Sacrament preparation and Eucharist are held every month, or as arranged. ”
She continues: “In all instances of going out to the people where a celebration is being held, missionaries have to take with them what they need to answer the requests of the people or celebrate with them.
“Some First Nations are served every month, for Eucharistic gatherings; some have Eucharist available to them, twice a month; some are closer to weekly gatherings in parish churches. And some hear only this: ‘You are welcome to come to our church.’
“Priests assigned to First Nations communities are very busy with their organized parishes. It is easy to get a substitute priest in for these parishes, and easy to cancel First Nations gatherings, when the assigned priest is not available. It may not be long when we would be back to lay-presided liturgies.
“First Nations ministry in Regina archdiocese in Saskatchewan is very much mission country. “