Today is my last day here in Fort Nelson. When I arrived it was a sunny and warm day for up here. Today it is cloudy light snow and much colder. The last few days since the snow on Thursday and Friday have been cold. I am off this afternoon to Fort St. John and overnight as Air Canada cancelled the flight today from there to Vancouver so I leave late tomorrow morning.
The month has gone by quickly for me here in Fort Nelson. I now have a better idea of what it is like in a Northern Diocese like Whitehorse. Small communities and often the parishes are without a priest and are lucky to have a lay person as an administrator who looks after the parish. Mass might be once a month or twice depending if there is a priest to come to the community usually from Whitehorse. It is a mission diocese and that is where they need priests from the south and from other countries to come for a period of time that could be one to three years and possibility more. The Oblates of Mary Immaculate as missionaries were up here in the diocese for many years however they have died or are retired and now there are none left in the diocese and there were some religious sisters over the years and likewise have left or retired.
I have had a good experience during the month here in Fort Nelson at Our Lady of Sorrows and going to Mile 295 (Sacred Heart) on the reserve and to Prophet River. There can be a fruitful ministry in being here with the people in the communities. We will see what plans unfold for me in the next few months to come as the vision is to come up to the diocese for at least a couple of years and maybe more.
I also recognize on the other hand that I may be leaving St. Rose of Lima in Sooke a parish community that I have been with for over six years. Many memories that I have and blessed in countless ways journeying with the families and people.