Tuesday 10 February 2015

Good Morning:

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.

Fr. Mike

Friday 6 February 2015

Hi again as I am posting this evening some of the pictures from Lower Post to Whitehorse

#1 is the road where the rectory is on just across from the Laird River the sunrise a stunning location and #2 is Ben the deacon who is there and at Watson Lake.

#3 is the church which is next door to the rectory. One can see the character that these mission churches have in this part of the country.

#4 & #5 are the inside of the church. They changed where the altar is on the side and the barrel stove is supplement heat as they have a furnace. There are some antlers for the lectern. 

Entrance to the church I have noticed that often the parish names are Marian or Jesus names

These next two are some of the sights on the highway 

The next 5 pictures are of the cathedral of Sacred Heart in Whitehorse. 

This is taking a picture of the opposite direction of the cathedral

These last two are of the parish church in Teslin. I heard the shape of the building is stunning inside as one can see from the outside. There is a large lake that one follows along into town. The bridge in the last picture lower left corner is the one that crosses the Lake and heads south. 

These are a sampling of some of the pictures that I had taken on the trip to Whitehorse.

Fr. Mike
Good Evening from Fort Nelson:

Yesterday morning I left Whitehorse and seeing the weather forecast for Watson Lake and Fort Nelson I decided to drive straight through. I did arrive late last night and glad I did as today the road conditions would have been terrible with the snow overnight and the wind even if one could travel. I heard this afternoon the highway was closed might have been to the south as Fort St. John had a dump of snow too. It was a good visit to Whitehorse a long way though and a chance to see the cathedral and the rectory where a couple of priests live. I was just looking at the pictures and will post some of them now.

The first set are from Fort Nelson to Lower Post which is just inside B.C. before the Yukon. There are some wonderful sights on this stretch of the highway.

The first three pictures were closer to Fort Nelson I believe before Testin River. I was following this tanker truck until some of the hills. With the ice and snow could be slippery as this truck and trailer found out.

 #4 is the Northern Rockeries to the west. A beautiful sight. Starting to climb higher and Stone Mountain Provincial Park #5 is the highest point on the Alaska Highway. One than goes down hill to Muncho Lake Provincial Park.

 The bison were just past Laird Hot Springs as this is one of the areas they are seen on the side of the highway. They are so big and digging into the snow to get to the grasses I think. None were on the road as they do not move too fast lumbering along.

 These next two pictures are what one sees getting closer to the Yukon.

The next set will be from Lower Post and Whitehorse

Tuesday 3 February 2015

Greetings from Whitehorse:

I arrived this afternoon in the city from Lower Post B.C. I stayed overnight at the rectory in Lower Post with the hospitality of Ben a deacon who lives on the reserve. It is close to Watson Lake just inside the Yukon boarder that has a parish and a few other mission communities that Ben looks after. The drive from Fort Nelson on Monday was wonderful the ever changing views. There were some bisons that I photographed on the side of the highway. The weather and road conditions were good. This morning it was -35 degrees in Lower Post and my usually cold hands were sure frozen quickly. There are some pictures in this posting of the trip from Fort Nelson to Lower Post and a few up to Whitehorse. Tomorrow I will have a chance to see some of the city and area. I will be returning to Fort Nelson on Thursday morning and staying overnight in Lower Post as it is long drive all in one day. I figured over 6 hours each day and not much stoppage time to get here and there may be some snow on Friday on the last leg to Fort Nelson.

The internet connection is too slow to upload the pictures so will have to do it in Lower Post or when I get back to Fort Nelson

Fr. Mike

Thursday 29 January 2015

Thursday afternoon

Greetings today to you:

Today in Fort Nelson the weather seems to be more of the normal temperatures as it is around -18 and went down to -29 last night. Had to put another blanket on last night. There might be some snow flurries but have not seen it yet today.

I went to the Fort Nelson Literacy Center last night for a potluck dinner and the theme last night was French. They have once a month a potluck and next month it will be China so people are supposed to bring a dish that would represent that country. There were people from Japan, Korea, France, Mexico, China as some of the countries represented.

Saturday night is a moonlight cross country ski and bonfire with hot coco afterwards with some singsong. Will go to the community event after mass so we will miss the cross country ski part. The parish is having a pancake breakfast after mass this Sunday.

Monday I will be heading up to Whitehorse for a visit. I will stop at the Laird hot springs in the way up to Lower Post where I will visit with Deacon Ben who is there and covers Lower Post and Watson Lake up the road. Fr. Kieran who is the administrator for the diocese is coming down to Lower Post and Watson Lake for masses this weekend. I will stay till Friday and than head back to Fort Nelson.

A week this Sunday some baptisms are planned at Mile 295 Sacred Heart Church that I go to each Sunday and at Prophet River also later on that day. That will be my last weekend as I leave on the Tuesday February 10 overnight in Fort St. John and than back to Victoria Wednesday evening.

I will have some great pictures of the trip to Whitehorse as the forecast for next week is sunny and cold.

Fr. Mike

Friday 23 January 2015

Friday afternoon Jan. 23rd

Hi to all this afternoon! Yesterday as I had mentioned I was going to Prophet River for a visit. It is a quiet hours drive south of Fort Nelson. In one of  the pictures looking south west one can see the Northern Rocky Mountains in the distance as they come into view a spectacular sight. I almost went pass the reserve as it is tucked away off the highway for the speed signs jumped to 100 ks. There are about 200 people living on the reserve. It was moved a few years ago to the present location and a couple of years ago they built a new complex that includes the administration, medical, and activities for the community. It is a lovely looking structure with some art work and stuffed animals. The temperature was 11 degrees down there amazing for this time of the year.

The included pictures are of the drive down the highway and back. Pictures of the building and art work and stuffed animals.

Tuesday 20 January 2015

Hi Again:

The last post should have said Tuesday Evening not Monday though the date was right. As you can see from the pictures the two churches are both unique. I understand at Prophet River a hall is used for mass.

Fr. Mike