Edmonton : Visit from our Brother Priest Vincent Esprit
March 20-27, 2015 the Missionary Reality of Canada was blessed to be able to welcome Father Vincent ESPRIT, fmi from Khanawa:ke (pronounced Ganawagay) Reserve and the Shrine of St. Kateri Tekawitha, near Montreal.
As a true brother in Jesus, the Word Incarnate, Father Vincent (originally from Dominica ) lived among us, sharing prayer, meals, presiding the Eucharist.
His main purpose in being with us was to facilitate a retreat with our “charism friends” (our lay associates) in preparation for the Solemnity of the Incarnation. We were immersed in the spirit that animated the heart of Louis-Marie Baudouin as he introduced us to Jesus, Missionary of the Father.
The retreat awakened us to our shared history as congregations, nourished our spirits through Sacred Scripture, and offered an opportunity to discover some of the riches of our Aboriginal sisters and brothers through a
The presence among us of Mary Matchee, a Cree woman from Catholic Social Services, linked us with our Mohawk sisters and brothers in a very powerful and real way. Father also took time to be with Sisters Elsie and Connie in the Providence Centre Infirmary, to preside the Eucharist at Dwelling Place and to con-celebrate Eucharist in St. John the Evangelist Parish in which the Villa Maria community finds a home.
At the end of the retreat one of our “charism friends” said it was the best retreat she had ever experienced in preparation for March 25th. The week passed by far too quickly and, before we knew it, we were sending Father back to his people in Khanawa:ke.
One can hope that this is but the beginning of a much closer and stronger collaboration with our FMI brothers and perhaps an opening into a shared ministry with our Aboriginal sisters and brothers, especially youth and those immersed in poverty.
May St. Kateri, the first female North American Indigenous Saint, intercede for us.