Prince Albert Bishop Albert Thévenot, M.Afr., and community elders cut the ribbon to open St. Charles Borromeo Church on the Moosomin First Nation on the feast of Pentecost, June 3. (Photo by Louis Hradecki)
MOOSOMIN FIRST NATION — Prince Albert Bishop Albert Thévenot, M.Afr., along with Moosomin First Nation Chief Bradley Swiftwolfe; Rev. Frederick Akah, MSP; band councillor Hilliard Kahpeaysewat; and church elders cut the ribbon to officially open St. Charles Borromeo Church on the Moosomin First Nation on the feast of Pentecost, June 3.
The reserve is located near Cochin, north of North Battleford, in the Diocese of Prince Albert.
Among the faithful that gathered were parishioners from Moosomin First Nation and guests from neighbouring parishes. Akah, the pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Parish, and other visiting clergy concelebrated with Thévenot, with assistance from diocesan deacons.
Thévenot in his homily likened those gathered to the apostles when Jesus came among them saying, “Peace be with you.”
“That Jesus is offering that same peace to us, asking us to come together, to reconcile and to bring peace to our world. We also receive a breath of life from the Holy Spirit, and that breath becomes a force as it enters into our everyday actions, asking us to love one another and to forgive one another.”
The eucharistic celebration included the anointing of the altar and the walls of the church with the oil of Sacred Chrism. Also, a chalice was presented to the parish by the North Battleford Knights of Columbus on behalf of one of their departed members.
Local drummers and elders from Thunderchild First Nation also participated in the celebration.
Before the conclusion of the mass, a presentation of a blanket was made to Elvira Foronda, Charitable Gift Planning Manager for Catholic Missions in Canada, in appreciation of the support received for the building of the new church.
Kahpeaysewat, a retired armed forces member and a band councillor, related a story about the land on which the new church is situated. On his return from active duty, Kahpeaysewat went to visit his brother Jason, who was dying from cancer, at a local hospital. Jason was the owner of a dilapidated house on the property. He asked his brother Hilliard to tear down the old house and to build a church there instead, and that is exactly what happened.
After mass, all were invited to the Moosomin First Nation band hall to share in a feast and to continue sharing fellowship.