Article by Fr. Steve Morrisey, C.Ss.R.
These next few paragraphs are all about a great weekend in Northern Saskatchewan. This year, I had the wonderful and unforgettable opportunity to celebrate the Easter Triduum in Fond du Lac, SK. Fond du Lac is a beautiful native reserve in the McKenzie- Fort Smith Diocese, the true North of Canada. It was a true gift that I will always cherish in my heart.
Prior to the season of Lent, I received an invitation that could not be turned down. It truly was a gift to spend Holy Week in a place that longs to have the Gospel preached ever anew. Upon arriving in the far North, I visited the community of Fond du Lac on foot. The walk through the community gave me an opportunity to really enjoy the smiles and waves from the passers by. It did not take long after those initial hours for ministry to begin. Weekday Mass, confessions and a visit with a family that had invited me into their home filled those first hours. The second day began with several hours of celebrating the sacrament of reconciliation.
My time continued with me spending a few hours with a family. I was gifted to spend several hours with one family. This particular family opened their hearts to pastoral outreach as the members of that family had recently undergone a tragic death. Comfort and compassion are true gifts that the faith offers and I was truly blessed to share in Christ’s free offering of these gifts. Upon spending time with and praying Funeral Vigil Prayers with the family I was asked to bless the home and share some comfort.
My third day in the community, namely Holy Thursday, began with a meeting with one of the parish volunteers. Then I met with the parish council representative and a few of the liturgical ministers and the moments of the Triduum were begun.
Washing the feet, the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, the events of Good Friday, the Way of the Cross, and the planning of the first two days of the Triduum marked those initial planning hours. The meeting carried on with the organizing and the planning of the Easter Fire, the Blessing of Easter Water and other events of Saturday evening and the following Easter morning. As these liturgical moments were planned the sacrament of Reconciliation was never out of reach. In fact, looking at my schedule, which was posted on the doors of the church and the bulletin board of the town store I was often and regularly available for Reconciliation.
The Easter Triduum of 2012 was beautiful and filled with memories. One of the memories that the Dene Community of Fond du Lac, and I, will always carry is that of a funeral service and burial right in the middle of the weekend. The life and death of every believer is what helps to create Easter memories. It sure helped to add to ours and it reminds all of us that Christ truly has risen, ALLULIA!