By Fr. Mick Fleming, C.Ss.R.
The month of January has been a cold one to say the least with the cold and wind chill on days reaching the -40’s. We are doing live streaming of Masses again because of the increased numbers of Covid-19 cases in the Territories.
Thank God we were able to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s services. The Christmas schedule was hectic, but I enjoyed it. Two Masses on Christmas Eve, I finished at 1:30am and had a morning Mass at 10:30 on Christmas Day. After that I was off to Whati, a two hour drive, for an evening Mass at 6:00pm. I got back to Behchoko at 10:30pm. The next morning was Sunday and the Feast of the Holy Family. I had two more Masses. The evening was quiet, it was a good time to connect with family back home. Fr. Bill in Fort Providence had eight children for First Holy Communion on Christmas Day.
It was a blessing to have Fr. Leo English from the Grande Prairie community with us in the North for the Christmas season. He was stationed at Fort Good Hope helping out Lay Spiritual Leader, Roger Plouffe. Fr. Bill and I picked Fr. Leo up at the airport on his arrival in Yellowknife, and we were blessed to spend the day with him here in Behchoko. We stopped by McDonald’s drive-through for lunch and were joined by some uninvited friends. It was -39 degrees when we drove him back to Trappers Lake, but before leaving we took a picture of the “Three “Frozenteers” in front of St. Michael’s church.
I was supposed to be installed as pastor on January 1st but it had to be postponed as it was -42 on Saturday morning and too risky to have Bishop Jon travel from Yellowknife. The whole week was cold. Even my SUV died during this cold spell, and of all places to stop running, it was at the grave-yard. Thank God I received a ride back to the rectory where it was nice and warm.
Despite the cold weather and the challenges of Covid-19, Fr. Bill and I are still enjoying our ministry here in Behchoko and Fort Providence.