CHURCH BONDING SPARKS THE GOOD SAMARITAN STORY

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It is wonderful to know that others care about us. Perhaps parishes elsewhere might consider twinning with a Northern mission church. There are blessings on both sides.

By Sister Margaret Sadler, S.E.J.

how-help-parishesI would like to celebrate the generosity of St. Gertrude’s parish in Woodstock, New Brunswick. Through them, we in St. Maria Goretti parish in Lynn Lake, Manitoba, have experienced a variation on the Good Samaritan story.

Lynn Lake is a former mining town and our parish of St. Maria Goretti has financial difficulties. As well as the cost of general upkeep, the church and rectory are old and in need of serious repairs. We get grants from Catholic Missions In Canada and other places, but an added poverty is that there are no skilled workers in the town.

It was with surprise and delight in 2008 that we received an unexpected gift from St. Gertrude’s parish: they offered to twin with us. In 2009, three of their parishioners came to Lynn Lake and finished insulating the church basement.

Besides sending volunteer workers free of charge, St. Gertrude parish has set up a fund to which parishioners can contribute. Thus, we periodically receive donations, which are much appreciated as the repairs, heating bills, and other expenses are ongoing.

Our two parishes are forming bonds through prayers and the sharing of experiences. We are quite isolated here being a four-hour drive from the nearest city of Thompson, on a difficult road. We have lost the bus system and the airline.

It is wonderful to know that others care about us. Perhaps parishes elsewhere might consider twinning with a Northern mission church. There are blessings on both sides.

Sister Margaret Sadler, a member of the Sisters of the Child Jesus, is pastoral minister at St. Maria Goretti mission in Lynn Lake, Manitoba, in the Archdiocese of Keewatin-Le Pas.