First Nations Ministry

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Many of our missionaries serve in hard-to-reach and isolated First Nations communities in the far North. Their ministry allows First Nations peoples to celebrate their Catholic faith within the richness of their own cultural traditions.

Supporting and nurturing current and future lay leaders as well as engaging in cultural and social activities with their communities equip missionaries to respond to God’s call. Sharing human joys, sorrows, longings and problems—and experiencing their suffering—are what lead to the faith, love and peace of Christ.

We need to provide a loving and faithful presence in communities where dire poverty, high unemployment and lack of opportunities can drive hearts close to despair.

Ministry to the Cree Missions: Spreading the Love of Christ

Story and Photos by Anne Hanley

Cadotte Lake is one of three Northern Alberta Cree missions served by Sister Mary Jeanne Davidson, S.S.N.D., and one of six missions ministered to by Father Cornelio Esguerra.

Located about 500 km north of Edmonton and about 80 km east of Peace River, the remote community is home to about 800 people. About 20 km further along the tree-lined road from Cadotte Lake lies Little Buffalo, home of the Lubicon Cree.

Unemployment is high in both communities, and utilities scarce in Little Buffalo where many homes are without running water.

To all in both areas, Sister Mary Jeanne and Father Nel share the love of Christ. “I walk with them in their cultural milieu to bring Jesus,” says Sister Mary Jeanne. “It’s His loving kindness that is most precious and can change a person’s life.”

Anne Hanley is publications and communications officer with Catholic Missions In Canada.