Sr. Fay Trombley, a Sister of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC), tells of celebrating new many levels of new life in the high Western Arctic.
Fay Trombley was instrumental in the preparation and celebration. A church historian, she has been pastoral administrator among Inuvialuit indigenous peoples in “Tuk” since late 2005.
When the big day arrived March 15, about 40 people proudly crowded into their newly reconstructed church at Our Lady of Grace mission in Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories. With years of careful planning and hard work, the new church in the high western Canadian Arctic was ready to be consecrated by Bishop Mark Hagemoen of Mackenzie-Fort Smith.
The two-hour eucharistic liturgy also included baptisms, a first eucharist, confirmations and presentations.
During the celebration, people clapped as newly baptized brothers John Tedjuk (photo left) and Darryl Tedjuk (right) held up two pieces of stained glass sent as a gift from the Sisters for the new church. Earlier, the German-made glass was removed from St. Vincent’s Chapel when the former SCIC motherhouse was deconstructed in Saint John, New Brunswick.
Sister Anita Holmes represented the SCIC and expressed greetings prepared by Sister Mary Beth McCurdy, SCIC congregational leader. She said all the Sisters were with the people in spirit and noted that March 15 marked the feast of St. Louise de Marillac, partner in mission with St. Vincent de Paul. The spirit of St. Vincent is very present in Tuk through the ministry and spirituality of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, she added.
About 75 years ago, missionary brothers and priests belonging to the Oblates of Mary Immaculate established Our Lady of Grace Church and mission. When the aging church became unsafe, Sister Fay temporarily held “house church” liturgies in her home. Now she says God is stirring new life and faith in the northern community. (Photo: Dorothy Loreen)