Grouard-McLennan Archbishop Gérard Pettipas, C.Ss.R.

Alberta missionary bishop headlines Tastes of Heaven gala

  • May 2, 2011

TORONTO - Grouard-McLennan Archbishop Gérard Pettipas, C.Ss.R., headlines Catholic Missions In Canada's 10th anniversary Tastes of Heaven Gala May 5.

Pettipas will be  the event's keynote speaker at the dinner to be held at the Paramount Event Centre in Woodbridge, Ont. The annual dinner helps to raise funds for the Catholic Church in Canada's missionary territories.

Pettipas will recount the faith journeys of the First Nations peoples living in Northern Alberta missions. He said in Canada's northern dioceses, “the needs of doing ministry are greater than the revenue that we take in to be able to serve those places.”

Many are isolated by distance and other missionary bishops have spoken of the challenge priests face in celebrating Mass in these communities.

“It involves a fair bit of travel and yet people count on this for some spiritual sustenance,” Pettipas told The Catholic Register.

“The support that people provide is a spiritual support, it's a financial support that allows those diocese to have very northern communities, especially isolated ones, to have some kind of (religions and spiritual) service.”  

Also at the gala, three missionaries serving Canada's North will receive the St. Joseph's Award: Sr. Bernadette Gautreau and Sr. Jeannette Berger of the Sisters of Sainte-Chretienne, who minister among the Cree on the Little Red River reserve in northern Alberta, and Fr. Joseph Baril, O.M.I., who has spent more than 57 years working in missions, including 25 years living among the Cree of James Bay of northern Ontario and another quarter century among the Inuit of Northern Quebec.

Catholic Missions In Canada was established in 1908. It provides more than $4 million each year to provide the sacraments and keep churches open in poor and isolated mission across Canada.

For information, call (416) 934-3424 or 1-866-937-2642.

Tastes of Heaven Gala 2011

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