Saturday, August 1, 2009

Saskatchewan Interlude: A Day in Regina

Today I was up and at it very early, leaving Pedro Arrupe Jesuit Community in Toronto at 6:30 with Brother John Olney. It would be a day of flying, walking/driving around Regina and finally a 3-hour bus ride on Saskatchewan Transport Company's semi-express service to Saskatoon on which there is wi-fi service which allows me to compose this text.

The Air Canada flight was smooth and we added early; on arrival I met Msgr. Don Bolan, who had been on the flight and who today becomes pastor of the parish in Balgonie and Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Regina.

Paul Harasen, who had been my student at Campion College, the Jesuit school at the University of Regina some twenty years ago (1988-89) and is now a lawyer and the single father of two lively boys (Luke and Mark), met me at the airport and drove me to the home of Velma and Lorne, his parents, who recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

Then all who were assembled enjoyed a lovely lunch before going out on an expedition to Chapters and Walmart. Later Paul and I went for an extended walk around Lake Wascana, near the Saskatchewan Parliament. It brought back fond memories of my year as the Daniel Hannin Visiting Professor, a year in which I learned (kind of) to curl and enjoy other winter activities on the Prairies.

Now, I am en route to the Annual General Meeting of the Board of Directors of Catholic Christian Outreach, a lay missionary enterprise to evangelize our university campuses across Canada.

CCO was founded at the University of Saskatchewan twenty years ago and more than fifty students from colleges and universities across Canada are engaged in missionary formation and evangelizing in the Saskatoon Diocese, its seed bed. I will be staying with Most Reverend Albert LeGatt, recently named as Archbishop-elect of St. Boniface (Manitoba).

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