Communities brave the cold for Archbishop Smith visit to Fort Saskatchewan and area

24 January 2024

Appears in: Archdiocesan News

“The world needs the message of the Gospel, and there is nothing more exciting or purposeful than to have a share in its transmission.”

This was the message that Archbishop Richard Smith conveyed during one of the many homilies that he offered during his pastoral visit to Fort Saskatchewan and the surrounding communities of Skaro, St. Michael, Redwater, Lamont and Gibbons Jan. 13-14 and Jan. 19-21.

Archbishop Smith celebrates Mass at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church in Fort Saskatchewan.

Archbishop Smith celebrated six Masses during the various stops on his itinerary. On Jan. 13-14, Archbishop Smith visited Fort Saskatchewan and the area amid record cold snap of -40 C weather. It was an opportunity to use the weather as a teaching tool.

“His Grace gave a wonderful homily, sharing about how the delays that are caused by such extreme weather offer a metaphor for how the coming of Christ, the Lamb of God, changes the disciples’ plans. The Gospel demands a reaction from us!,” said Father Carlos Nunez, pastor of Our Lady of the Angels parish in Fort Saskatchewan and the other surrounding mission parishes.

Father Carlos Nunez with Archbishop Smith and parishioners from Fort Saskatchewan and area.

During his stay in Fort Saskatchewan, Archbishop Smith had the opportunity to visit the Fort Saskatchewan Correctional Centre, where he met with inmates and celebrated the Liturgy of the Word service with 25 inmates as part of his visit.

“We had a tour of the prison, we saw their woodworking shop, as well as the opportunity to speak with some of the guards and connect with the prison chaplain,” said Father Nunez, who accompanied the Archbishop.

Archbishop Smith also visited two senior care centers, the Lamont Beaver Hill Pioneer Lodge and the Dr. Turner Lodge, a retirement home in Fort Saskatchewan, where he celebrated the Sacrament of the Sick and had a time of conversation with the residents.

Archbishop Smith anoints a resident of the Dr. Turner Lodge in Fort Saskatchewan during a celebration of the Sacrament of the Sick.

In his Sunday, Jan. 21 homily, Archbishop Smith described the mandate to proclaim the Gospel with a metaphor that resonates with many Albertans who have been conserving electrical energy during a stretch of frigid weather.

“Jesus is calling us to be part of his communication grid,” Archbishop Smith preached to the communities of St. Michael and Gibbons.

Archbishop shared a meal with parishioners from Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Gibbons.

“The grid that carries electricity to us is an integrated network of energy sources, power stations, and transmission lines. What brings the Word of God to us and the world is the wonderfully intertwined complex formed by the Bible, the teaching of the Church, and the witness of believers.”

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