Long-awaited celebration with Archbishop at “undaunted” Innisfail parish after tragic loss

28 November 2023

Appears in: Archdiocesan News

Over the weekend of November 26, Archbishop Richard Smith made a pastoral visit to the community of Our Lady of Peace in Innisfail

This was an especially significant visit, as this was the first time that the community has been able to celebrate in person with Archbishop Smith, after the rebuilding of their Our Lady of Peace Parish due to a tragic fire that destroyed the previous church building 2018.

A new Our Lady of Peace parish was rebuilt by a committed community.

Archbishop Smith celebrated Mass with Innisfail pastor Fr. Curtis Berube on the Solemnity of Christ the King at the rebuilt parish. During his homily Archbishop Smith marked the connection between Christ the King and the victorious return of this parish, after the challenges of both a fire and the difficulties of rebuilding during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It is clear that the world needs to see what yielding. . . to Christ looks like. I must say that, because of what I have witnessed this weekend, this parish can serve as such a model.,” said Archbishop Smith.

Archbishop Smith blesses Innisfail parishioners during a pastoral visit,

The Archbishop went on to say,

“Think of what you have been through in recent years. Your church was so damaged that it needed to be replaced. Just as you began to fundraise, COVID hit. Yet, undaunted you continued to give of yourselves for your church, and now have this beautiful structure. That is yielding the right of way to Christ. Through a variety of parish ministries, you maintain the structure, celebrate beautiful liturgy, and reach out towards those in need. Think also of your pastoral care of the homebound, your desire to work with the town to address homelessness, your reverse collections in support of the foodbank and needy children, and your decision to contribute a portion of the funds raised for the church to other charitable needs, even though you could have used every dollar collected. That all represents yielding the right of way to our Lord. ‘Just as you did it to one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it to me.’ You are a model of what surrender to the reign of Christ looks like, and I am edified by your example.”

Thank you to the pastor of Our Lady of Peace, Fr. Curtis Berube, and the entire parish community for hosting the Archbishop!

For more pictures of Archbishop Smith’s visit to Innisfail, view on our Facebook.