Completing assigned chores and caring for younger members of the family was the order of the day. Without realizing it, we developed a sense of community living where each person accepted some measure of responsibility for the well-being of others.
My parents were the key people in my human and spiritual development. With their guidance, I learned the need for honesty, hard work, care of others, and the value of education. So it was not surprising that, when I reached high-school age, they sent me to board with a family in Corner Brook, Newfoundland so that I could attend Regina High School which was conducted by the Christian Brothers. The Brothers made a great impression on me with their excellent teaching, generous use of their time, and their joyful approach to life. Since I wanted to be a teacher, I requested admission to the Congregation of Christian Brothers at the end of high school and entered the Novitiate in September 1963.
In 1967 I began my journey in active ministry by teaching junior high school. Over the ensuing decades I would serve as a teacher and administrator in various parts of Canada. From 1990 till 1994 I served with two other brothers in province leadership. These were very challenging years for all of us in Canada.
In 2006 I was accepted into the Clinical Pastoral Education Program at St Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. Over the next two years I completed the program requirements and was granted advanced standing with the Canadian Pastoral Care Association. The program followed an Action-Reflection-Action model and provided me with ministry skills and a deepened sense of self-awareness. Since 2007 I have been employed as a pastoral caregiver in an extended care facility. Accompanying the frail, elderly people of God to complete their earthly journey is a deeply humbling ministry.
My life has been blessed in so many ways, but most especially with the wonderful people who have been friends, supporters, and mentors. My religious brothers, members of my own family, and friends from the wider community have blessed me with their wisdom, insight, encouragement and love. God bless them all with his unfailing love.
published March 2011