03 Jun Notes From Near and Far: Vancouver
by Kay O’Shea
I arrived in Vancouver in June of last year. I had heard that it rains here all the time, so I couldn’t believe how beautiful a city it is. Trees, grass, and flowers everywhere, as well as the ocean and the mountains. Yes, it does rain and sometimes for a number of days, but then the sun appears, and we are all so happy to see it.
Our house is directly across the street from the parish church, and we have a garden that supplies us with vegetables and, in the summer, salad makings.
MH Vancouver has lots of friends, and I have had the pleasure of meeting many of them, even taking a few trips to Surrey to visit friends from when our house was there.
How do we meet people and make friends? Well, a variety of ways; here’s just one example. We were out walking one Sunday afternoon, when a lady walking her dog stopped to ask us if we were nuns. She said we reminded her of the Sisters who taught her in Hong Kong. We told her who we are and where we live, and she told us about her beloved Maryknoll Sisters.
Since then we have been to tea at her house, and she has lent us an excellent documentary about the Maryknoll Sisters, who served first in mainland China and eventually in Hong Kong.
Emmanuella Kim leads a Bible study for the parents of the children in PREP (a catechetical program in the parish). This was so well received that it was extended to others in the parish as well.
I have been helping with RCIA. We began with two people interested in the faith, and ended up with five. I did some catch-up work with a couple who joined the group in December.
We have also given talks to various groups.
Evelyn Vollet, Service and Justice Director for the archdiocese and a friend of the house, asked if we would help with an Iraqi dinner to be held in our parish hall. (There is an Iraqi community of at least 2000 people living in Surrey.) The dinner was a fund raiser to buy a bus for transporting the children to catechism and other events.
Our part was to sell tickets for the dinner, which we did after the Masses on the weekend.
The dinner was a huge success—financially, socially, and culturally. The food was ample and delicious, and there was singing and dancing, and someone gave a short history of the Chaldeans, the ethnic background of these Iraqis.