Posted October 14, 2005 in MH Edmonton AB:
Notes from Near and Far: Edmonton, Alberta

by Gloria Lawton, Marian Centre Edmonton.

It seems that God wants young people to touch and be touched by our house here, for we have had an increase of young adults coming to help in the soup kitchen or to share our lives for a few days.

Twenty-six students and staff from the John Paul II Bible School in Radway, Alberta, for example, spent the first three days of Holy Week with us last spring. After that some of them came for a poustinia or overnight on their way hither and yon.

As a result of this contact with our house, a few of them spent some time in Combermere this summer.

We have also had a number of high school students come for the day with their teachers to help in the soup kitchen. Some of the teachers bring their classes every year.

For most of the teens, it is their first contact with the Brothers Christopher.

Some of the teens are quite apprehensive about what to expect, and I am impressed with Daniel Rabideau’s sensitivity to them as he explains some of what might occur in the dining room and how they should move with it. But when they meet them, many of the teens are struck by the smiles the men give them and by their gratitude for the food.

Every day we have mid-morning tea with the volunteers who come, and we read to them a selection from the writings of Catherine Doherty. Chuck Sharp usually leads it, and one can usually sense the working of the Holy Spirit through the reading and the through the discussion and sharings that follow it.

Whenever I lead it, I am reminded of the riches of Madonna House spirituality that I have been given.

Let me tell you about one day in Marian Centre—thankfully, not a typical one. It was a particularly busy day for the three of us working in the soup kitchen, since there was a shortage of volunteers. Then for Mass and supper we had company—two Ghanaian priests and one Ghanaian layman.

Immediately after supper, two of us left to attend meetings, leaving only four people at home. Those four had just finished dishes when the doorbell rang.

It was 20 people from an RCIA group who were scheduled to come on the following Thursday. They had come the wrong night!

An evening program was quickly pulled together. Chuck gave the introductory talk; Joe Hogan gave his witness talk, Jude Fischer gave a tour of the house, and Nikola Kanachowski served refreshments. Patrick Stewart arrived home in time to lead night prayer.


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