Posted April 17, 2013 in MH Regina SK:
Notes From Near and Far: Regina, Saskatchewan

by Nancy Topping.

I thought it was about time that we sent you some news from our house.

This has been a real prairie winter. November is on record for having the most snow for that month in the history of Regina. We have also had stretches of very cold temperatures, the coldest being around –40 C (-40 F).

In mid-November, in the midst of all this snow and cold, we warmly welcomed our three directors general from Combermere who came for what is called "a visitation" (an official visit from the general "superiors" of a community).

It had been eight years since the last visitation, and it was a time of great blessing for us.

Now we are in the process of praying and talking together and discerning what God has said to us through the visitation and is continuing to say.

One thing we looked at was the spiritual hunger in people at this current time. When we opened our house almost fifty years ago, there was a lot of physical hunger.

Now, though the need for food has not disappeared, it has lessened, and, through various organizations that did not exist in the past, more food is available to the people we serve in our soup kitchen.

In view of this, our directors indicated that we could start by praying and being open to making changes to our Saturday schedule. We have a variety of groups of volunteers coming on Saturdays, a good number of them young people.

In the past couple of months, we’ve been trying different things on Saturdays. We’ve continued the noon meal, but tried not opening for coffee in the morning. This has enabled us to have spiritual reading and some reflection time with our volunteers.

Then last month, after we had begun this, I received a phone call from the pastor of the Anglican cathedral downtown, saying that their parish wanted to open on a Saturday for coffee and lunch.

They have now made this a regular commitment: every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month, they will open their church for coffee, lunch, and a warm place for people to go.

This was the beginning of a friendship with this parish. On the Saturdays they are open, our volunteers make sandwiches and bring them to their church as an addition to their lunch. And on the Saturdays they are not open, we are continuing to serve our noon meal.

With less time now needed for food preparation, we are ready to respond to more requests to provide spiritual food. For instance, this month we had an open house at which a few of us gave our witness talks, and other similar presentations are on our schedule as well.

It seems to us like the Holy Spirit is involved in all of these changes.

Two of us, Michael Amaral and Veronica Ferri, along with Joanne Kuntz from Marian Centre Edmonton, took part in the CCO Rise Up Conference (for university students) in Saskatoon.

At the end of January, we often try to do something spiritually restoring. This year, one of us went to Marian Centre Edmonton to take part in their life. A couple of us went to the Trappist monastery in Holland, Manitoba. And one of us stayed home and "kept the home fires burning."


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