Father Lacombe was assigned as ‘Chaplain’ to the Canadian Pacific Railway work camps east of Winnipeg in 1880 by Archbishop Taché and for two years his ‘Sacred Heart Mission’ followed the progress of the construction as it moved west.
William C. Van Horne, Chief Engineer of the CPR, describes his introduction to Fr. Lacombe: “Near the Lake of the Woods one morning in 1882 I saw a priest standing on a flat rock, his crucifix in his right hand and his broad hat in the other, silhouetted against the rising sun… It was a scene never to be forgotten and the noble and saintly countenance of the priest brought it to me that it must be Fr. Lacombe of whom I had heard so much; and it was.”
Fr. Lacombe was already a legend to the CPR owners but he was equally in awe of them and the project they were undertaking. He was also keenly aware of the monumental impact the railway would have on the North West.
In his book, simply titled, Father Lacombe, author James MacGregor records the priest’s words: “I would look long in silence at that road coming on — like a band of wild geese in the sky — cutting its way through the prairies; opening up the great country we thought would be ours for years. Like a vision I could see it driving my poor Indians before it, and spreading out behind it the farms, the towns and the cities you see today.”
An entry in Fr. Lacombe’s journal about this time gives us an indication of his state of mind: “My God, send me back again to my old Indian missions… I am longing for that!” His prayers would soon be answered. Although he was not a fan of the rowdy conduct of the work crews, they obviously liked him… when he left, they chipped in to buy him a ‘horse and wagon’ outfit to take him back to St. Albert!
In 1882, Fr. Lacombe’s hopes were finally realized and Bishop Grandin of St. Albert appointed him Superior of the Southern Missions, based in Calgary.
His first priority was to make plans for the expansion of buildings at “Our Lady of Peace,” soon to be known as St. Mary’s, and to visit each reserve to assess its needs. It wasn’t long, however, before he was involved in more critical events of national importance.
By 1883, construction of the CPR had passed Medicine Hat and it was on its way to Calgary. The ‘right of way’ was infringing on the Blackfoot Reserve boundaries. Crowfoot and his fellow chiefs were threatening to resist any trespassing on their land… violence was possible.
When the government hesitated to act, Fr. Lacombe came to the rescue, taking advantage of his friendly relationship with Crowfoot. Without getting government approval first, he brought gifts and food out to the reserve and negotiated a land swap so that the tribe would be satisfied. The Canadian government happily complied with Fr. Lacombe’s compromise to keep the peace, and the directors of the CPR were grateful as well that construction would continue unimpeded.
When railway construction finally reached Calgary, Fr. Lacombe was invited to a luncheon with all the CPR executives in their dining car. To honour his contribution to the ongoing construction of the railway, President George Stephen resigned his leadership of the company and Fr. Lacombe was voted as honorary President of the CPR for one hour! He took immediate advantage of his situation and assigned himself two free passes on the trains, free freight for the Oblate Missions, and free use of the telegraph wires, for life!
Pastoral Care is the unconditional caring response to the lonely, shut-ins, the sick and dying to meet their spiritual needs, being respectful of their own religious beliefs and practice. This course will introduce you to the basic visiting skills for visiting in the health care facilities or parish.
Pastoral Care Course Start-up Information
Spring Session - 7 Thursday Evenings - May 4-June 15, 2017.
St. Bernadette's Parish: 7103 - 20-A Street SE, Calgary
Course cost is $50.00. Registration is on first-come basis. You must be able to attend the first session. All other sessions are also mandatory, however, they can be made up if you have to miss one. Your course binder and your receipt will be issued at the first class. Please bring something to write with to the sessions.
You can register in two ways:
1) Online. Click here to register online. You will also need to complete the Pastoral Care Education Registration Form. You can download it from the second box on the right. It can be returned by one of the methods indicated on the form.
2) Via Mail. Use the Pastoral Care Registration Form and send it in with a a cheque for $50.00 payable to "RC Bishop of the Diocese of Calgary" to the address below.
Thank you for your interest in Pastoral Care Education. Please remember to submit your manual Registration Form to complete your registration.
For more information contact Alicia at 403-218-5501, or e-mail email@example.com
Interested in Furthering your Pastoral Care Education?
If you are interested in furthering your Pastoral Care Education but find it difficult to attend a college or university, CPSP.org offers online programs that could be just what you are looking for. The College of Pastoral Supervision & Psychotherapy (CPSP) has been in existence since 1995. CPSP is an international, theologically-based covenant community dedicated to "Recovery of Soul."
CPSP offers credentials such as:
- Diplomate in Pastoral Psychotherapy
- Diplomate in Pastoral Supervision
- Pastoral Counselor
- Associate Pastoral Counselor
- Board-Certified Clinical Chaplain
- Board-Certified Associate Clinical Chaplain
- Clinical Fellow in Hospice & Palliative Care
- Associate Hospice & Palliative Care
- Clinically-Trained Minister
For more information, visit www.CPSP.org
Please note: this program is not a substitute for the prerequisite Diocesan Pastoral Care Course that enables parishioners to partake in Pastoral Care within the Diocese of Calgary.
Parishes can access a series of Marriage Enrichment programs through the Life and Family Resource Centre of the Diocese. These programs are tailored to the needs of the parish hosting such an event. Please contact us for more information by calling 403-218-5505 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Marriage Encounter?
It is a weekend experience that gives married couples the opportunity to learn a technique of loving communication that they can use for the rest of their lives. It's a chance for them to look deeply into their relationship with each other and with God. It's a time to share their feelings, hopes and dreams with each other. The weekend provides a conducive environment for couples to spend time together, away from the distractions and tensions of everyday life, while encouraging them to focus on each other and their relationship.
Marriage Encounter is not a retreat, not a marriage clinic, not group sensitivity, and not a substitute for counseling. It is a time for you and your spouse to be alone together, to rediscover each other and to focus on your relationship for an entire weekend. Every marriage deserves that kind of attention. For more information, please consult the Marriage Encounter website at at www.wwmecalgary.weebly.com.
Retrouvaille is a program for married couples experiencing difficulty which consists of a weekend and several follow-up sessions.
On the weekend, a series of in depth presentations are given to all participating couples. Each presentation, given by three married facilitator couples and a priest, focuses on a specific area of marital relationship. After each presentation, you will have a chance to reflect on it by yourself, then discuss it with your spouse in complete privacy. The weekend is not a spiritual retreat, not a sensitivity group, not a seminar, nor is it a social gathering. You will not be asked to share your problems with anyone.
Upon registration a $200.00 non-refundable fee is due. The balance of the program cost is a free-will offering at the end of the weekend.
Upcoming Event: A Lifeline for Marriages. Two people are joined together in marriage. Along life's journey, we may lose our way and start to grow apart. Retrouvaille provides a "road map" to help us find our way again by teaching communication skills and providing the tools to improve our relationships.
The next Retrouvaille weekend will be held on September 8-10, 2017.
Support for adults and children who are experiencing separation/divorce in their family and a program helping separated/divorced parents improve their co-parenting relationship.
A 15-week non-denominational, peer support program for those who are separated / divorced. Participants meet once a week to reflect on and discuss topics outlined in a handbook. Individuals have the opportunity, if they wish, to share their story with others. Issues presented by participants during the meetings are held in confidence.
Topics of discussion include: “The Process of Divorce”; “Self Image/Self Esteem”; “Dealing with Stress, Anger, Guilt, Blame & Loneliness”; “Forgiveness”; “Fractured Families Can Be Whole”; “Growth after Divorce”; “Single Again—But Still a Parent”; “Children in Blended Families”; “The Declaration of Nullity” (annulment process). Transitions is offered twice a year, beginning in September and in February. The group size is limited to 20 participants and 4 facilitators.
Our next program will begin in the Fall of 2017 at the Catholic Pastoral Centre, 120 - 17th Avenue SW.
Registration is required. Please phone 403-218-5505 or 403-218-5504 or email email@example.com.
A non-denominational, educational program for separated and divorced parents to help raise their children through this difficult time and increase the understanding of needs of children for developing self-esteem and security. It will offer skills about managing diverse shared parenting situations and provide strategies for improving communication, resolving conflict, and managing day to day children’s issues between parenting partners.
Parents are encouraged to attend separately.
The next 5-week program will be offered 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm on Wednesdays, May 3-31, 2017 at the Catholic Pastoral Centre, 120 - 17th Avenue SW, Calgary.
For more information or registration contact the Life & Family Resource Centre at 403-218-5505 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary is honoured to welcome the Most Reverend Bishop William T. McGrattan as our eighth Bishop.
Bishop McGrattan was born in London, Ontario. His Excellency received his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Western Ontario, followed by a Master of Divinity from St. Peter’s Seminary in London. Bishop McGrattan was ordained to the priesthood on May 2, 1987, with the Diocese of London. Following three years of service with St. Joseph’s Parish in Chatham, Bishop McGrattan continued his studies in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he received a Licentiate in Fundamental Moral Theology in 1992. Bishop McGrattan served on the faculty of St. Peter’s Seminary in London as an associate professor, vice-rector, and dean of theology and was appointed as rector of the Seminary in 1997. He was ordained to the episcopate as Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto in 2009.
The Diocese is very much looking forward to celebrating Bishop McGrattan’s Installation Mass on Monday, February 27, 2017 at St. Mary’s Cathedral at 7:30 pm.
Special guests, including the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, have been invited to celebrate this special Mass alongside our own Diocesan Priests, Deacons, other Religious and members of the laity. We expect more than 1,000 people to be in attendance at this special occasion in our Diocese. We will also have a live stream over the internet through our Diocesan Website at www.calgarydiocese.ca. Please contact your parish as many are organizing viewing parties for the evening of February 27.
This is a ticketed event. Three hundred tickets were made available on the morning of February 7. The tickets were reserved in 30 minutes. The Diocese is carefully monitoring numbers to see if more tickets can be made available. The link below will be re-activated at that time.
Questions can be sent to INSTALLATION@CALGARYDIOCESE.CA.