Sunday, March 25, 2007

5th Sunday in Lent

Today was a really good day at church. Lots of folks I hadn't seen for a few weeks were there and everybody seemed to be doing well. Coffee hour was really sociable afterwards too. On Friday, when I told the folks at Cuppers about our Lenten project they got really excited and decided to buy a goat. So here are some of our kids adding a goat to our farm yard.

I spoke in my sermon about Oscar Romero who was martyred 27 years ago yesterday. Back then I was attending a Jesuit parish in Winnipeg and we were really aware of what was happening in El Salvador. One of my profs from the University of Winnipeg went down to El Salvador with a church peace group several times and later his daughter was arrested and thrown in jail there while working with a peace group. So for those of us in that university Christian community the struggle for peace and justice for Salvadorans was very present. Now I am so grateful for the formation that I received then. Fr. Bert Foliot and the Rev. Carl Ridd both had a deep personal faith but it wasn't individualistic or privatized despite being personal. It seems often to be a difficult balance for Christians.

Carl died a few years ago - Dad went to the funeral and said it was incredible. The church was packed and every extra room in the church had a feed to it. He had had an incredible impact on the city, particularly on decades of U of W students. We called students who became Carl's groupies Riddians and they were many in number.

Fr. Foliot continues to be a real mentor to me despite the fact that I probably haven't seen him in twenty years. He works in Northern Ontario I think now and we've only had contact a couple of times over the years, the last time when I was ordained a deacon five years ago. I think of him very often and in moments of dilemma will often ask myself what he did in similar circumstances. I chuckle when I realize that he was only in his 30s back then and I'm now in my 40s. He seemed even then to be a real father figure.

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