Greetings to you and your loved ones:
Greetings to you during this late Advent time in preparation for Christmas. The picture is the parish crèche for Ascension Parish here in Parksville/Qualicum where I am now. Today we woke up to snow and it was a mess on the roads with the power out too. I arrived in August to the parish for the second time as I was here thirteen years ago for five and a half years. It felt like coming home the first weekend I was here though I am that much older and the parishioners too. The children from the past are grown up and many have moved on though I have seen some of them and now they have their own families.
In last years Christmas letter I was in Fort Nelson already for the year and a half and at the time knew I would be coming back home to the Island in the summer, but not sure to which parish and community. It is not often that one returns to a parish where they have been at already. I returned to a warm welcome so I must have done something right and parishioners have said it is good to have me back. It has been an adjustment for me as Ascension Parish is much busier and larger than when I was here before. The previous two parishes of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Fort Nelson and St. Rose of Lima Parish in Sooke were smaller and a quieter way of life. It is a five - year appointment in the parish and I look forward to settling in as the weeks and months go bye. I have many memories of my time up in Northern BC and the Yukon a special experience that I was fortunate to have as the diocese loaned me for the two years to the Whitehorse Diocese.
Coming back home to the Island and here at Ascension Parish brings me closer to my family in Comox an hour away. The parents are in their mid to late eighties and they both have had challenges lately with their health as they age. My sister Patricia and uncles are also in Comox. My sister Cathy and family is across the straight south of Powell River, and brothers Ken and family in Mission and Jim and his daughters in New Westminister and youngest sister Pauline and her family in Abbotsford. The first photo is the installation in the parish late October. The second photo is a 25th anniversary gift from the priests with their signatures and it says Acceptance.
Blessings Fr. Mike