"A lay Catholic perspective"

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Amen, Hallelujah

by Theresa Burke


GOD IS ALIVE and well and living in Nova Scotia! We know this because we are here to witness it personally, from high up on a hill overlooking the Annapolis Valley and the beautiful Bay of Fundy.

There was no mistaking that this is where God called us, making His intentions so clear as to leave little doubt in our minds. First we found a house that was so affordable that it seemed foolish not to buy it. God even supplied us with the courage to make the purchase sight unseen! Then He arranged for our house and our cars to be sold. I was able to take early retirement from my job and my husband Pius had no choice but to take a leave from his teaching position for medical reasons. With all the obstacles leveled there seemed little else to do but pack up our belongings, say our good-byes and head east.

Since our arrival some eight months ago God's amazing plan for us has been full of some suffering and uncertainty and a wealth of surprises and delights. It was a wrench to separate from our children and our precious grandchild as well as family and friends and the support of our prayer group and church communities. Their prayers and good wishes kept us safe during the long trip, however, and provided reassurance and protection for us as we began this new life of ours. We had to set about meeting people, finding our way around and making contacts with doctors and dentists, grocers and hairdressers, pharmacists and insurance agents. As the local folks say, "It was some scary." This big city girl now shops from the catalogue, picks up her mail from a post office box, and considers the weekly bowling game the ultimate social experience! Anything is possible!

God was still leading us and loving us during that initial phase when we were awkward and frightened and often very lonely and disconnected. We wasted no time finding the wonderful parish of Saint Patrick's where we were welcomed by the congregation and the young charismatic parish priest. To our great joy we were guided to the fledgling Living Waters Prayer Group where it soon began to feel like home. The group appeared to benefit from the infusion of our solid experience gained in Winnipeg with A People of Peace Community. We in turn were edified by their deep love of Jesus in the Eucharist, of his mother Mary and of each other. Before long we were taking a very active role both spiritually and socially with our new friends in the Lord. We were both invited to speak at a Life in the Spirit seminar, I have recently joined the music ministry and Pius has been elected to the leadership team. In the parish we have been invited to be eucharistic ministers as well as other "duties as assigned." And we are always on the lookout for opportunities to share God's love and mercy with our neighbours.

Saying "yes" to God's call to move to Nova Scotia has some decided fringe benefits. He has seen fit to surround us with the splendors of his creation for we live in a place of astonishing natural beauty — the gentle mountains, the rocky seashore, the awesome tides, the glorious sunsets. The panorama that greets me as I look out the window each morning takes my breath away and reminds me anew of how blessed we are.

What else has God in store for us? We can't wait to find out.