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Warm thanks from Our Lady of Victory Mission

Jan 16, 2024 1:31:22 PM

One of the goals of the Bishop's Annual Appeal is to support our local mission parishes.  Gai Campbell, a lay leader at Our Lady of Victory Mission on Gabriola Island, sent this update on how the Appeal has helped their community.

our-lady-of-victory-missionWe never knew her name, but an elderly lady arrived to worship with us on a bitterly cold day in mid-November. The old heat pump had completely died: there we were, cold enough to see our breath, and the frail lady sat with only a sweater for warmth. Sharing this information with Sustainable Gabriola, we saw our need for a new heat pump go from a three-month wait list to only days. It arrived in time for Advent, and we were so grateful! I wonder now if that lady had any idea how God had moved through her.  

OLOV heat pumpThe expense of a new heat pump was a bit daunting for us on our own, but the support of the Diocesan Appeal Fund for Mission subsidies helped make paying for this large expense so much more manageable.

Our mission church in many ways is coming alive. One week a parishioner was up a tall ladder cleaning years worth of leaves from the roof and gutter; a shy musician agreed to play the organ (in piano mode) so we could sing again; another parishioner prepared an Advent wreath for us and then decorated the deck out front; and a beautiful Christmas wreath arrived for the front door. Welcoming, inviting. We are back to sharing the Rosary every week OLOV interiorbefore our Mass or service, and people are coming forward offering to clean, or agreeing to keep a record book for us. Slowly our numbers are increasing and it is a real joy to see two teenage grandsons accompany grandpa to church, and then return, and return again. Three lay people take turns leading in a Communion Service when our priest isn't able to be here, and we all continue to pray for a day when we will have a priest every week. Fr Harrison, a great theologian and pastor, brings us so much to ponder. And we know we are blessed.

These may seem like small victories to a larger church, but for us they mean Life at the centre of our worshipping life. And being able to provide a cozy warm sanctuary is critical if people are going to gather in a historic log church.

We are grateful to St Peter's Parish for remembering us, and the concrete support of the larger Church. Thank you from all of us at Our Lady of Victory on Gabriola Island.

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