Healing and Reconciliation Conference 2010

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OMI Lacombe

04 Jun2 2010, Volume 7, Number 18

(Submitted by Ed MacNeil, OMI)

The Kateri Native Ministry of Ottawa hosted its 12th Annual Healing and Reconciliation Conference at the Marguerite Centre, Pembroke, Ontario, on the weekend of May 21-23.  More than eighty Native people, with a few non-Natives, from Quebec, New Brunswick, Ottawa, Toronto and as far west as the Thunder Bay Diocese, came for the occasion.

The Conference opened with the Lighting of the Sacred Fire, the Grand Entry of All Nations and the Smudging Ceremony.  The weekend was replete with praise and worship, songs of faith and joy echoing throughout the Centre. A lively song and a prayer of blessing over the presenter preceded each presentation.

Fr. Daryold Winkler, CSB (Ojibway Nation) gave the opening presentation on the theme: Church: Healing. Special guest for the weekend, and presenter on Saturday morning, was Chief Wilton Littlechild of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. His lively presentation, as with Fr. Daryold, was a challenge for us to renew our faith in the person of Christ and put into daily practice the message that He gave us. That same morning, Dr. John Medicine Horse Kelly, of the Haida Nation, continued on the theme of a lively faith in Christ, how He embraced all cultures and how we are to bear witness to Christ in our daily lives. The faith of all the presenters was a challenge to those present to examine his/her life “in Christ”.
Madeline Blundon, of the Cree Nation, gave a presentation on the Four Directions and led a worship service based on this powerful pattern of prayer. 

Blake Kwatiash represented the Native youth of Thunder Bay and presented several songs, with a focus on Blessed Kateri. Kateri Native Music of Ottawa and the Sagamok Music Ministry supplied the music during our time together.

Present, representing the Oblates of OMI Lacombe, were Ed MacNeil, OMI (Ottawa) and Vaughan Quinn, OMI (Toronto). Native deacons in attendance and assisting at the liturgies were Clyde Cooke (Ojibway Nation) and Victor Pelletier (Thunder Bay).
The fruit of this weekend, and the shared, lived experiences of the past ten Conferences, were witnessed to by many who felt the power of the Holy Spirit enter and change their lives. Personal healing and the desire to bring the healing of the Holy Spirit to others, were causes for joy and hope in our future together.

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