Our Faith Stories, Treasures to Share - 2019



Born in Quebec, Ovide Charlebois lived a life of heroic Christian virtue, serving in Saskatchewan, establishing schools and churches in Manitoba, all the while ministering to Indigenous peoples.

In this new Story of Faith, Father Robert Laroche, omi, describes the extraordinary work of a committed missionary, and notes the deep respect bishop Charlebois, the first apostolic vicar of Keewatin, had for Indigenous peoples.

To read the full story, click here or on the photo.

Manitoba born, Father Eugène Raimbault passed away on October 14, 2019 at Domaine Saint-Dominique, Québec.
The son of Pierre Raimbault and of Julienne Hermary, he was born in Saint Boniface on December 30, 1930. 

Ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Saint Boniface on June 13, 1958, Eugène Raimbault served as pastor at Holy Family Parish, Christ the King Parish and Holy Redeemer Parish, where he was the founding pastor.

Many will recall his devotion to Christ and the quality of his leadership, which he ably exercised in the charismatic prayer movement.

Father Raimbault's funeral mass was celebrated at the Saint Boniface Cathedral on Monday, October 28, and presided by Archbishop Albert LeGatt.

In his bilingual homily, Bishop Albert Fréchette recalls Father Raimbault's joie de vivre, as well as dedication as a pastor and openess to the Holy Spirit. Click here to read the full text.

Archbishop emeritus of St. Boniface, Émilius Goulet, was also on hand to give a tribute to "a very good, very kind, very sensitive" priest. Click here to read the full text.


A member of the archdiocesan Ministry of Care committee, Marcel DeGagné is currently training with the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba to become a volunteer facilitator of support groups for people with mental illness.

October 6 to 12 is Mental Illness Awareness Week. In this Story of Faith, Marcel shares his personal struggle with depression. A struggle that has allowed him to deepen his faith and walk with Christ in a meaningful way. To read the full story, click here, or on the photo.


In the crisp fall morning of September 28, 2019, a wonderful collection of around 120 people of various backgrounds, stories and faith arrived at New Life Sanctuary Church in Winnipeg to show their support for life. There were families of all ages, some with many children, taking part in the annual Life's Vision Life Hike.

Nadine Fetherston, Diocesan Co-Cordinator for Marriage, Family and Life, was there. She offers her perspective on this important event. To read the full story, click here, or on the photo.


It's official! The Archdiocese of St. Boniface decreed that the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, in St. Malo, will henceforth be a diocesan sanctuary and the site of the Annual diocesan pilgrimage. Many attended this faith-filled event, held on August 18. Archbishop Albert LeGatt of St. Boniface explains the reasoning behind the decision, and the importance of pilgrimages for our Catholic faith.

To read the complete story, click here, or on photo.

To see pictures of this year's pilgrimage, click here.

The Power of an Image

Unplanned - A Review


The most gripping moment of Unplanned occurs when Abby Johnson, played by Ashley Bratcher, assists with an ultrasound-guided abortion.

For the real-life Planned Parenthood clinic director turned pro-life activist, this is a pivotal moment. The pivotal moment, and a sobering one for viewers as we see a 13-week old unborn human being struggle against the abortionist’s vacuum cannula before its life is violently taken.

To read the complete review, click here, or on photo.

Walking with the Lord - Holy Cross Parish Honours the Great Gift of the Eucharist


For nearly ten years, Holy Cross Parish has celebrated the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ in a particular way, by processing through the streets of Norwood, in Winnipeg.

John Scatliff, the Parish Life Director, and Deacon Gilles Urquhart explain how the love of the Eucharist animates this decision to publicly honour the Lord on this most special Sunday. To read the full story, click here, or on photo.


Hard at Work - A Report from the Manitoba CWL Convention


CWL members from across Manitoba travelled to Thompson, Manitoba to celebrate the 71st Annual Convention of the Manitoba Provincial Council of The Catholic Women’s League of Canada on June 8 & 9, 2019, hosted by St. Lawrence Parish Council and Keewatin-The Pas Diocesan Council.

Susan Bernier and Rolande Chernichan provide a full write-up, which you can read here or by clicking on the photo.



“Oh Lord, here I am. I come to do your will.”


Blues skies greeted the hundreds who came to Saint Boniface Cathedral on June 1st to witness and participate in the solemn and powerful sacramental celebration of Ordination to the Order of Priesthood of Peter Lê Văn Ngữ. Surrounded by his family from Vietnam and the United States, this humble and joy-filled young man unconditionally surrendered his personal desires to be molded into the likeness of Christ, the Supreme High Priest.

Peter's friend, Denise Walleyn, was there. To read her testimonial, click here, or on photo.


Is Nathanael for You?


Since its creation, Nathanael has been helping adult Catholics in our diocese to discover new depths in their relationship with Jesus. This deepening of faith has led Nathanael alumni to become intentional disciples - persons willing to answer our Church’s needs in a committed and concrete way.

Over the course of three years, participants explore spiritual life and prayer, scripture, Church tradition and are invited to greater personal growth and to actively engage as missionary disciples.

Is Nathanael for you?

The following testimonies from alumni of the 2015-2018 Nathanael program could help you find, with the Holy Spirits’ guidance, answer the question, and respond to God’s call… To read, click here or on photo.

Blankets for Warmth


A group of dedicated parishioners of Saints-Martyrs-Canadiens Parish, led by Cécile Bérard, crafted more than 1400 beautiful hand-made blankets, which have been distributed to Syrian children and refugees as a welcome gesture. The cozy blankets have also been given to sick children and other young ones in need to give them warmth and love. Blankets were also given to the children of Northern Manitoba who were victims of forest fires.

In this moving story, Sister Monica Katchang writes how children in seven First Nation Communities were touched by the generosity of Cécile Bérard's team.

To read the full story, click here, or on photo.

First Communion and Confirmation in Sagkeeng First Nation


Saint Alexander Parish Sagkeeng First Nation was in a festive mood on Sunday May 12th, 2019 as 16 candidates had their First Holy Communion and Confirmation. The ceremony was presided by Archbishop Albert LeGatt who was assisted by the pastor of the parish, Fr. Augustine Ezediniru SMMM.
Sister Monica Katchang, HHCJ who together with Sister Calista Ebe, HHCJ prepared the children for the Sacraments presented the candidates to the Archbishop.
It was also Mother’s Day and the mothers and grandmothers received a special blessing from the Archbishop during Mass.
After Mass, there was a potluck feast in the church hall and everyone had something to eat. We thank God for these children of His who have taken this step higher in their spiritual journey and we pray that the Spirit of God will continue to sustain their faith.




What can a Retreat do for You?


Religious retreats come in all sizes, but have one element in common. Participants “pull away” (from the Latin verb “retrecto”) from their usual routine to draw closer to God.

What can a retreat do for you?

Participants in the Easter Triduum retreat, held in April at the Catholic School of Evangelization (CSE) in St. Malo, testify to the power of pulling oneself away from the various activities of daily life in order to rediscover the Lord.

To read the full story, click here, or on photo.

After the Shock- A Clear Message of Hope in the Face of Terrorism


Recent headlines have been hard to bear. On May 12, a group or armed jihadists burned a church down in Burkina Faso, and killed at least six people, including the priest, while the congregation was at Sunday Mass. An event that occurred barely weeks after the Easter Sunday bombings in the Sri Lankan cities of Colombo and Negomba, where Catholic and other Christian churches were targeted by suicide bombers.

But there is hope. Indrajith Sriwanka Gunasekera of Christ the King Parish, organizer of a special Mass for the victims of the April 21st terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka, explains…

For the complete story, click here or on photo.

For Archbishop LeGatt’s message to the Sri Lankan community, click here.


An Outward Sign of An Inner Conviction - The 2019 March for Life


Some 800 people attended the 2019 March for Life, which took place on May 9 in downtown Winnipeg. Catholics from the Archdiocese of St. Boniface, the Archdiocese of Winnipeg and the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg were well represented, as well as other Christians, notably a contingent from Immanuel Christian School.

Archbishop Albert LeGatt, Winnipeg Archbishop Richard Gagnon and Lawrence Huculak, the Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg, were in attendance.

Participants first gathered at the Manitoba Legislative Assembly grounds. Then, after a prayer by Archbishop Gagnon, the March for Life began. The participants crossed Broadway Avenue, marched up Memorial Boulevard then processed on Portage Avenue before returning to the Legislative Assembly.

Gathered at the steps of the Legislative Assembly, the group then heard several pro-life testimonials. Archbishop LeGatt read the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops' message for the 2019 March for Life: "Catholic Bishops and all faithful are united in declaring, as the Church has believed since its beginning, that the "distinctiveness of human life is an absolute good," and that "abortion and euthanasia are extremely grave evils that contradict the Spirit of life and plunge us into the anti-culture of death". Likewise, Pope Francis has recently observed that the "threshold of basic respect for human life is being crossed, and brutally at that, not only by instances of individual conduct but also by the effects of societal choices and structures". Today, the Bishops join their prayers with all those who stand up for life." Bishop LeGatt then led the marchers in prayer.



Forward, Into the Breach! - A Call to Brotherhood


What does it mean to be a Catholic man? How does a Catholic man love? Why is fatherhood, fully understood, so crucial for every man?

These, and other questions, are at the very heart of Into the Breach, the September 2015 apostolic exhortation to Catholic men written by Thomas Olmstead, the bishop of Phoenix. Inspired by this stirring document, Tony Castellano created a program that invites men to meet as brothers to discuss various aspects of the faith from a masculine perspective. Since 2016, Into the Breach has become a movement, touching and deepening the lives of men in the United States and Canada.

To read the full story, click here or on the photo. To read local testimonials on the impact of Into the Breach on men's lives, click here.


Development and Peace Regional Assembly


Development and Peace held its 2019 Regional Assembly at Christ the King Parish in Stonewall, on May 3rd and 4th. Explore some of the highlights of the event here, or click on photo. 

Walking With and For Jesus - The Holy Redeemer Way of the Cross


Some 80 worshipers from Holy Redeemer Parish in Winnipeg and parishes from the Archdiocese of St. Boniface and the Ukrainian Archeparchy of Winnipeg demonstrated their faith by walking the Good Friday Way of the Cross.
"Walking with and for Jesus on Good Friday is a tradition at Holy Redeemer," noted the pastor, Br. Arockiadoss Savurimuthu.
The faithful visited the Douglas Mennonite Church, where they were welcomed with the cross in the church sanctuary. "It's a beautiful tradition of Holy Week," said Pastor Don Rempel-Boschman, "Praying together in recognition of the salvation brought by Christ, what's more unifying?"
Then, the group was welcomed by the faithful of St. Anne Ukrainian Catholic Parish, where they prayed to the Virgin and recited some prayers led by Reverend Father Mark Gnutel. The cross was also presented to the senior shut-ins of Donwood Manor. "I have been a deacon at Holy Redeemer for 25 years, and the Way of the Cross has always been part of our parish life. I'm grateful for the work of the Liturgy Committee, the Knights of Columbus and Father Doss."

Good Friday in Holland - The St. John Berchmans Way of the Cross


"Saint John Berchmans Church, in Holland, Manitoba, celebrated its annual procession of the "Way of The Cross" on Good Friday - April 19, 2019 at 11:30 AM through the streets of the town carrying a wooden cross.

Children, teens, adults and seniors participate with great devotion every year, in order to take part in a small way in the Passion, crucifixion, death and resurrection of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. Attendance was good, and the beautiful weather certainly helped!" Rev. Fr. José Montepeque, Pastor of the Holland Catholic Centre




Historic Church in Richer Sold to Historical Society


The Archdiocese of Saint Boniface is pleased to announce that the historic Église de l’Enfant-Jésus in Richer has been sold to the Corporation du Site Historique Enfant-Jésus for one dollar. The signing of the transfer of property took place on April 17.

For Yvonne Fontaine Godard, president of the Corporation du Site Historique Enfant-Jésus, which runs the Dawson Trail Museum, “With the transfer of property, the dreams of the community of Richer have been realized."

To read the full story, click here or on photo.

A Look at the 2019 Chrism Mass


More than 700 of the faithful attended the Chrism Mass, presided on April 16 by Bishop Albert LeGatt, Archbishop of St. Boniface.

A solemn and intimate event, the Chrism Mass saw Bishop LeGatt bless the oil of the catechumens and the oil for the sacrament of the sick, as well as consecrate the holy chrism, used for baptism, confirmation and the ordination of the priests.

More than fifty priests were on hand to renew their priestly vows. Representatives of the parishes, religious communities and health care institutions were also present to receive the holy oils to bring them back to their respective circles.



Caritas Award Dinner

The Catholic Foundation of Manitoba’s 41st Annual Caritas Award Dinner held on April 11th, 2019 honoured one organization and three individuals who have been exemplars of caring leadership and service in all of Manitoba in the area of Social Justice.

To read the full story, click here, or on photo.

Christus Vivit - An apostolic exhortation for the young and the entire people of God


“Christ is alive and he wants you to be alive!” These are the first words addressed to young people and “the entire people of God” in Christus Vivit, Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, signed on March 25, 2019. The exhortation was inspired by the “wealth of reflections and conversations” of the Synod on Young People of October 2018.

Yssa Licsi, the Youth and Young Adult Ministry Coordinator for the Archdiocese of Saint Boniface, offers some initial comments on a document that she is convinced will take her ministry to a whole new level.

For Yssa Licsi's comments, click here or on photo. 

For a synthesis of Christus Vivit, click here.

For the full version of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, click here.

A First for the Archdiocese of Saint Boniface


Affordable condominiums will see the light of day in Transcona in 2019-2020 on archdiocesan property, site of the former French parish Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption.

The idea of developing the property, located on Leola Street, was originally pitched not long after the closure of the parish on July 31, 2016. Nearly three years later, the project was presented and approved by the East Kildonan-Transcona Community Committee at its March 19 meeting.

With the approval of the project, named Leola Village, plans to subdivide and rezone the property to allow the construction of multi-family units can now move forward.

To read the full story, click here or on photo.

To see architectural drawings of the proposed condominium project, click here.

A Life-Giving Vision for the Way to Live Love


Leah Perrault will be the guest speaker for the upcoming Tri-Diocesan Family Conference (1). In this new Faith story, the mother of four from Saskatoon points out that God is not distant, but very much present and accepting, through the messiness of our daily lives. To read the full story, click here, or on photo.


(1) National Week for Life and the Family: Tri-Diocesan Catholic Family Conference – Saturday, April 6
This year for the National week for Life and the Family, we are pleased to offer a free, enriching Catholic family conference for families: parents, grandparents, children and youth while exploring the theme: “Listening to the Gospel – Renewing the Family Bond”. The conference is on Saturday, April 6, 2019, from 9 am-4pm at the St. Boniface Cathedral Hall, featuring dynamic guest speaker, Leah Perrault. There will be presentations and activities aimed at renewing the family bond while exploring faith and the Gospel today. Donations gratefully accepted. Please register online hereFor more information: Nadine Fetherston mfl2@archsaintboniface.ca or (204)-594-0295. For conference schedule: click here. To view the poster, click here. For a more detailed bulletin insert, click here.


Social Justice: Liberation through Working Together


Sister Lesley Sacouman (SNJM) will be one of the guest speakers at the upcoming Annual Diocesan Social Justice Conference, on March 2nd (1), where she will discuss the joys, challenges and miracles in creating Holy Names House of Peace, home to twenty immigrant and refugee women in downtown Winnipeg. To read the full story, click here or on photo.



(1) Annual Diocesan Social Justice Conference – Saturday March 2, 2019
The Annual diocesan social justice conference will be held at St. Boniface Cathedral from 10 AM to 3:30 PM. Registration at 9:30 AM. Guest speakers: Kevin Gallays (Society of St. Vincent de Paul), Gordon Janzen (Canadian Food Grains), Daniel St Vincent & Charles Gagné (Action Marguerite), Sr. Lesley Sacouman (House of Peace) and Derek Pachal (Jubilee Fund Inc.). Admission is free. Information: Claude Courchaine (courchaine1@gmail.com), Tina Montemayor (monte-falcon@live.com or 431-334-9908) or Louis Balcaen (ljbalcaen@gmail.com, 204-424-5434 or 204-392-7267). To view poster, click here.

 Avoiding the MAID Mindset

In the wake its legalization, in June of 2016, medical assistance in dying (MAID) is becoming more and more normalized. A situation that Katarina Lee, clinical ethicist at St. Boniface Hospital, finds particularly troubling. On March 2nd, at a special free workshop (1), she will speak about the social and medical repercussions MAID, which are of great concern. To read the full story, click here or on photo.

1) Organized by the Marriage, Family and Life Service of the Archdiocese of Saint-Boniface the Free workshop will take place on Saturday, March 2, 2019, from 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM in the Saint Boniface Cathedral Hall. Space is limited, please register online atbit.ly/careplanning1 For more information: mfl2@archsaintboniface.ca or 204-594-0295. To view the poster, click here.


Advance Care Planning and End-of-Life Decisions - What Catholics Need to Know


Thinking about death and dying, or what kind of medical care you want when you are too ill to communicate your wishes, are not comfortable subjects for many.

Katarina Lee, clinical ethicist at St. Boniface Hospital, will be giving a workshop on the topic (1).
She offers Catholics some helpful information about the benefits and pitfalls regarding advance care planning and end-of-life decisions, as well as Medical Aid in Dying. To read the full story, click here or on photo.


1) Organized by the Marriage, Family and Life Service of the Archdiocese of Saint-Boniface the Free workshop will take place on Saturday, March 2, 2019, from 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM in the Saint Boniface Cathedral Hall. Space is limited, please register online atbit.ly/careplanning1 For more information: mfl2@archsaintboniface.ca or 204-594-0295. To view the poster, click here.


On Being a Light to Others


Some forty-five youth ministers from all over Western Canada met in Winnipeg, from January 31 to February 3rd to build connections, grow as leaders and to learn how to better reach out to youths and meet them were they are at.

Organizers and participants take a look back at the annual gathering and AGM of the Western Canadian Association of Catholic Youth Ministers (WCACYM). Read the full story here or click on the photo.


Archbishop's Residence Now a Winnipeg Heritage Building


The City of Winnipeg’s Standing Policy Committee on Property and Development, Heritage and Downtown Development has added the Archbishop’s Residence to its List of Historical Resources at its February 4th meeting.

The new listing will protect the elements of the three-storey building from any modifications that would alter its historical features. To read the full story, click here, or on the photo. To read a brief history of the Archbishop's Residence, click here

A Tribute to Our Religious


Celebrated on February 2nd, World Day for Consecrated Life is an opportunity for the Church to give thanks for the gift of religious life.
In St. Boniface, this day was celebrated with a Taizé prayer service held at the St. Boniface Cathedral. The service acknowledged the particular contribution of the Sisters of Charity of Montreal (Grey Nuns).
During the service, Raymond Lafond, former general manager of the Catholic Health Corporation of Manitoba, gave this bilingual testimonial.


A Sense of God’s Presence, in Silence, Song and Unity


A simple, yet contemplative and profound experience, Taizé prayer is a time to rest in God. Short chants, short scripture readings and silence are the key ingredients of these ecumenical gatherings, where Christians of many traditions can meet to praise God together.

To read about persons of faith who have experienced the grace of Taizé prayer, click here or on photo.

Multilingual Taizé prayer services will take place from 7:00 to 8:00 PM on February 15, March 15, April 12, May 17 and June 21 at the 17 Wing Community Chapel, 2235 Silver Ave, Winnipeg. General Information: 204-833-2500, ext. 6800.              For information poster, click here.


Spreading the joy of the Gospel, one guitar strum at a time


Well known for his love of country and gospel music, Father Armand Le Gal, omi, will once again take guitar in hand to give a concert at a local parish – this time at Christ the King parish on February 9. An event that gives us an opportunity to get to know how music has played a role in his personal and priestly life.

Read the Full Story


On suicide, and helping those who suffer in silence


As Catholics, we used to focus only on the idea of suicide as a mortal sin.  It is still morally wrong and grave matter, but recent research shows however that most suicides are associated with some form of clinical depression.  

For Deacon Gilles Urquhart, who will be giving a talk on suicide at the next Spirit Night, this is a key consideration in how Catholics ought to broach the subject and, more importantly, approach friends, family, parishioners and other people who may be suffering to the point of considering taking their own lives. Read the Full Story 



This feature of our website is meant for us to share the ways in which we live out our Catholic faith through various activities, events, experiences and celebrations. Here we’ll get to know, inspire and encourage one another. May we continue to grow in unity as a family of faith, through the giving and receiving of our parish stories.

To submit a story from your personal perspective of an event or experience, please write a text between 400-500 words, include a title, 2-3 photos for us to choose from to accompany the text, or a video (less than 2 minutes viewing time).

The Archdiocese reserves the right to review the text and approve the subject matter. Approved texts will be published in the Weekly News Bulletin and the diocesan website in the Our Faith Stories: Treasures to Share section.

We thank you for your submission and look forward to spreading the Good News of our faith in Jesus Christ and our Church.

For more information or to submit a story, contact: communications@archsaintboniface.ca