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Hearst Diocese Returns the Blessings to Sr. Enid

On May 30, 2009, Bishop Vincent Cadieux (pictured right in the center) presented the Diocesan Merit Award to Sr. Enid Selke with Father Fernande Villeneuve, pastor of St. Patrick's Church, at hand. The following is Bichop Cadieux's address to the congregation as he presented this award:

"The Diocese of Hearst, from time to time, chooses to award The Diocesan Merit Award to one who has made a difference in the Diocese.

"When speaking with various persons throughout the Diocese and especially with the parishioners of St, Patrick's Parish I heard great praise for all the work Sister Enid is doing for the spirituality of each person. The Adult Education for the English-speaking Catholics in our Diocese is vibrant and growing.

"Further, they have informed me how it is that Sister Enid became, and is, such an integral part of St. Patrick's and the Diocese of Hearst.

"More than twenty years ago, the need for someone to guide the spiritual growth of the English-speaking Catholics was evident. The first meeting to discuss this need was held on Oct. 18, 1980. Following the seventh such meeting on June 11, 1983, a questionnaire was put out in St. Patrick's Church and the majority agreed that a sister would be the answer to fill this need. A query went out to many religious orders and 'lo and behold' they received ONE response...and that was from you, Sister Enid Selke CSJ, who was presently in San Antonio, Texas. Can you imagine, from beautiful, balmy weather in the Southern USA to Kapuskasing, with winter fast approaching! So, on Sept. 29. 1983 a Contractual Agreement between the 'Sisters of St. Joseph of the Diocese of Toronto in Upper Canada' and the 'Episcopal Corporation of the Diocese of Hearst' was signed and St. Patrick's Parish now had a Sister of St. Joseph, namely, Sister Enid Selke CSJ. To our delight Sister Mary [Hrankaski] accompanied Sister Enid and we had two sisters to enrich our spiritual lives.

"St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Faith Community benefited from Sister Enid's responsibilities, expertise in organizing varied growth programmes, the enlivening of spirituality and initiative in meeting the spiritual needs through programmes such as: Mini-Synod, Renew and various Adult Faith Education Courses. These various activities demonstrated to Bishop Roger Despatie how this would enrich the English-speaking people of the seven parishes of the Diocese. He said to Chairperson Marion Rondeau and Diocesan Pastoral Council Members, 'Do whatever has to be done and I will support you.' Sister Enid became the Animator of Ministry to the English-speaking people of the Diocese of Hearst.

"1988 saw the building of the Frank J. Selke Memorial Resource Centre...now this would really help with Sister Enid's initiative and drive in presenting even better quality programmes. Also, an accessible library for the use of all the English-speaking people of the Diocese. As a bonus, the handicapped would have access to all these resources because now it had an elevator.

"Some of the programmes of which we have benefited from are:

  • Scripture Studies
  • Alpha, with Reverend Nicky Gumble
  • Catholicism 101, with Father James Mallon
  • Native Outreach
  • Prayer Group Gatherings
  • Evening Seminars
  • Twilight Retreats
  • Liturgy
  • Sacramental Preparation
  • Catholic Women's League - speaker at both local and Diocesan conventions

"At one point or another Sister Enid has been active in each and every different Parish Organization.

"On behalf of the Diocese, I am pleased to present you, Sister Enid, with this award for your generous contributions towards the spiritual development of our Parishes and Diocese.

"Sister Enid, we honour you
for the many years of human devotion
and spiritual gifts you have given and continue
to share with the English sector of
the Diocese of Hearst and
the Parish of St. Patrick.

"For over twenty years you have been
dedicated to the pastoral formation and
spiritual enrichment of the many
people seeking guidance.

"We acknowledge your exceptional
contribution toward the spiritual
development of the parishioners
by presenting to you the
Diocesan Merit Award

"May the Lord bless you
And keep you in his love always."

May 31, 2009
Vincent Cadieux OMI
Bishop - Diocese of Hearst

When asked how she felt receiving this award, Sr. Enid expressed thanks to everyone involved and said, "I feel incredulous, honoured and humbled to have been chosen to receive this award... The past 25 years of ministry here in the north, for me, have been challenging, enriching, fulfilling and even difficult at times. However, I have kept busy doing what I love to do: teaching, dreaming, searching, out-reaching, finding new horizons to bring to others the good news of God's unconditional love for us and his hunger for our return of that love to him... Imagine getting a Merit Award for what you love to do!"

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