Christmas in Thompson
At Christmas, the Halleluia chorus will ring in our hearts because our former pastor is coming to celebrate Christmas with us.
Thompson, the third largest city of Manitoba, is a nine hour bus ride north of Winnipeg. Approximately half of our population is composed of First Nations people. Currently we have no resident priest. We celebrate on Sundays with our lay presiders, and once a month with a missionary priest who comes for Eucharist and to leave consecrated hosts.
During Advent, we place an un-decorated Christmas tree at the front of the church and during the Sunday celebration the children bring up new toys for the poor and place them under the Christmas tree. The toys and the non-perishable food left in the boxes at each entrance are taken to the Salvation Army who prepares Christmas hampers and gifts for the less fortunate of our city.
At Christmas, the Halleluia chorus will ring in our hearts because our former pastor is coming to celebrate Christmas with us. I’ll make Christmas dinner for the missionary priests and Sisters of northern Manitoba. We usually also invite widows or those without families here as well. (Pictured above are, from left to right, Br. Tom Novak OMI, Fr. Eugene Whyte, Sr. Andrea Dumont and Bishop Sylvain Lavoie.) Due to the travel involved and the late arrival of the missionaries, we feast on Boxing Day. Though the night of the 25th, we meet at our place and Santa gives each a Christmas stocking with tiny wrapped gifts. Of course, we’ll sing carols, have munchies and laughter surrounded by a Christmas tree, a crib and a DVD of a fireplace. It will be an evening of joy and relaxation for our tired missionaries who have travelled much and celebrated Eucharist in many different communities.
By Andrea Dumont CSJ