space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* From My Window
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Enter for Chance to Receive an Eagle License Plate
* What 50 Years of Clean Air Looks Like
* High School Gymnastics Rule Changes for 2020-21
* Annual Wisconsin State Parks Sticker Available For Sale Online
* DNR 2019 Hunter Ethics Award Honors Character

space
Peshtigo Fire
space
e-Edition
Now Available
For more information
click here
dot
THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
space
dot
space

From My Window

Issue Date: August 30, 2019

Janie Thibodeau Martin

Canada, I Love You



Before we moved to Oklahoma 19 years ago, Mike and I would occasionally get to Sault Saint Marie, Canada, and a bit beyond. Our honeymoon (on May 4) was a drive around Lake Superior. No one could believe we'd choose to spend our honeymoon in Canada so early in spring, but it was lovely. The scenery was amazing and the people we encountered were friendly and welcoming. But for the last 18 years, our location in Oklahoma was a deterrent to trips to our "neighbor" to the north, and precious vacation time limited our long-distance roaming.

Now that we are retired, we picked off an item on my "bucket list," traveling on the Trans-Canada highway. We entered Canada near Bemidji, Minnesota and headed west, camping along the way to Vancouver, where we dropped down to Seattle to visit our daughter and stellar son-in-law for a long weekend.

We had so many enjoyable experiences, but one of our favorites occurred where I least would have expected it, in church on Sunday.

We attended services in the tiny village of St. Francois Xavier, Manitoba; the name of the church, of course, was St. Francois Xavier. The small church was built in 1824, and unlike most older churches, has not been extensively modernized or enlarged. About the only nod to updating I spotted was the addition of a wooden wheelchair ramp. We were informed this church is the second oldest in use in the province of Manitoba. The church is plain and simple " while it had some large windows, the beautiful stained glass which characterizes Catholic churches was conspicuously absent. It is a utilitarian building; but carries itself with the grace of the ages.

The parishioners around us greeted us warmly, and the priest came to introduce himself and ask where we were from. In such a small church, visitors are instantly visible. Once the service started, I was startled at the quality of the two vocalists who led the singing, acapella. I was later informed the organist is a talent of equal ability but was on away from the community on vacation. It takes a strong and confident singer to open songs in perfect pitch without accompaniment " I made it a point to go talk to the singers after church and thank them.

My paternal grandfather's parents had come from Canada " French Arcadians displaced to Michigan's Upper Peninsula when England took Canada from France. So I was delighted that the service was offered in bilingual fashion " with alternating readings and songs sung in English and French. There was no hint of insisting that English be utilized; both of the parishioner's preferred languages were respected. My home church in Oklahoma was also bilingual, but in Spanish. I have only retained a tiny amount of the Spanish I learned in college " but that never stopped me from being engaged in the services.

But beside the warmth of the people and the beauty of the music, this church seemed to radiate an aura of grace. Maybe it was the thought that I was sitting in a pew (a hard, very upright one!) that has been occupied by generations of worshippers " some no doubt baptized and eulogized in front of this same altar, and now resting in the cemetery that filled the little church's side yard. I could close my eyes and imagine thousands of prayers being lifted for nearly two centuries; both of supplication in times of sorrow, and in joy. It felt like a place where prayer has special power, and is always heard.

Church attendance is down nearly everywhere. Mainstream churches in the United States, and elsewhere, struggle to be relevant to younger people; and even disillusioned or distracted seniors no longer attend on a regular basis. But sitting in this church, I felt the tug that church attendance, at its very best, exerts.

I took advantage of what I knew as a very special place to offer up prayers for some people that I know are going through difficulties, including an old friend from my school days. I know that these prayers were heard, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind. And when I contacted that old friend later to tell him what I had done, he said, "maybe that is why I feel so well today."

As the service concluded, a special blessing for children was offered, and two infants were carried up to the front to receive this grace. Such children are the future of organized religion, and it may be on these two sets of tiny shoulders that the future of this church rests " to not only thrive until their 200th anniversary in five years, but for a hundred more years after that. I hope another ten generations can experience the feeling I had in this special church.

And finally the congregation offered a traveler's blessing to Mike and I, as well as the other traveler present. Such generosity of spirit is what can draw and hold people to faith.

As we drove away, I was grateful that vacations do not lead me to skip church. I would have missed one of the most special experiences of this Canadian journey.

Song stuck in my head: "Gold Dust Woman," done well by many different artists but I love the Waylon and Willie version " very bluesy.

You can reach me for commentary, alternative viewpoints or ideas at this e-mail address: JanieTMartin@gmail.com.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
05-20-2020Front Page
Crash Damage

05-20-2020Front Page
County Board To Meet On Tuesday May 26 At UW Theatre On The Bay

05-20-2020Front Page
Peshtigo Town Annual Meet Results in 2021 Pay Increases

05-20-2020Front Page
Pat Tracy Named New Wausaukee President

05-20-2020Front Page
Committee Refers Claim For Sewer Backup To Insurance

05-20-2020Community - Coleman
Pound Wastewater Exceeds Inflow By 1.4 Million Gallons

05-20-2020Community - Coleman
United Cooperative Returns $9.3 Million to Members in May

05-20-2020Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Legion/VFW Change Memorial Day Ceremonies

05-20-2020Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Legion Cancels Gun Show, Trap Shoot

05-20-2020Community - Crivitz
Collect Food Pantry Funds

05-20-2020Community - Crivitz
CAWC Cancels Girls Night Out

05-20-2020Community - Wausaukee
Chair Details Town Wausaukee Road Work

05-20-2020Community - Wausaukee
Horse Association Cancels 2020 Season

05-20-2020Obituaries
Gary Berger

05-20-2020Obituaries
Robert J. Both

05-20-2020Obituaries
Matthew Bovee

05-20-2020Obituaries
Norma B. Cadieu

05-20-2020Obituaries
Kathleen M. Engeldinger

05-20-2020Obituaries
Judith A. Giefer

05-20-2020Obituaries
Kenneth A. Goldschmidt

05-20-2020Obituaries
Betty L. Hiller

05-20-2020Obituaries
Eugene J. Janquart

05-20-2020Obituaries
Carol A. Jarosz

05-20-2020Obituaries
Kelly S. Johnson

05-20-2020Obituaries
Margaret Kleivo

05-20-2020Obituaries
Stephen M. Lacoursiere

05-20-2020Obituaries
Bruce C. Lindberg

05-20-2020Obituaries
Anna E. Mabry

05-20-2020Obituaries
Mindy L. Malke

05-20-2020Obituaries
Scott L. Meyer

05-20-2020Obituaries
Fr. Leander Nickel

05-20-2020Obituaries
Allen B. Odette

05-20-2020Obituaries
Lyle J. Olsen

05-20-2020Obituaries
Roberta M. Peterson

05-20-2020Obituaries
Ernst W. Reinhardt, Jr.

05-20-2020Obituaries
Mary L. Singer

05-20-2020Obituaries
Dennis J. Smejkal

05-20-2020Obituaries
Rev. William J. Stengel

05-20-2020Obituaries
Barry J. Younk

05-20-2020Perspectives
From My Window

05-20-2020Perspectives
From our readers

05-20-2020Sports
Enter for Chance to Receive an Eagle License Plate

05-20-2020Sports
What 50 Years of Clean Air Looks Like

05-20-2020Sports
High School Gymnastics Rule Changes for 2020-21

05-20-2020Sports
Annual Wisconsin State Parks Sticker Available For Sale Online

05-13-2020Front Page
COVID Tests Available Free For Everyone At Crivitz Site

05-13-2020Front Page
Peshtigo Memorial Day Service is May 25th

05-13-2020Front Page
Special Peshtigo Town Meet On Water Survey Not Held

05-13-2020Front Page
County Seeks FEMA Aid For $175,000 Coronavirus Costs

05-13-2020Front Page
Crivitz Lumber, Rebuilt On The Ashes, Is Open Again

05-13-2020Community - Coleman
Hillside North Receives Grant

05-13-2020Community - Coleman
Food Pantry Has New Procedures

05-13-2020Community - Crivitz
Town of Stephenson Annual Meet May 19

05-13-2020Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Announces Four Honor Seniors

05-13-2020Community - Wausaukee
Donations Being Accepted For Slug Radtke Memorial

05-13-2020Community - Wausaukee
Cancel Memorial Day Services

05-13-2020Obituaries
Harold F. Albright Sr.

05-13-2020Obituaries
Fern L. Anderson

05-13-2020Obituaries
Robert J. Armstrong

05-13-2020Obituaries
Eldora Baake

05-13-2020Obituaries
Joseph E. Beauclaire 

05-13-2020Obituaries
Helen M. Bjork

05-13-2020Obituaries
Jimmy L. Campbell

05-13-2020Obituaries
Lisa K. Crocker

05-13-2020Obituaries
Lisa K. Crocker

05-13-2020Obituaries
Raymond G. Engeldinger Sr.

05-13-2020Obituaries
Vernon J. Heusinger

05-13-2020Obituaries
Wayne R. Jessel

05-13-2020Obituaries
James L. Larsen

05-13-2020Obituaries
Gloria J. Loew

05-13-2020Obituaries
Michael G. McGowan

05-13-2020Obituaries
Carl W. Merkel

05-13-2020Obituaries
Mary C. Olson

05-13-2020Obituaries
Thomas Pender

05-13-2020Obituaries
Ewell A. Ronn

05-13-2020Obituaries
Lorraine M. Routheaux

05-13-2020Obituaries
Terry L. Sievert

05-13-2020Obituaries
June M. Snyder

05-13-2020Obituaries
Richard A. Spross

05-13-2020Obituaries
Jim Szatkowski

05-13-2020Obituaries
Rev. Russell D. Tillotson

05-13-2020Obituaries
Francis Treppanier

05-13-2020Obituaries
James P. VanRens

05-13-2020Obituaries
Carol May E. Allen-Willrett

05-13-2020Perspectives
Country Cousin

05-13-2020Perspectives
From My Window

05-13-2020Perspectives
From our readers

05-13-2020Sports
DNR 2019 Hunter Ethics Award Honors Character

05-13-2020Sports
Take Steps Now To Avoid Potential Conflicts With Bears

05-13-2020Sports
Bye Dietz To Be Inducted into National High School Hall of Fame 

05-13-2020Sports
High Fire Danger Remains In Northern Wisconsin

05-06-2020Front Page
Fire Destroys Garage and Damages Home in Town

05-06-2020Front Page
Marinette Marine Wins $5.5 Billion Navy Contract

05-06-2020Front Page
Coleman School Board To Meet Monday May 11

05-06-2020Front Page
Peshtigo Approves Purchase Of Automated Garbage Truck

05-06-2020Front Page
Peshtigo May Resume School Prior to Sept. 1

05-06-2020Community - Coleman
Coleman Library Curbside Pickup

05-06-2020Community - Coleman
Coleman School Gets $25,000 Grant

05-06-2020Community - Coleman
Coleman Utility Board To Act on Roof, Gutter Bids

05-06-2020Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Lions Sports Banquet Cancelled

05-06-2020Community - Crivitz
Grab & Go Meals at Crivitz Site

05-06-2020Community - Crivitz
Nineteen Entries Advance in "Wisconsin YES!' Contest

05-06-2020Community - Crivitz
Ruleau Inducted to Phi Beta Kappa

05-06-2020Community - Wausaukee
Pastor Fred's Food Pantry in Amberg Needs Donations

05-06-2020Obituaries
David R. Behnke

05-06-2020Obituaries
Eileen Behrend

05-06-2020Obituaries
Theresa M. Borths

05-06-2020Obituaries
John G. Bushonville

05-06-2020Obituaries
Lois M. Cadieu

05-06-2020Obituaries
Louise Ellman

05-06-2020Obituaries
Terrance Engel

05-06-2020Obituaries
Helen Francis

05-06-2020Obituaries
Dale R. Goldschmidt

05-06-2020Obituaries
Patricia L. Hansen

05-06-2020Obituaries
Dennis W. Hazaert

05-06-2020Obituaries
James P. Hicks

05-06-2020Obituaries
Christopher Hofer

05-06-2020Obituaries
Donald Kosewski

05-06-2020Obituaries
Seth L. Malawka

05-06-2020Obituaries
Ardis Martindale

05-06-2020Obituaries
Donald K. Michaelson

05-06-2020Obituaries
Margaret Milbrath

05-06-2020Obituaries
Gary Lee Pansier

05-06-2020Obituaries
Stephen G. Parrish

05-06-2020Obituaries
Thomas L. Pender

05-06-2020Obituaries
Elizabeth J. Reiswitz

05-06-2020Obituaries
Rockford B. Ritchie

05-06-2020Obituaries
Romona S. Rysewyk

05-06-2020Obituaries
Donald J. Schultz

05-06-2020Obituaries
Darla J. Seefeldt

05-06-2020Obituaries
Geraldine Stodola

05-06-2020Obituaries
Ralph H. Todzy

05-06-2020Obituaries
Thomas I. Wilkins

05-06-2020Obituaries
Betty L. Woods

05-06-2020Perspectives
Country Cousin

05-06-2020Perspectives
From My Window

05-06-2020Perspectives
From our readers

05-06-2020Sports
DNR Lists Highlights From This Past Week Outdoors

05-06-2020Sports
Wisconsin 2020 Game Fish Season Opened Saturday

05-06-2020Sports
Wis. High to Very High Fire Danger Continues

05-06-2020Sports
NFHS Network Offers Free Download of Favorite Event

04-29-2020Front Page
Peshtigo Fire Museum Gets 1850's Exhibit From Former Mayor's Family

04-29-2020Front Page
MCIDC Approves First Housing Renovation Project

04-29-2020Front Page
Marinette Marine Reports The Third COVID-19 Case

04-29-2020Front Page
Donations To Crivitz Rescue Squad Make Headlines In North Carolina

04-29-2020Front Page
Leo and Cecile Seefeldt Honored On 70th Wedding Anniversary

04-29-2020Obituaries
Larry W. Behling

04-29-2020Obituaries
David R. Behnke

04-29-2020Obituaries
Dace Cooke

04-29-2020Obituaries
Wayne H. Dansereau


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Did Governor Evers do the right thing by extending the "Safer at Home" order?
space Yes
No
Undecided
space
TO VOTE CLICK
YES, NO or UNDECIDED

Suggest a Question
space .
space
FRONT
space
.
space
CLASSIFIEDS
space
.
space
COMMUNITY
space
.
space
GUEST BOOK
space
.
space
NEWS
space
.
space
OBITS
space
.
space
PERSPECTIVES
space
.
space
SPORTS
space
.
space
SUBSCRIBE
space
.
space
.
space
PESHTIGO FIRE
space
.
space
CUSTOM PRINTING
space
.
space
TIMES' SAVER
space
.
space
Click for Peshtigo, Wisconsin Forecast
FORECAST
space
Quick...
News or Ad Search
Enter News key words.
Enter Ad key words.



Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
Email:
News@
PeshtigoTimes.com

space
Fax: 715-582-4662
© 2000-2020
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites