A Leap in Faith
The Grey Nun Ministries in Western and Northern Canada, Vol.1 & 2
Thérèse Castonguay, s.g.m.
The Grey Nuns of Alberta, 2001
Volume 1: 324 pages
Volume 2: 384 pages
The book vividly depicts the founding of the Grey Nun missions in Alberta at the request of the Oblate bishops and priests. Beginning at Lac Ste-Anne in 1859 when the sisters arrived by Red River Carts, and leading us avidly onward through a span of 140 years, ending in 1999, we are fascinated by the valiant spirit of these young pioneer women. Highlighting the reality of each period and challenges faced, the author makes the history come alive…
Through their charitable deeds they strived to reveal the compassionate love of a Provident God. Despite poverty and lack of commodities, their gift of self was total and their creativity astounding. Every day they discovered goodness, generosity and help from those around them. Every day was indeed a renewd Leap in Faith.
The story reveals the challenges of transportation, housing in cramped quarters, food shortages, and basic primitive survival. Greater than the physical challenges, one quickly identifies with the spiritual stamina sustaining these these pioneers. Inspired by Marguerite d’Youville’s deep faith and love of those most in need, the Grey Nuns seek to discover the face of Jesus in the poor.
The risk-taking of our pioneers is matched over the years by the depth of letting go as missions were closed due to lack of sisters or greater needs in other areas. Today, at the dawn of the 21st century we are called to be risk-takers, venturing into an unknown future, letting go of the familiar to continue our mission of being compassionate signs of hope and revealers of God’s love to those we meet each day.
Marcia Wiley, s.g.m.