At Saint Therese of Avila Mission in Tulita, Sr. Celeste Goulet and the 420 members of the Slavey community are staunch people who are accustomed to double-digit negative degree temperatures and carving out a rugged life in Canada’s Northwest Territories. You’d think these hearty folk could weather the pandemic just fine, but COVID’s putting a stop to participating in person at Mass was one of the greatest hardships to bear.
Sr. Celeste didn’t let COVID separate her community from an active relationship with God. Each morning, she broadcasts a prayer service from Tulita’s radio station beginning with the rosary, and moving on to the daily readings, a reflection from The Word Among Us, and recitation of the Act of Spiritual Communion. “We take callers and each one will say a decade of the rosary,” Sr. Celeste explained.
Hymns and spiritual songs are played throughout the service, and at the end, Sr. Celeste accepts prayer requests by phone. “Sometimes the Chief will join us at the radio station, and we pray together with the community.”
Even in this remote area, 125 miles south of the Arctic Circle, extreme weather and a global pandemic can’t divert the Felician commitment to the spiritual renewal of the world.