It’s just a little over three months since I got here to the North, but it seems like a lot longer than that. A lot of stress in the beginning, trying to reconnect to the Canadian bureaucracy and to learn the ropes in the parish here. The place keeps me busy, Always somebody at the door or someone on the phone. In Brighton I was the Uber Mensch, running trips to the airport, and here I’m at it again. Iqaluit is the hub for much of the rest of this huge diocese, The jetport for the North is here and usually the members of the diocese going into or out of the North go through Iqaluit and often stay a day or two here… So I’m not just the taxi but the hotel, too.
Iqaluit is not as completely Inuit as Igloolik, but there are still many Inuit here and some come by the church. Often they are profoundly needy…
Iqaluit is a big town for the North and has some of the conveniences of our own cities. But it can be like the Old West, too. Twice so far my house has been broken into during the night and I was awakened by a thief prowling about looking for…altar wine.
The parish is cosmopolitan, lots of Africans and Filipinos… Dong, who visited me with his wife in Jerusalem this past summer was here right for a while, on his way back to Toronto for a break…
The City of Iqaluit passed a law last year giving itself the right to tax churches. They hit my parish with a bill for $38,000.00! The other churches in town have been hit in the same way, Some of them will have to close if the tax law stands. My parish council went to City Hall recently to see what might be done… We’re hoping we can get enough support from the people of the town to get the law repealed after the next election this November.
I started a couple of Bible study groups. People bring Bibles in their various languages and make sure that the discussion is lively and serious.
it’s begun snowing…
Did I tell you the name of the parish?
And here is a view from The Road to Nowhere, a few weeks ago before the snow started. It leads just as it says, to Nowhere, just empty tundra.
Fr. Barry Bercier, A.A.