Letters From a Young Catholic

My reflections as a Catholic young adult passionate about the Faith, seeking to grow in knowledge and understanding of God and discerning the will of the Lord in my life.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Thank-you Fathers!

If it weren't for these two priests, I wouldn't be here today!

Last week, when I was at school in the city and I knew that my Oma was dying, I went one afternoon to the Catholic cemetary where her brother, who was (and I suppose still is) a priest is buried to pray for him and to ask his intercession for his youngest sister. Most of the priests from our archdiocese are buried there.

My Oma first came to Canada after WWII because her older brother, Fr. Martin Mueller, an Augustinian priest, was already in Canada and he sponsored her to come over. He was at Sacred Heart Monastery in Ladner, BC. Shortly after coming to Canada she found a job as a teacher in a new paper mill town called Ocean Falls.

The second priest, Fr. Fouquette, is in large part responsible (or rather was an agent of God) for my grandparents meeting each other. My Opa came to Canada after WWII to make a new life for himself. After working on several farms and getting underpaid or not paid at all he ended up in Vancouver with $1.20 in his pocket and two suitcases in his hands. In a foreign land and not able to speak much English he found the Catholic cathedral and knelt down to pray at the back of the church, not knowing where to turn or what to do next. After praying some time he sat down in the pew. He had no idea what he was going to do next. One of the priests at the cathedral, Fr. Fouquette, approached him and asked what was wrong. My Opa explained to Fr. Fouquette that he couldn't understand him because he couldn't speak English. Fr. Fouquette promptly switched to French (he spoke French fluently) and my Opa explained his story to him. Fr. Fouquette then told him about a new mill that had just opened on the coast and suggested that my Opa try getting a job there. So, following Fr. Fouquette's suggestion he went and checked with the hiring agency and was hired on the spot. He returned to the cathedral to pick up his suitcases he had left with Fr. Fouquette and thanked him for telling him about the job. When he realized however that he didn't have money for the boat fare to Ocean Falls, Fr. Fouquette lent him $20 so that he could get there (that was a lot of money in those days). And so, my Opa moved to Ocean Falls and paid Fr. Fouquette back with his first paycheck. It was there that he met my Oma who was working as a teacher and because she spoke fluent French (she had studied French in university in Germany) they quickly got to know each other.

The moral of the story? When all else fails, find the nearest Catholic church and go pray!