St. Philip Neri Roman Catholic Parish Blog.

Two blogs in one!

Fort Providence ~ The Road Trip

Friday, September 20, 2013, our mission started early at 5:00 am with cool temperatures of 3 degrees and a full trailer.


As we headed out on the Yellowhead highway to Edmonton, we made our way north to Peace River Alberta and the start of the Mackenzie highway. The further we travelled, the serenity of the North country set in.  As we witnessed the highways lined with endless trees in spectacular shades of deep rich autumn colors, we were reminded that God's beauty is everywhere.

After logging 1150 kilometers, Manning Alberta was our first nights rest stop. Thankful for a safe journey so far.

Trailer_by_Manning       Moose


Welcome to the Northwest Territories

Traveling along uncrowded highways, we are welcomed to the Northwest Territories by the north of 60 sign. The majestic splendor and tranquility of God's north country is absolutely breathtaking!

As the kilometers rolled by, and the deafening silence of the wilderness assaults our senses, we are reminded that it is in silence that God speaks to us and clarity merges.

River     River_Closer 

As we approached the turn off to Fort Providence we crossed the much awaited new Deh Cho Bridge. This 202 million dollar project replaced the Merv Hardie Ferry that brought us across the mighty Mackenzie River last August.  It was exciting to drive across the completed bridge.

After 1992 kilometers Fort Providence welcomed us with sunny blue skies, 24 degrees, gas prices of $1.45, and those darn old pesky flies!

We_made_it    Ft_Providence_Welcome_Sign


Thank you Lord for getting us here safely.

Parish Mission

Your servants in Christ,

Randy & Debra

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Matt’s 10 Awesome Things You Can Do For Fun This Summer

Summer is finally here. Just about all the graduation caps have been thrown, and exams have been passed (or not-so-passed), so now you’ve got all sorts of free time on your hands.

The problem is, of course, that you have no idea what to do! If you need your whole summer laid out for you, or if you have a few spare weeks that need some filling, here are 10 ideas that you can try out.

1. Backyard Camping. Enjoy the wonders and dangers of the great outdoors from the comfort of your own backyard. You’ve probably got a tent in your basement, and where is safer than your front yard’s younger brother, the back yard? There may not be a lake there, but there’s probably a kiddie pool. Watch out for housecats!

2. Water Balloon Fight. A good ol' water balloon fight, that's right. Feel free to add water guns for a bit more excitement. You might want to save this for a sunny day, or else Mother Nature will shower you with rain and win by default. That’s no fun. Also, don't start in the house.

3. Christmas in July. Remember how fun Christmas is? Don’t you wish it happened more than once a year? Well, you can do what you do for Christmas in July! You might not want to light a fire, but you can still have a good time. Jingle bells, jingle bells, it sure is hot today, let's all share some presents and watch Elf right away!

4. Help with VBS. Imagine a world where you can be a knight, or a princess, or a toad, or a king, or a horse, or anything like that. That’s Vacation Bible School this year! There’s some talk about Jesus for good measure, too. Email or call the parish office to help out!

5. Make a YouTube Video. There are lots of awesome movies coming out this summer, so why not make a movie of your own? You can write it, or direct it, or act in it, or do all of those! Do you want it to be funny? Dramatic? Exciting? Get some friends together and create something great. Make sure to give Matt an executive producer credit, though.

6. Photo Scavenger Hunt. Plan one or get someone else to come up with some spots for you to find. Maybe Mom or Dad would be willing to set one up for you if one of your tasks is bringing groceries home. Bonus points if you walk everywhere!

7. Superhero Movie Marathon. Let Batman, Spider-Man, and the Avengers make your day great. Saskatoon isn’t about to be attacked by a supervillian or alien monster, so you can watch it and not worry too much. This is ideal for a stormy Saskatchewan day, as long as the power stays on.

8. Connect with a random family member on Facebook. Check in to see how they are, what they're up to, if they have any long lost family secrets. You know, that sort of thing. They might have a treasure map, a lost fortune, or memories that can tell you more about your family. That last one is probably the best part!

9. Read a book. Go on, read one. If you like literally anything, there’s an awesome book out there for you. There are even entire buildings that will just let you borrow books, for free, anytime you want. That sure makes it easy! Matt has suggestions if you wanted some, too.

10. Learn something new. What is summer good for if not learning things? Okay, maybe you can learn some more fun things, like how to juggle, or skateboard, or how to write a sonnet, or how to edit the YouTube movie you make, or how to make a photo scavenger hunt, or how to pray the rosary. There are actually endless options!

Whatever you do this summer, make the most of it. It’s a great time, and it would be a shame to let it go to waste.

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Saturday August 25:

It was absolutely a perfect end to a very productive day of completing the painting on the small church.   Fr. Wes promised us a tour and dinner at the Healing Lodge.  After the six of us attended evening mass we left at 8:00 pm on a peaceful boat ride on the mighty Mackenzie River towards our destination.  These ultra clean northern waters, ultimately named by the Europeans, but to the Dene people it has always been known as ‘Deh Cho’, which means ‘big river’.  The scenic and tranquil Mackenzie River has been the key to life in the region since the days of birch bark and moosehide canoes.  We reached the Healing Lodge (only accessible by boat or snowmobile) 25 minutes later.  Its existence has only been there for seven years when the community band contracted the rural college carpentry students to build a main cook house and cabins on this beautiful land of pines and birch trees by the rivers edge.  The first purpose was to counsel people with addictions.  Now it is also used as a community-gathering place where community people come from all over the area.  The Healing Lodge is also part of school programs where teachers and students are encouraged to participate in puberty programs and leadership programs.  The Dene elders also teach cultural and traditional skills in the picturesque setting.  While our stew and bannock were warming over the open fire we toured the grounds and could feel the spiritual energy of the land and this very special place.  As moonlight guided our boat back to the hamlet of Fort Providence, nestled alongside the mighty Mackenzie, it truly was God’s blessing to a perfect day. Mahsi Cho, Heavenly Creator.


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 Thursday August 23, 2012

Today it was cooler outside, so working was easier than on the hotter days.  The local radio station made an announcement in the morning that we were welcoming help on the church from any volunteers in the community. At about 10:00 am Leon came walking up and he worked with us for the rest of the day. 20 years ago he helped repaint the church, which was the last time it was painted.  He told us stories while we worked and our pace really picked up with the help of a seventh person. We nearly finished painting the church, but our prayers could only hold off the rain for so long before we were forced to shut things down for the day.  After lunch Anthony and Jennifer went to the radio station and were interviewed live on the local station.  They sounded great! We got a tour of the band office in the afternoon, met their many employees and learned of the services they offer.  For supper we went to Margaret Field’s and we had a barbeque in her outdoor cook house.  We had Banana Boats for dessert (see recipe below).  In the evening we took time to relax at Fr. Wes’ rectory and debriefed on our day.  Father asked us to lead the congregation in song on Sunday, so we spent time planning what songs we will sing.  There will be a baptism so we will sing “Come to the Water”.  Tomorrow we are off to Yellowknife, a three hour drive, to pick up supplies for the church.

Campfire Banana Boats


Small Marshmallows

Chocolate chips

Slice the bananas lengthwise and stuff with marshmallows and chocolate chips.  Wrap tightly in tin foil and place directly on the coals of the campfire. Remove after 5-10 minutes, open up tin foil, and enjoy the ooey gooey dessert with a spoon.


Amy Gueguen

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Wow!!! We finally arrived at our destination today (August 20) at 5:25 pm and all tired out. I knocked on the Rectory door, a gentle man opened the door and politely said, "Welcome to Fort Providence, you must be Anthony." So I said "Yes and thank you, and you must be Fr. Wes!"  "No I'm not Fr. Wes," he said. "I am Bishop Murray!" Oookayyy! Hmmm... "I am sorry your excellency," I said. Then he gave me a gentle smile. Good thing I was able to contain the embarrassment since none of the Mission team members witnessed this. But I guess now it's out... Oh well!

Our Polish born host priest, Fr. Wes is a man with a great sense of humour. He pranked us over and over just in the first night. Welcome Mass was celebrated by Bishop Murray with Fr. Wes concelebrating, with some members of the community present. Starting tomorrow, every day will be filled with different tasks from church painting to rectory renovations, funeral mass and reception (Fr. Wes warned never to miss the reception as there will be lots of food), school visits, family visits (in particular with the elders in the community listening to their stories).

Okay, I have to go to bed now. More news coming on the way...and pictures too :)


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Mass and Liturgy Schedule

Office Hours:

Monday thru Friday:  9:00 am – 12 noon & 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm (Office is closed for lunch from 12:00 noon - 1:00 pm) 

Phone: (306) 343-0325

Fax: (306) 343-0900


Regular Mass Times:

Saturday - 5:00 pm

Sunday - 9:30 am & 11:30 am

Summer Mass Times:

Saturday - 5:00 pm

Sunday - 10:00 am

Weekday Masses: Tuesday thru Friday - 8:30 am

(Rosary ½ before weekday Masses)


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