Every year, the Kateri Centre for Native Ministry, in Collaboration with Saint Paul’s University, Ottawa organises a pastoral leadership program for priests, deacons, nuns and other pastoral agents working with the Native communities of Canada. This year’s program which will last for five days(17th to 21 August, 2015) started with a retreat held at an Algonquin Land (Natagama in Algonquin language). Before leaving for the program, we had a little moment of conversation and a session of group photograph with the Archbishop of Ottawa, His Excellency, Terrence Prendergast, sj.
At our arrival at the retreat centre, we started with a beautiful native American inspired liturgical celebration inside the Sweat Lodge. This ceremony which was conducted by an Amerindian elder was very intensive and full of significations.
After the celebration at the Sweat Lodge, we went to an external tent where we had the Pipe Celebration at the Sharing Circle. It was also another important celebration punctuated with life experience sharing and Smudging Ceremony.
At the end of the ceremonies, we closed the day with a nice barbecue dish and came back to the University of Saint Paul where majority of the participants are dwelling.