chaucer as a pilgrim in the ellesmere manuscript of canterbury tales; photo from wikipedia commons
Pax St. Jamesâ€™ Day 2013
walsingham abbey remains; photo by david p orman (wikipedia commons)
On Being a Pilgrim | Fr. Mark Greenaway-Robbins
y first and most formative experience of Christian pilgrimage was to live among pilgrims in Jerusalem. Aged nineteen, I lived for over a year in the Guest House at St. George’s Anglican Cathedral. During that time it was a remarkable privilege to meet hundreds of Christan pilgrims. Many were Anglican; many were visiting the ‘Holy Land’ for the first time. So I found myself living and volunteering in East Jerusalem among the Palestinian people. I was also studying at the Hebrew University, chiefly among people of the Jewish faith. This gave me a rare and challenging insight into the East-West, PalestinianJewish dimensions of the Holy City: Jerusalem. Prior to this experience I had volunteered for six months with the Israeli Ambulance Service (Magen David Adom). So after nearly two years of living, studying and volunteering in Jerusalem, the political and religious claims and counter-claims to Holy City and Holy Land seemed to me impossibly complex and intractable. The more I heard and witnessed, the less I presumed to understand. Yet my experience of many, perhaps most, Christian pilgrims was quite different. Some came to the Holy City with preconceived notions regarding who had true claim to Israel-Palestine and they sought to ensure that their prejudices were validated. Others seemed to be more open-minded, yet after a week or so of pilgrimage, they determinedly took a view regarding the rights and wrongs of history, politics and religion—and took sides. I have recently come to appreciate that this experience of being alongside pilgrims in Jerusalem served for me as an unlikely preparation for being an Anglican and a parish priest. My experience of parishes and dioceses in our Communion is that our tendency as Anglicans is to move away from ‘big tent Anglicanism’ and towards a self-justified and contracted isolationism regarding those with whom we disagree.
As Anglicans, increasingly, if we have different views over authority, ordination, or human sexuality, for example, we often separate ourselves from our brothers and sisters in Christ. We might move to another parish, or diocese, or communion in order, we think, to be truly part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. And yet, in so doing, we are all diminished—even though we may justify such a move as being true to our conscience, or upholding the tradition of faith, or being progressive in our faith. As a parish priest I have served in dioceses in the provinces of the Church of England, the Church in Wales and the Anglican Church of Canada. If one counts serving as a parish volunteer, then add to these the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem and the Diocese of Europe. As pilgrims together through this life I believe now, more than ever, that we are called to practice that generosity and charity which are rooted in conviction. How shall we practice living as Christian pilgrims today? We can be grounded in our convictions in such a way that you and I may share divergent views on one or a number of matters of doctrine and practice, and yet we can continue in communion together—though I’m not suggesting that ‘anything goes.’ What attracts me about Christian pilgrims is our dogged readiness, without triumphalism or retreat, to be curious about who we are in Christ. If indeed we are in Christ, we are interdependent—the more so because of our differences. This interdependence demands of us the practice of a profound curiosity with an expectation of our delighting one in another, and demanding of us a radical humility. If we are really devoted to the truth, why should we withdraw from the challenge of a truth embodied in a fellow pilgrim, parish, diocese or communion? As we pray for the Holy Spirit to call forth a new bishop in our midst, my prayer is that whomever is called to the office of Bishop will lead our diocesan family into the pilgrim practices of curiosity, humility and generosity. PAX: St. James’ Day 2013 | 1
A Family Pilgrimage | Christine Hatfull
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gravestones of great-grandparents and finding a way to repair the church roof, to assorted graveside stories of kith and kin. For a short while the regular structures of society are suspended and the improbable is imagined. Here, in the smallest communities and in the most remote of provinces, I find a tangible connection to my ancestors and their stories in the company of the family members who want to know. We turn away from the edge of the beautiful lake. We drive back toward the world of everyday, on the other side of an invisible threshold—but different. We convene and celebrate over a late lunch at the Chicken Chef in Ste. Rose. I commemorate these family rituals by vowing to return, as I have done in four previous encounters with this meaningful place where every exploration reveals inner meaning. Perhaps I will return again for the longest day of the year in June, or come back in August when it is a good time for camping and swimming, or perhaps visit in January because winter is my favourite Manitoba season and this is a special place. Having a destination and making a vow to reach it fulfill the longing for a meaningful journey, a pilgrimage.
photo by christine hatfull
few years ago, while I was trying to explain my work to a friend of a friend, he offered me some unusual advice. Calling me an “ancestral scapegoat,” he encouraged me to continue the visual history project I was struggling to manifest. He warned that my relatives might not always welcome the stories I would discover and seek to share, but that I must persist as the one of my generation who was driven to know the truth and willing to tell the tale. He urged me to continue the search for my creative and spiritual homeland. The yearning for a genuine and profound experience has led me to formulate a pilgrimage—neither religious nor secular, but personally sacred and tied to a familial landscape I barely knew. By undertaking a quest and vowing to complete it, I am participating in a universal tradition and practice: to seek and experience the presence of God while separating from the everyday. “The only way out is through,” according to Robert Frost. Decide and the doing gets done, so I recently began, again, to plan a road trip to what is essentially the middle of nowhere, drawn by a spiritual magnetism to the remarkable geographical landscape of Lake Manitoba. In its centre is an intersection between two realms, a liminality called Manitoobaa in Ojibwa— Straits of Manitou, the Great Spirit—and known by the pounding of waves and pebbles on its limestone shores, like a spirit pounding a drum. My mother was born in the vicinity and a few of her cousins who still live in the region join me on the gravel road journey from Dauphin and Ste. Rose du Lac to Cayer Beach on Lake Manitoba. It is still several hours before summer solstice and within this liminal zone of time, place, and intention, we discuss the spiritual business of the family—from replacing the fallen
How ancient is the search for Thee | Raquel Calanza-Bello How ancient is the search for Thee, O Lord, That we, Thy dearest children, fain attempt; Yet dwellest Thou in every field and fjord, From atom to creation heaven-sent. Thou dost abide in dewdrops of a flower, And rest in gentle breezes by the sea. Appointed time Thou art, and every hour That passeth in Thine own eternity. Yet I, a mortal pilgrim on life’s test Go through the sacred veil that Thou didst rent, And from my tiresome journey, shall I rest And find Thee in the Blessèd Sacrament. Though Thou didst make creation through Thy hand, Behold the greatest myst’ry from above: That Thou wouldst humbly be the Son of Man, And Son of God in precious Bread of Love. Behold the Body of our Christ adored; Behold the Blood that shed for all our sin; Behold His Soul, our sweetest, sov’reign Lord; Divinity that dwelleth from within. Each one may find Thy Spirit in all things, In nature’s course, and souls both true and good. Yet deeper still, O Christ, mine Everything Shall find its union in this mystic Food. My journey endeth in Thy holy Place, —Sweet Sacrament of Rest! Mine All in All!— And doth begin within Thy heart’s embrace, Wherein existeth naught but love and awe. My soul prostrateth now before Thy Face As Way, and Truth, and Life in Bread Divine— And angels circle round this heav’nly Grace, For in Thy Manna’s sweetness, I am Thine. PAX: St. James’ Day 2013 | 3
Passion Play Pilgrimage | John S. Conway
ixty-three years ago I set out from England to go on a pilgrimage to the small village of Oberammergau in southern Germany, in order to attend a performance of the famous Passion Play staged by the villagers. Nearly four hundred years ago, in 1634, the district was ravaged by a plague; but Oberammergau was spared. So the villagers, in gratitude to the Virgin Mary, vowed to stage a rendering of the Passion of Jesus, and to repeat this every ten years. At the end of the seventeenth century, the then-parish priest arranged a script drawn from all the Gospels, but added extra pieces of dialogue with more characters, so that all the villagers could take their part. This is now all presented in a series of scenes, each of which is preceded by a chorus, and led by a dignified chorus master who exhorts the audience to a devout contemplation of the holy drama. This dramatic spectacle used to be staged over eight hours, with a two hour lunch break. It has now been
curtailed to six hours, with much of the extraneous material purged. It is of course still performed in the local dialect which makes it hard for outsiders to follow. But the dedication and commitment of the villagers is readily apparent, as can be seen by attending the early Mass in the parish church at 6 a.m. before the performance begins. Over the years the villagers have remained determined to preserve control over their Passion play, and have resisted all attempts by outsiders to professionalize the acting or the staging. This has led some critics to dismiss the play as nothing more than a “peasant pageant.” But the villagers themselves still choose who is to play the major roles, some of which are handed down from one generation to the next. The fame of the Passion Play was greatly extended in the nineteenth century when a chance visit by some English tourists spread the word. Thomas Cook, the noted travel agent, began to arrange tours which ever since have brought worldwide publicity for the Play. I
The Way | Film Review by Sean Birch In this 2011 film, Martin Sheen plays Tom, a grieving father who travels to Spain to claim the body of his estranged son Daniel (played in flashbacks by Emilio Estevez, real-life son to Martin Sheen), who died while walking “El Camino de Santiago,” the Way of St. James. Rather than returning home directly, Tom is inspired to walk the route himself— at first to scatter his son’s ashes, and later as an homage to his son and in the hopes of coming to understand him, and himself, better. On his journey, Tom comes across three other travellers (Sarah, Joost and Jack), each making the pilgrimage for his or her own reasons. Their adventures together are predictable but entertaining, and a good excuse to show off the scenic Spanish countryside. Even more interesting are the personal journeys each of the four go through. Learning the difference between “choosing a life” and “living a life” is 4 | PAX: St. James’ Day 2013
have at home a leather-bound scrapbook containing press clippings from English newspapers for the 1870 and 1880 performances, which, at great length, describe the life of the villagers in their remote Alpine setting, and praise the fervour of these staunchly Catholic countrymen. The present theatre was built for the 1930 performances and holds some five thousand spectators. Its special feature is that the roof covers only the audience and leaves the stage in the open air, which allows room for the several hundred actors who surge back and forth during the scenes of Jesus’ trial before Pilate. Their shouts of “Crucify Him” are indeed terrifying. In the years between the performances the villages revert to their normal lives. Many of them are woodsmen. So not surprisingly they developed skills in woodcarving to satisfy the influx of tourists, and began to produce crucifixes, rosaries and statues, using the wood from the local forests. In fact, in 1908, a former rector of St. James’, Fr. Clinton, visited the village and
was so struck by these carvings that he commissioned three almost life-sized statues—a Jesus on the cross, a Virgin Mary, and a St. John—which were subsequently shipped to Vancouver. When our present church was built in the 1930s, the architect, Adrian Scott, had the brilliant idea of using these figures in a rood cross hanging over the steps up to the sanctuary. So the Oberammergau figures were attached to a huge beam of B.C. cedar, and then painted with a lemon-gold wash representing the gold of heaven. They have now hung above our heads for seventy-five years. So every time I enter St. James’ and look up, I can remember the excitement and the inspiration of the pilgrimage I made to Oberammergau so many years ago.
one of the lessons Tom learns. While the filmmakers approached their subject from a religious standpoint (both Sheen and Estevez are open about their Catholicism), it’s an interesting choice to cast Tom as a secular man, discovering the spirituality of the trek from an outsider’s perspective. One wonders how strongly either Sheen or Estevez identify with their main character, or whether their intent was to bring a secular audience on a journey like Tom’s, knowing the route and the endpoint in advance but wanting to savour the time spent getting there. The actual Camino de Santiago takes an average traveller at least a month to complete, so even if the movie starts to seem long after two hours on the couch, it’s only a small commitment to make.
Based on a book by Jack Hitt, adapted for the screen and directed by Emilio Estevez. Starring Martin Sheen (Tom), Deborah Kara Unger (Sarah), Yorick van Wageningen (Joost), James Nesbitt (Jack) and Emilio Estevez (Daniel).
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Pilgrimage to Guadalupe | Sr. Mary Christian Cross
ilgrimage was not on my mind in 1966 when I was in Mexico City as a delegate from UBC to a scientific conference. I’m not sure at that time if I had ever heard of Guadalupe or of the miracle which had happened for Juan Diego in 1531. The story goes that Juan Diego, a Mexican peasant, was walking one morning near his village of Tepeyac when he met a young woman who asked him to tell the Bishop that she wished for a church to be built on a nearby site. Bishops do not take kindly to this kind of request from local peasants, so Juan gained an audience only with difficulty; and not surprisingly, the request was denied. He returned to his village to report this to the lady. The next day, she again made the request; again the Bishop refused. Two days later, even though it was winter time, the lady asked Juan to pick a bouquet of flowers from a nearby hill. She wrapped Juan’s coarsely woven tilma (cloak) around the flowers and asked Juan to take them to the Bishop. When the mantle was presented to the Bishop, he opened the cloak, causing the flowers to fall to the ground. Revealed on the coarse fabric was an image of the mysterious young woman. This picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe has survived on the tilma for more than 450 years, and is now hung above the High Altar of the Basilica which was built to house it. The picture has become a focus of pilgrimage for millions. The Conference had scheduled some free time, enabling me to visit the old Basilica at Guadalupe. After skirting the souvenir stalls, I joined the many people, mostly Mexicans, approaching the Basilica, and came down the main aisle towards the High Altar.
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Upon reaching the Altar I sank to my knees beneath the picture. Next to me was a Mexican peasant/pilgrim. I have very hazy recollections of the image. I found the whole experience very moving, partly because of the picture and partly because of the intense devotion of these Mexican people. When I was kneeling I could not look up at the picture because tears were streaming down my cheeks. It is an experience that I shall never forget and although I do not feel the need to revisit Guadalupe, I am grateful to God that I was there and am sure of the prayers of Our Lady of Guadalupe, not only for me but for all peoples of the entire continent of America. Pope John XXIII declared Our Lady of Guadalupe Patroness of all the Americas in 1961. God of power and mercy, You blessed the Americas at Tepeyac With the presence of the Virgin Mary of Guadalupe. May her prayers help all men and women To accept each other as brothers and sisters. Through your justice present in our hearts, May your peace reign in the world. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen. Feast Day: November 12
A Personal Pilgrimage | Angela Van Luven
photo by sean birch
suppose I am going on this journey now, trying to find my own spiritual significance—alone. What a difference five or six months make, from going along quite happily confident in one’s spiritual journey (whether openly discussed with one’s other half or not), just content to be a pilgrim with all the other St. James’ pilgrims. I am now having to reassess everything and start again along an offshoot of that journey, this time on my own. But I am finding there are several sturdy and significant signposts along the way. Obviously my faith, although a little shaken but not stirred, is still held high in the forefront of this pilgrimage. That would be the first signpost—pointing me in the direction of deeper spiritual significance. The next signpost is the Parish family who supports me and is walking alongside me. I am not alone for long. Other signposts include my commitment to St. James’—the ties that bind one willingly and joyfully as I journey on this pilgrimage. Another major signpost is prayer. Where would we be without it? I have discovered particularly over these past months the power of prayer and its significance—if only we would allow it, in all our lives, to envelop our hopes, our dreams, our thanks. So where is this journey leading me, and leading us? What spiritual significance will I—and we—find? Let us all go on this pilgrimage together and see what strength in numbers and beliefs can do.
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Medieval Pilgrimage | Leslie Arnovick
ilgrimages were part of medieval life, as Geoffrey Chaucer tells us. In England, every spring,
to sixty percent of continental Europe—set out for Canterbury in homage and thanksgiving. Walking or riding on horseback, people from all over the country
Then people long to go on pilgrimages And palmers [pilgrims] long to seek the stranger strands Of far-off saints, hallowed in sundry lands
In England, down to Canterbury they wend To seek the holy blissful martyr [Thomas Becket], quick To give his help to them when they were sick (“General Prologue” to the Canterbury Tales, trans. Nevill Coghill, Penguin Classics, 2003).
photo: london museum
Thus begins Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (1385-1400), memorializing the popular journey to the tomb of St. Thomas à Becket in Canterbury Cathedral. Assassinated in 1170 for placing his loyalty to the church above that to
King Henry II, St. Thomas continued even in Chaucer’s day to answer the prayers of faithful Christians. Those he helped to survive the plague—an epidemic that killed one-third of the population of England and up 8 | PAX: St. James’ Day 2013
photo: london museum
And specially, from every shire’s end
participated in a cultural tradition more widespread than their one hundred and eight-mile return trip from London. There was a long tradition in Europe of the devoted undertaking a journey to a shrine or holy place. The Ancient Greeks sought the Oracle at Delphi. Jews went to pray at the Western Wall of the Second Temple. Today Muslims visit Mecca and Catholics, Rome. According to anthropologists, pilgrimages in various cultures share many features. Locations become sites of pilgrimage well after these places have declined from their original political or religious importance. Destinations are historic and their routes retrospective, as pilgrims figuratively travel back in time to a shrine dedicated long ago. Centuries after St. James’ martyrdom in AD 44 and the recovery of his remains in 814, for instance, Europeans sought the Apostle James’ resting place in Compostela. Regular boat service from Southampton took medieval Britons to Bilbao, Spain where they could join the Way of St. James. Pilgrimage is also a sociological phenomenon. In the
Returning home with lead badges and new vocabulary words as souvenirs, pilgrims were envied for having had the luxury of free time and finances to go abroad.
photo: london museum
First Crusade in 1096. Once Christian crusaders took the Holy Land from the Turks, many other Europeans embarked for Jerusalem. By the fourteenth century, the English were offered Holy Land package tours with optional side trips to St. Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai. The social advantages of pilgrimage may have been downplayed but they cannot be denied. Pilgrims like Chaucer’s Wife of Bath might find a husband. Others bought prestige through their endeavour. Returning home with lead badges and new vocabulary words as
sanctuary, but also one could touch their reliquaries in many cases. Medieval Christians believed in the power of relics to heal or otherwise bless those in their presence. Even the tomb of a martyr itself or the site hallowed by martyrdom could absolve transgressors from both sin’s corruption and its ecclesiastical penalties (Catholic Encyclopedia s.v. pilgrimages; www.newadvent.org). Because of their potential for moral transformation, pilgrimages were prescribed in the confessional as penance for sin. Pilgrimage was a costly discipline, whether acts of devotion or of petition. Its physical hardship, often in perilous conditions, imposed sacrifice. The virtue of pilgrimage was manifold, and the medieval imagination embraced the ideal as well as its opportunity. If the goal were sacred, so too was the passage itself. Ideally, a spiritual pilgrimage, an inward journey toward God, was begun along the way.
photo: london museum
eleventh century, young, upstart knights begin taking pilgrimages, especially to the Holy Land, in order to improve their social and political position. There is some evidence that people were already going on pilgrimage to the Holy Land when Urban II called the
For further reading see: Sumption, Jonathan. 2003 . The Age of Pilgrimage: The Medieval Journey to God. Mahwah, NJ: HiddenSpring.
souvenirs, pilgrims were envied for having had the luxury of free time and finances to go abroad. The highest motive for pilgrimage was, of course, spiritual. Not only could one pray to the blessed at their PAX: St. James’ Day 2013 | 9
Pilgrims and Pilgrimages: A Short Reading List Tim Firth
he literature on this topic is extraordinarily rich. A brief article can only begin to survey its scope and depth. What follows are merely representative samples and simple introductions. The word for pilgrim (from the Latin peregrinus) means stranger, or as the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church has it, a “resident alien,” to reinforce the scripture (Heb. 11:13) that Christians are “strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” Their true home is in heaven (1288). All religions of the world have an important place for pilgrimage. Like the Oxford Dictionary, the Encyclopedia of Christianity provides an excellent overview of the subject although without helpful and extensive cross-references. When we think of pilgrimage, we often have in mind not just a journey but one to a famous site or shrine. While trips to famous sites make up many such journeys, the majority of pilgrim traffic is rather to the multitude of local shrines scattered all over the Christian world. Interestingly, there is speculation in comparing some similarities between the behaviour of pilgrims and that of the modern tourist (including the desire for souvenirs), and about the motives of each (Encyclopedia of Christianity, 939–941). For Sr. Benedicta Ward, pilgrimage has always been
Aradi, Zsolt. Shrines to Our Lady Around the World. Wakefield, Mass.: Murray Publishing, 1954.
Bowden, John, editor. Encyclopedia of Christianity. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.
Bunyan, John. The Pilgrim’s Progress. London: The Folio Society, 2003.
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more than a “voyage” to a specified place. The “heart in pilgrimage” is the essence; she is speaking of an inner sense, the inner life of the Christian. Sr. Benedicta explains in a clear and convincing fashion how the inner and outer (voyage) have become interwoven as a response to changing and shifting needs of faith and fashion over time. John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress (Part 1, 1678; Part 2, 1684, and countless complete editions thereafter) has been truly called, along with the King James or Authorized Version of the Bible, the “most influential religious work ever published in English” (The Oxford Companion to English Literature, 7th edition, 782). Written from Bedford prison in the 1670s, it is in the form of a dream or “similitude” in which the story is represented through the personification of abstract qualities: the hero of part 1 is Christian who passes through the Slough of Despond, the Valley of Humiliation, Doubting Castle, and more obstacles to his faith, where he encounters characters like Hope, Save-all, and Faith, among many others. Christian’s wife, Christiana and their children, meet similar adventures (in part 2), such as Valiant, whose encouragement is set out in a poem familiar to many Anglicans in hymnal versions. There are many more accounts of pilgrim journeys. Utilising excerpts from novels, poetry and spiritual
Cross, F. L. and E. A. Livingstone. Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. 3rd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997.
Robinson, Martin. Sacred Places, Pilgrim Paths: An Anthology of Pilgrimage. London: Harper Collins, 1997.
classics—among other sources—Martin Robinson, in his well-chosen anthology Sacred Places, Pilgrim Paths does much to give the reader a flavour of the diversity of experiences and viewpoints as well as providing a wealth of possibilities for further reading. As already noted, Christendom is well-supplied with shrines both old and new. This is also true of our own country. The Novalis Guide to Canadian Shrines gives a list by province with practical information on what is to be seen as well as how to get there. A very dated (1954) but nonetheless intriguing book, Shrines to Our Lady Around the World, concentrates on places of pilgrimage to Mary. Details of historical interest are often accompanied by photographs. The University of York (UK) has created a fascinating and comprehensive website with many links to a wide variety of places and topics. The citation for this site along with bibliographic details for the sources already noted are given below. All titles are available at Vancouver Public Library. The Parish library also owns a copy of The Pilgrim’s Progress, but editions are easy to find. One excellent modern text is the Norton Critical Edition, ed. Cynthia Wall (New York, 2009). Very notable, of course, is Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. Please see Leslie Arnovick’s article elsewhere in this issue of PAX.
St. John, Leonard. The Novalis Guide to Canadian Shrines. Travel Guide. 2nd edition. Toronto: Novalis, 2002.
Ward, Benedicta. Pilgrimage of the Heart. Oxford: Sisters of the Love of God Press, 2001.
University of York. “Pilgrims and Pilgrimage,” accessed May 25, 2013. http://www.york.ac.uk/projects/pilgrimage/index.html.
ASK ! BEAR
Dear Bear, On our recent holiday on Mayne Island I noticed many shells on the beach that were identical with the two shells hewn on the High Altar at St. James’. What is the significance of these shells? — Dido Ah, my trusted companion, you are referring to the Pectinidae, a family of saltwater mollusks, commonly known as scallops. These animals are found worldwide. The matriarch of our household loves scallops in a very good sauce, but she is alone in this regard. The image and symbol of the scallop shell has long been associated with the apostle, St. James the Great, in whose name our Parish is dedicated. Legends from the Middle Ages tell of St. James’ mission to Spain and burial at Compostela, which became an established place of pilgrimage by the eleventh century. The origin of the scallop shell as the badge of a pilgrim to Compostela has several explanations. These shells are abundant along the north Spanish coast. Pilgrims could expect to receive food, or drink that filled a scallop shell, so it served as a measure for pilgrims travelling the Way (Camino) of St. James. Also, it became a momento for those pilgrims who had completed the Way. In art, St. James is commonly depicted wearing a scallop shell as the sign of a pilgrim. So this symbol on our High Altar reminds us not only of St. James, but that we are always pilgrims in this life, journeying the Way of the Cross. — Bear
Bear is the first resident canine at St. James’ Rectory. As a member of the Greenaway-Robbins and Parish family he is privy to many and varied meetings, conversations and gatherings. Though usually silent, in this column he offers his perspective on Parish life.
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A Pilgrimage | Jan and Brian Strehler
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The next morning, like pilgrims of old, we followed the sound of the bells of the majestic Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela as they called us to the Pilgrims’ Mass at noon. Joining the throngs walking through the narrow cobbled streets with the inverted scallops carved into the pavements and on the walls above the shops, these scallop shells were a constant reminder of our own beloved church of Santiago in the downtown east side of Vancouver. We had only walked a token kilometre or so, but others had been hiking for days or even weeks on the Camino—some starting as far away as France; but it did not matter, as we were all there for one purpose: to worship. The Mass was in Spanish but from the cadence of the celebrant, it was easy to follow the liturgy and insert our own responses as appropriate. A highlight was the passing of the Peace with other pilgrims of a dozen nationalities. High above, nearly touching the rafters, swung the enormous thurible held by eight men and weighing about 140 pounds. Another unique feature of the cathedral were the many confessionals around the nave, each bearing a sign indicating the language in which confessions could be heard. The experience of taking communion there was a memory that would bring tears to our eyes and last a lifetime.
photo by sean birch
n 2006, our journey to Santiago de Compostela began in Madrid some five days’ journey away, but our intention was on pilgrimage and we focused on this aspect as we journeyed this long distance. The city of Toledo is about an hour’s drive from Madrid. This walled city was the ancient capital of Spain, and there we found many vestiges of the cultures that came together to create this nation. The most interesting are the monuments left by the three monotheistic religions that have had an important presence in this city over the last millennium; mosques, synagogues and a vast array of churches are to be found, dominated by one of Europe’s most majestic gothic cathedrals. Today, Toledo remains the centre of the Catholic Church in Spain. A trio of World Heritage cities followed—all walled cities. Segovia, with its Roman aqueduct, the medieval castle and the cathedral. Close by the castle is the church of Vera Cruz built by the Knights Templar in the twelfth century as a duplicate of the celebrated church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Salamanca: city of learning. Home of one the three oldest universities in Europe, proudly boasting having had among its students, Brother Luis of Leon and St. John of the Cross. Avila, the birthplace of St. Theresa, Spanish Carmelite, nun and mystic. Within the walls of Avila (2,516 metres long and a height of 12 metres), is Spain’s first gothic style cathedral which follows the contours of the wall. The city of Leon was next on our journey. The gothic cathedral there has stained glass windows that rival those of Chartres Cathedral in France. As we journeyed, we frequently saw signs of scallop shells, pointing the way to Santiago de Compostela. Throughout our journey, Fr. William Derby, our tour guide, prayed with us, celebrated Mass and frequently reminded us of our pilgrimage to the venerated place of Santiago de Compostela.
Valiant’s Confident Song, On Reaching Journey’s End | John Bunyan Who would true Valour see, Let him come hither; One here will Constant be, Come Wind, come Weather. There’s no Discouragement, Shall make him once Relent, His first avow’d Intent, To be a Pilgrim. Who so beset him round, With dismal Storys, Do but themselves Confound; His strength the more is. No Lyon can him fright, He’ll with a Gyant Fight, But he will have a right, To be a Pilgrim. Hobgoblin, nor foul Fiend, Can daunt his Spirit: He knows, he at the end, Shall Life Inherit. Then Fancies fly away, He’ll fear not what men say, He’ll labour Night and Day, To be a Pilgrim.
John Bunyan (1628-1688), from Pilgrim’s Progress (part II, 1684)
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Doug’s Ride: Clean Water for Ethiopia | Doug Ibbott Start at the crossroads and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies, and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. - Jer. 6:16
From Vienna, Lynda flew home and I carried on, but very sorry to see her off at the airport. Nevertheless, it was good to get moving again. Loneliness soon vanished after a day’s ride when I arrived in Hainsburg, my last n May 9, 2010, I left Metro Vancouver on stop in Austria. I was interested to read in my bicycle a 10,000 km bicycle journey to raise funds touring guide, published in 2006 before Hungary had for a water project in Bonke District, South joined the EU, that I should “be prepared to meet grim Ethiopia, through Hope International faced armed border guards at the border of Slovakia and Canada. This journey entailed a ride across Canada to Hungary”; but when I arrived, I was greeted by the lonely Halifax, followed by a flight to Amsterdam and a ride rustle of wind through the tall weeds in the parking lot across Europe to the Black Sea. The original plan included and rusty sentinels of open gates to Central and Eastern a finish in Istanbul, but safety concerns redirected me to Europe. Off I pressed into lands I never thought I’d visit, complete my ride at Constanta (Romania) on the Black yet there I was—a stranger in a strange land. One day, Sea, a day’s drive north of Istanbul. after a long day pedaling in Serbia, I enjoyed a cup of Between challenging weather and terrain over coffee in a restaurant with Sting’s song, “Stranger in New 5000 km, muscle soreness and occasional exhaustion York,” playing in the background. I felt as if I were the began to dissipate. I even gained back the feeling in one stranger in Smederevo! of my fingers by the time I reached Europe. Canada was Crossing the border into Romania I lined up behind my trainer! mostly Dacias (Romania’s official brand of automobile), I met up with Lynda (my special friend and project where a curious customs agent took my passport and manager) in Amsterdam in late July for the European disappeared into the customs office, apparently rather leg of the journey where she dismayed. Another agent rode with me to Vienna. returned, said something in My intention for this trip was not Europe was a joy and hills Romanian, returned my passwere small as we rode through principally to gain spiritual enlight- port to me and waved me on Holland, Germany and Austria enment, but there were many while seeming to offer a rebuke on dedicated bicycle paths occasions when I felt remarkably to her colleague. Probably he and roadways. We reached hadn’t seen many Canadian close to God. the Danube at its source in passports (of bicycle travellers). Donaueschingen, Germany Realizing that this was the final and followed it to Vienna. This part of the trip was more country in my trip, I was excited to know that I would like a vacation, with great meals and regular stops for be finished by the end of September. On the morning lattes. Although we had camping gear, reasonable rates of my last day, a Sunday, lifeguards were working at the for bicycle B&B’s made daily destinations a comfortable Constanta Beach before they would return to university experience after long days of pedaling. in Bucharest. I asked one of them to take my picture,
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dipping my tire into the Black Sea. The next day I was on a bus to Istanbul and then home via British Airways. And so half a year of cycling culminated in a 14-hour flight home. Many of the people I met made this journey significant for me. Mika from Belgrade, and Lynda on Skype who helped me replace my lost bike guide; the couple from Saskatchewan who invited me to their RV for a hot meal folI was blessed lowing a tremendous prairie everything, yet storm; Chris and Elizabeth unexpected. from Munderkingen who drove many kilometres late at night to pick up Lynda and me; and the sisters who run the café in Newfoundland, who fed me a free roast beef dinner and rounded up donations from their customers for the water project. There were many more acts of kindness and support for the project—so very heartening to experience the goodness of others. I felt humbled by their generosity, love, and selflessness. My intention for this trip was not principally to gain spiritual enlightenment, but there were many occasions when I felt remarkably close to God, and I relied heavily on His strength and protection: I thought, “Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are the highways to Zion” (Psalm 85:4). This ride gave me an unexpected time for worship, song and prayer, because I was on my saddle for hours at a time. I recall stretches like the Cypress Hills of Saskatchewan, where I could belt out a few lines of hymns or songs fearlessly, only to be interrupted by a CN train engineer’s friendly wave or wail of his horn. I experienced spiritual moments on this ride, and enjoyed the power of prayer in seeking forgiveness for wrong-doing, along with encouragement, peace, strength, protection and blessing of others. I give thanks
for the support of Fr. Mark and the clergy of St. James’, as well as fellow parishioners who contributed financially to this project. I am also thankful to many other colleagues and friends. As a traveller, pilgrim, or bicycle tourist, I tend not to over-plan, but instead leave the window open for God’s light to shine in unexpected ways. I was blessed by not knowing everything, yet being by not knowing open to the unexpected. A. being open to the C. Benson wrote, “As I make my slow pilgrimage through the world, a certain sense of beautiful mystery seems to gather and grow”; and Frederick Buechner similarly said, “Religion points to that area of human experience where in one way or another, man comes upon mystery as a summons to pilgrimage.” I was summoned to this call of adventure and contribution to clean water in Ethiopia as a vision that grew into reality. Ten thousand kilometres of pedaling and the generous donations of supporters raised $10,000 for clean water for a community of 4,000 in South Ethiopia. Swami Sivananda said, “Life is a pilgrimage. The wise man does not rest by the roadside inns. He marches direct to the illimitable domain of eternal bliss, his ultimate destination.” Christ was born outside the safety and security of an inn; and we follow His pilgrimage in our daily walk, knowing that it may not always be comfortable—but that when we participate in the mystery of his birth, life, death and resurrection, our lives have greater meaning, hope and expectation for blessing and enlightenment, including an increased capacity for compassion for fellow pilgrims.
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Did You Know? Parish Life at St. James’ IN MEMORIAM Since Easter we have said a final farewell to several members of our St. James’ family. We give thanks for the lives of Robert Ainsworth, Sylvia Murphy, Penny Ehmann, Bob Gauthier and Hilda Darton. We honour their faithful examples and their many contributions to our Parish life. May they, and all the faithful departed, rest in peace and rise in glory. WEDDING BELLS AND CELEBRATIONS On June 30th, two of our parishioners, Edgar Young and Grace, were joined in Holy Matrimony. We congratulate them on this joyous occasion and wish them much happiness in their married life. On July 6th, both Alex and Marianne Currie, and Eric and Celia Dodds celebrated 50 years of marriage. EDUCATION AND FORMATION SESSIONS The final series of Formation sessions before the summer break was titled “The Christian Imagination: The Life of Christ in Poetry.” Through the language of poetry, participants experienced a different access to spiritual truth, one that seems intuitive and emotional rather than rational. Topics covered were the Annunciation, the Ministry of Jesus, the Passion, the Resurrection, the Ascension and Pentecost. VISIT FROM BISHOP MICHAEL INGHAM On the Feast of Corpus Christi, Michael Ingham, who retires at the end of August, visited St. James’ for the last time as our Diocesan Bishop. In his homily, he described St. James’ as a “flagship of the Anglo-Catholic 16 | PAX: St. James’ Day 2013
world, a treasure of the Diocese, and an untiring servant to people of all sorts and conditions.” FAREWELL TO MOTHER JESSICA SCHAAP On Sunday, June 2nd, Mother Jessica celebrated her final High Mass as a priest of St. James’. After five years as curate and then assistant priest, she has left to become rector of St. Paul’s in the West End. Her service of induction will be on Tuesday, August 6th—the Transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ—at 7:30 pm, and St. James’ parishioners are warmly invited for this occasion. COMING HOME SOCIETY’S YOUNG WOLVES LODGE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OPEN HOUSE On June 6th an Open House was held at Young Wolves Lodge to mark 10 years of operations. The home was filled to overflowing with parishioners and supporters from throughout the Diocese. The afternoon included prayers and remarks from both Bishop Michael and Wes Nahanee, Coast Salish spiritual leader, honouring both Christian and Aboriginal worship traditions. Guests enjoyed Aboriginal drumming, song and poetry, emotional presentations from the residents of Young Wolves Lodge, and the honouring of the Boards of the Coming Home Society and Urban Native Youth Association for 10 years of service to Young Wolves Lodge. SAINT JAMES MUSIC ACADEMY SPRING RECITAL On June 7th the Saint James Music Academy gave a splendid Spring Recital. Congratulations to all the students and teachers for their hard work over the past year!
ST. JAMES’ MOTHERS’ UNION EVENTS ‘Make a Mother’s Day’ Campaign This ethical giving campaign encouraged us to support global Mothers’ Union campaigns in the areas of Literacy and Financial Education, Family Life, Parenting, and the provision of clean food and water. Thanks to everyone who supported this successful campaign. Edwardian Strawberry Tea On June 23rd the Mothers’ Union held their second Strawberry Tea. Delicious sandwiches and ample helpings of homemade strawberry shortcake were enjoyed, along with musical entertainment from Gerald Harder, Ruth Greenaway-Robbins, and youth from the Saint James Music Academy. Two monologues, old standbys at Edwardian teas, were performed. Celia Dodds offered “Albert and the Lion,” and Sister Mary Christian Cross recited “The Battle of Hastings.” FAREWELL TO JANET HAMILTON Our St. James’ job-share Office Manager will be leaving us this summer. Janet has been a treasure, not only working in the Office every week from Thursday to Saturday, but also doing hours of volunteer work to beautify and maintain the St. James’ Church, St. Luke’s Home and St. James’ Place gardens. She recently had a huge compost sale to raise money for care of the gardens, and she plans to stay on as a volunteer. We will miss her in the Office, but will be happy to see her out in the gardens!
confirmation day at christ church cathedral, april 28, 2013; photo by elaine jan
baptism of alexander james bustin, march 30, 2013; photo by tracy russell
farewell for mother jessica schaap, june 2, 2013; photo by elaine jan
bishop michael inghamâ€™s visit on corpus christi, may 30, 2013; photo by elaine jan
wedding of celia and eric dodds, july 6, 1963 photo courtesy celia and eric dodds
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www.stjames.bc.ca our vision: Discovering the beauty of holiness in our lives and neighbourhood, by living a Christ-centred sacramental life rooted in the Anglo-Catholic tradition.
PAX is free, but voluntary subscriptions of $10/year are welcome. PAX aims to be financially self-sustaining and therefore donations to support this ministry are greatly appreciated, and may be offered through your envelope (clearly marked PAX), mailed to the church office, or submitted on the church website with a credit card. The material printed in PAX is produced by members and friends of St. James’ Church in Vancouver, Canada. A theme-based call for submissions is issued two to six weeks prior to each edition in the Sunday church bulletins. All submissions to PAX will receive acknowledgement of reception and be reviewed and edited by an editorial panel made up of the managing editor of PAX, a Warden, a member of the clergy, and one additional parishioner. Submissions are reviewed to the extent that they fit the mandate of PAX. All submissions may be edited for length, the maximum being 500 words unless otherwise specified.
photo by sean birch
PAX no. 19 © 2013 St. James’ Anglican Church Editorial Panel: Paul Stanwood, Tracy Russell, Tim Firth Designer & Art Director: Sean Birch Writers: Fr. Mark Greenaway-Robbins, Raquel Calanza-Bello, Tim Firth, Sr. Mary Christian Cross, Christine Hatfull, Angela Van Luven, Leslie Arnock, Jan and Brian Strehler, Doug Ibbott, John S. Conway, Sean Birch Photography: Sean Birch, Christine Hatfull, Elaine Jan, Tracy Russell Distribution: Mary Brown Archivist: Jane Turner