Fr. Barry Bercier AAThe latest update from Fr. Barry serving for one year the Inuit Catholic parish in Igloolik (above the Arctic Circle)...

"There are times when I think I’m back in my hometown with our old Hungarian family.  When I see the Inuit sitting on the floor, gathered together for a feast of raw seal and caribou, I think of my family sitting on overturned bushel baskets in the cellar, spending a week separating grapes from their stems to make wine. That world has been devoured by modernity’s merciless bureaucracy.  The culture of death isn’t limited to abortion clinics...   It’s our automatic mindset, invisible to us.

You asked about vacations up here.  Flights out of Igloolik are prohibitively expensive.  Today I head to my other mission, Hall Beach.  A 15 minute flight.  I always go standby, because that takes something off the price of the ticket, but still, for two trips to Hall Beach I could do round trip from Boston to Ben Gurion. And I’m too old to go camping out on the ice. vacation!

Being stuck indoors has been an opportunity to write, however. I guess that’s my vacation.

I mentioned some time ago that adoption is very common, and legally very easy. (Again, no bureaucracy.) Some of the kids have asked me to adopt them.  At first I though it was a joke, but they were serious.  A couple of them I would adopt if I were in different circumstances.

(The phone just rang.  Another house blessing request.  Demons everywhere, I guess!  ...but let me tell you, the bureaucratic demons are worse—the Inuit demons people see, they hear their footsteps, feel their presence, and they are afraid.  But holy water chases them away.  The bureaucratic demons you don’t see, and you don’t know enough to fear...and holy water doesn’t wash them away...)

You’re right.  It’s springtime.  Up here that doesn’t mean flowers.  The sea is still frozen.  But there’s light, blindingly bright light, shining all day off the whiteness of snow and ice.  I never wore sunglasses, but here you have to!  Overall, even with all-day darkness for a couple months of winter, light is what characterizes the Arctic.

OK...I’m off now to cast out some demons!"

Barry, aa

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 May 2018 09:14