I was in the chapel the other morning & I watched a squirrel searching for his breakfast. He was leaping across from branch to branch, with an ease that any dancer, familiar to such heights, would display. No symphony to accompany every precise move, but only the unstoppable northeast winds off of Anderson Lake howled in the background. The choreography became trepid as this little creature would venture out onto the thinnest & supplest of branches to get the food that was out on the end.
Life here at Anishinabe Spiritual Centre (ASC) has been quite a dance. Since my arrival as new Director of the ASC on Anderson Lake in May, I have seen life teem. We all know what dramatic changes occur from early spring to early summer—the Centre has been no exception. Fr. Mike Stogre, S.J., willingly handed over the duties of director to me. Br. Gerry Forest returned, to keep the financial records in shape. And then joining me as new members of ASC have been Fr. Alex Kirsten (from Midland) & Paul Robson (Toronto via Nepal). Also on staff are Gerrie MacGregor & Sylvia Shawanda, where kitchen is their domain, and Leonard Cywink where every physical part of this Centre is his concern as maintenance man & builder. And the latest member to join us is Nichkin, our dog. Along with this group, there are Frs Doug McCarthy & Jim Kelly who are also part of the staff, and live and work in Native communities on Manitoulin Island.
So we are all being stretched: some in making room and others in finding their place in this setting, beautiful & so honest in its full display of seasons. So far we have shared together two of them & we are into our third one: the time we have to go out on a limb & collect food, create programmes, hopefully all nourishment in the end, so that others like you feel welcomed and or want to help in some way to keep the ASC thriving. This newsletter, Storyteller, is one attempt.
There is so much more that I want to say & tell but for now, let us keep in touch. It is a privilege to be here & together I hope we can go out on a limb. Miigwetch.
Fr. David Shulist SJ