From the Dean’s Desk… Advent One

Son of Man coming in clouds, Helen SieglBeware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come.  Mk 13:33

Happy New Year!  I guess…  Advent is the beginning of the Church Year, the liturgical calendar, and traditionally understood as a time of preparation for Christmas.  But, it’s not quite that simple, or easy.

Every store, the entire commercial world, is more than ready.  Every possible medium of mass communication is saturated with messages carefully crafted to tug at our heartstrings and then at our pockets and purses, to tug money out of them.  The ‘Coming One’ has already come, with the Santa Claus Parade the Saturday after Remembrance Day, and is now ruthlessly exploited to squeeze as many dollars as possible out of everyone, including those who can’t afford to spend anything, but feel compelled to do so anyhow.

So what about us?  How are we feeling, and what on earth – or not – is Jesus talking about in his stern words from the Gospel?  Now it’s Mark’s Gospel, which will be our main source for the coming year, during Year B of the three year lectionary (four assigned readings for each Sunday) which is our discipline in the Anglican Church of Canada, and in many other churches also, including our Full Communion partner the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.

Beware!  Keep alert!  Keep awake!  Keep awake!

Yes, Advent is a time to prepare for Christmas, and the celebration of the Word made flesh in the helpless baby of Bethlehem, whose family would soon become homeless refugees, but Christmas itself, the whole Feast of twelve days, is really a time of preparation for the rest of the story.  The helpless human baby will grow up, the wood of the manger will take another form as, eventually, that baby, named Y’shua (or Joshua, or Jesus) becomes the helpless man nailed to a cross.  All the tinsel and shiny globes and bright lights in the world cannot make this tree beautiful.  What will make it beautiful, though, is the light of God’s love shining so brightly in the suffering servant who is obedient unto death, even death on a cross, for our sake, and the sake of all.

Can we handle this, when the rest of the world – at least our part of it – is urging us into an orgy of materialism and self-idolatry?  To do so, we are invited to journey together in the Spirit of the Servant Christ, in prayer, in reflection, in worship, in service, disciples together of Jesus.  To make this journey of preparation for service in the Reign of God, Jesus himself invites us, strongly, urgently:Son of Man coming in clouds, Durer woodcut

Therefore, keep awake — for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”  Mark 13:35-37

The Royal Winnipeg Rifles at St. John’s Cathedral for Remembrance Sunday

Remembrance Sunday, Cpl. Kyle Hall lays a wreath at the RWR Memorial, St. John's Cathedral ChurchyardSt. John’s Rector and Dean of Rupert’s Land, The Very Rev. Paul N. Johnson, said both soldiers were mentioned by name during the prayers, which featured the Rifles’ regimental band throughout the service. “It’s a privilege to have this service — every year they come and we remember, with them — it’s a special day,” Johnson said. “But it’s more poignant this year. Everything is still fresh in people’s minds about both here and overseas. But we even pray for our enemies, as we are called to do, and we pray for peace, which every soldier wants.”

Please read the full story here.

Remembrance Sunday at St. John’s Cathedral

CPC MP Joy Smith and PNJ-2We had another great Remembrance Sunday service with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles Band, and other members. We had some visitors too, of course, including first time visitor today MP Joy Smith, one of our local MPs. Joy serves the people of Kildonan-St. Paul (east and west) Riding. She also has done an extraordinary amount of great work in fighting human trafficking, through The Joy Smith Foundation, as well as in the Parliament of Canada. Thank you, Joy!

Remembrance Sunday at the Cathedral: November 9th, 2014

Remembrance, Canada - We Remember

Join us for worship at 10:30 a.m. The Regimental Band of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles — gazetted in 1883 and associated with this Cathedral since — will be with us, playing prelude, postlude, and several hymns. Parade to the Regimental Memorial follows immediately, with coffee, tea, cakes, and fellowship in the John West Hall to follow that. The Director of the Band is 2nd Lt. Ryan Wehrle. Welcome Rifles, welcome all!

Address: 135 Anderson Avenue, just off north Main, north of St. John’s Park, east toward the River, street parking.

RWR band march 2008 SJAC


Advent Quiet Day With Nancy Phillips, Saturday, November 29

O No! Christmas is coming and I’m not ready!

o emmanuelCome and join us for an Advent Quiet Day. We will use the words of the ancient O Antiphons as a way of opening to the blessing of the Christ child, incorporating the poetry of Malcolm Guite, the music of Steve Bell and visual imagery. The day will involve periods of silence for personal reflection.

The Advent Quiet Day will provide an opportunity to find quiet space within yourself to sustain you through the busy days ahead and find meaning in your celebration of the Christ Child.

Saturday, November 29th, 9:30 AM to 2:00 PM

At St. John’s Anglican Cathedral, 135 Anderson Ave.
Cost: $10.00 at the door (includes lunch)
Registration (required) deadline is Sunday, November 23rd
To register phone (204) 586-8385 or

Students learn about Canada’s history, people at city cemetery

school trip(Excerpt from the Winnipeg Free Press, Friday, October 31)

Emmanuel Santiago hadn’t expected the St. John’s Anglican Cathedral Cemetery to be full of people with “foreign names.” Such as?

“Like Archibald,” said the Grade 8 student from Andrew Mynarski VC School Thursday while taking part in Mr. Mike’s 40th annual social studies research field trip to a local cemetery that would be a perfect setting for any horror movie.

So on the eve of Halloween, on a cold, grey morning, with flakes of snow drifting down, about 100 children walked among the tombstones of people born in unfamiliar worlds who had died long before the kids were born. To read the entire article, click

The Seven Oaks Historical Society Fall Concert

A Salute to Our Early Pioneers

Microsoft Word - Poster 5-cPioneers PDF.docThe Seven Oaks Historical Society presents ‘A Salute to Our Early Pioneers’ at the Cathedral (135 Anderson Ave), starting at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 22.

The concert will feature the Winnipeg Mandolin Orchestra of the Association of United Ukrainian Canadians, the North End Jewish Folk Choir; Icelandic musical artists with a saga teller; and the German Dance Group “Der Treue Husar.” The Seven Oaks Historical Society extends an open invitation to all Winnipeggers, their families and friends, to join them in this multi-cultural celebration. Admission is free. Donations towards the ongoing work of the Seven Oaks Historical Society will be gratefully accepted.

Microsoft Word - Poster 5-cPioneers PDF.docRefreshments will be served after the concert. For additional information: phone 204-338-6399 or email:

Joseph Albert (‘Pom Pom’) Charles Bruneau – Requiescat in pace

Al BruneauALBERT (POM POM) BRUNEAU It is with heavy hearts we announce Al’s death at the age of 76 years on October 10, 2014 after a long, courageous battle with colo-rectal cancer. Left to mourn Al are his wife Heather; children Rene, Florence, Yvonne, Stacy, Louise, Greg; as well as several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Al was born in St. Boniface on April 13, 1938 and grew up in the Lac Du Bonnet area before moving to Winnipeg. He worked hard at many jobs all of his life before becoming a Pembina Trails School Division courier from 1981 to 2012. After retiring, Al kept busy as a lunchroom supervisor at Acadia Junior High. When Al wasn’t working, you’d find him visiting his friends, former coworkers, or those working at many Fort Richmond businesses. You couldn’t go anywhere with Al without running into someone he knew. He also loved music and to meet new people, which led him to ballroom dancing and his wife Heather. Al also believed in keeping his family ties strong. He rarely missed the chance to spend time with his children and grandchildren.

On Saturday, October 18, 2014, Al’s funeral service will be held at 2:30 p.m. in St. John’s Cathedral, 135 Anderson Avenue between Main Street and the Red River. In lieu of flowers, if friends so desire, donations in Al’s name may be made to Siloam Mission, Main Street Project, CancerCare Manitoba or the Riverview Health Centre Foundation. Our family would like to thank the warm and caring Palliative Homecare staff, particularly nurses Marianne N. and Joanne, as well as Riverview Health Centre staff, who allowed him to die with dignity.

Wojcik’s Funeral Chapel & Crematorium, 1020 Main Street, Winnipeg, MB 204-586-8668, in care of arrangements.

Al Bruneau, headshot“My darling, my life, Just by being in the world, You made it a better place.”

As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on October 15, 2014

Thanksgiving and Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving-God's goodness

We are grateful.
You have given us this day and have given us this way
to say Thank You.
We thank you for giving us
what we need to be grateful.
We offer back to you
all that we have
all that we are.
We know our thank you
is as fragile as we are
– it can be crushed
by the care of the moment
– it can disappear
in the heat of the day
– it can be blown away
by the winds of suffering.

And so we ask You
to  take our small thank you
into Your great act of Thanksgiving:
You, Lord of the loaves and fishes,
You who are from God
with God and for God,
You in whom it is all
and Amen!

—Mary Jo Leddy