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Catholic Vancouver April 3, 2018

Warm welcome despite cold weather for Archbishop’s visit

By Agnieszka Ruck

Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, shakes hands with parishioners at St. Andrew ’s Parish in Vancouver in late February. He plans to visit all 77 parishes in the archdiocese. (Garvan Yeung / Special to The B.C. Catholic)

VANCOUVER—Fresh snow didn’t chill the spirits of St. Andrew’s parishioners who arrived with mittens and hospitality for Archbishop J. Michael Miller’s visit to their church Feb. 22-25.

“The people at St. Andrew’s were warm, welcoming, and ever so hospitable,” said Barbara Dowding, the archbishop’s notary on parish visits. “There is an air of community that is open to anyone who comes by.”

Archbishop Miller spent the weekend visiting the school, celebrating Mass with hundreds of parishioners at the church, and meeting with various groups and ministries as snow continued to fall Friday and Saturday.

“The parishioners were at the ready with shovels, mitts, and salt ready to clear the lot, all part of the job they said. They cleared and cleared again, joyful the whole time,” said Dowding.

The archbishop’s weekend appearance at St. Andrew’s was his fourth official parish visit since he announced last year he plans to spend a few days each with all 77 parishes in the Archdiocese of Vancouver.

It’s a task he acknowledged will take several years to complete. He began the project with Corpus Christi Parish in Vancouver Oct. 19-23. He then visited St. Matthew’s in Surrey and Holy Trinity in North Vancouver in January.

Archbishop Miller greets a child at St. Andrew's. (Garvan Yeung / Special to The B.C. Catholic)

He celebrated Mass with St. Andrew’s students on the morning of Feb. 22.

“It is a real joy for me to be with all of you,” he told the children. “The St. Andrew’s family is proud of its school, as am I.” During Lent, he encouraged them to “find a little quiet time every day to hear Jesus’ gentle voice.”

More photos and information about upcoming parish visits are available here.

The archbishop's next parish visit is May 3-6 to Sts. Joachim and Ann in Aldergrove.