Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church in Sturgeon Falls is celebrating a wrap-up of their 75th anniversary as a parish with a Jubilee mass this coming Sunday, November 27th, with the Most Rev. Thomas Dowd, Bishop of the Diocese of Sault Ste-Marie to celebrate, followed by a luncheon. Father Amaladhas Tensingh Alexander has spent the last year asking his parishioners to turn the Sorrows of Our Lady into Joys, and his parishioners have responded to his inspired mission by inviting the community of Sturgeon Falls to join them this Sunday.
Over the 75 years there have been 25 priests, Rev. Alexander being the 25th. Father Alexander arrived in Canada from India in 2020, one month before the COVID lockdowns. He has since become a favourite with many community members, both Catholic and those who profess other denominations, or no faith, having impressed locals with his compassion for the dispossessed in the community, his enduring enthusiasm in the face of the COVID challenges, and his posture of humble learning. Rev. Tensingh Alexander has consistently said that his mission was to serve everyone in the community, not just his Catholic parishioners. He took the 75th anniversary of the parish to heart and devised a 70-week program of Seven Joys: Care for our common home Mother Earth; Care for the Single Mother; Listen to the voices of the Indigenous people; Care for the Poor and Homeless; Care for the Dysfunctional, Care for the Migrants; Care for the Children. The celebration of Indigenous Voices saw a packed church with people coming from as far as Sudbury.
Parishioner Greg Humbert, who was also the 11th priest to this parish, has his own project. “I’ve been working on a history for after the celebration so we can include the celebration. My intent is to have a historical section, a milestone of photos over the 75 years, and a number of pages on how we celebrated our year.” Humbert undertook the liturgy for Care of the Migrant section; he and his wife Jenny were very much involved helping West Nipissing raise $40,000 to sponsor and provide a home to a refugee family from Africa.