Father George’s Story

Father George was ordained into the priesthood as an Oblate in Maillardville BC in 1968. One of his first parishes was the Lady of Seven Sorrows of the Hobbema Reserve in Alberta, where sadly, there were 150 funerals each year!….He has worked in Ft McMurray in the 80s and Ft Simpson 1987-92. He worked tirelessly , when in June of 1987, it was announced that pope John Paul would visit Ft. Simpson in September of that year. This was a huge undertaking and Fr. George was very instrumental in its success. One proud moment for him was standing his ground on having 6 female altar servers among the 18 total for the 3 hour mass. The Vatican only wanted male servers at that point.

Another interesting story is that Father was able to gather a 100 year old vintage chalice belonging to Bishop Grandin (1829-1902) to use at the very special mass. It was smaller and not a standard chalice and in the end even with its historical significance and Fathers efforts , it was not used! Ft. Simpson was father George’s parish ..but he would also visit 1. Ft. providence 2. Jean Marie river community 3. Trout lake 4 Fort Liard 5 Nahanni Bute 6 Wrigley.. After all the work he put in for the papal visit, he was able to obtain a Cessna 172 aircraft ( yes, father had his pilots licence) this made travelling to these remote communities easier…

He also spent a year studying at Berkley ( Oakland) California in 1992. He was assigned to St. Albert ( outskirts of Edmonton) from 1993 to 2002 after which he came to Salmon Arm. He and Father Bob Chisolm looked after Chase, Celista, Blind Bay, Salmon Arm & Sicamous until Fr Bobs passing in January 2008. Fr George is celebrating his 48th year in the priesthood and we hope to keep him in Salmon Arm for a little while longer . Congratulations on 51 years of dedicated service to God and his people. Well done, Father George! —  Ken Nowicki .. … Salmon Arm B.C.