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Ordination of Churchill-Hudson Bay Bishop Anthony Wieslaw Krotki in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut (May 30, 2013)

(Version française de ce texte)

Last Thursday, May 30, 2013, the community of Rankin Inlet celebrated the ordination of the new Catholic Bishop, Anthony Wieslaw Krotki, OMI, who is succeeding to Bishop Reynald Rouleau, OMI. What a privilege it was to be invited by Most Reverend Rouleau to be among the 500 guests who would witness this unique event.

I met Bishop Rouleau for the first time in the fall of 2010 while attending the Churchill Northern Studies Center’s Lords of the Arctic program. During one of our outings in a tundra buggy, a group of four joined us. Bishop Rouleau was part of that group. Being the only two French-speaking persons on board, we quickly recognized the Quebecois accent and started chatting. Since then, we crossed paths a few times both in Churchill and in Montreal.

Bishop Rouleau and Lorraine Brandson, head of the Eskimo Museum in Churchill, knowing my interest in the Canadian Arctic had the idea of inviting me to discover a new northern community and to share this historic day with them. What privilege and unique opportunity!

At 4:30 Thursday morning, I joined thirty or so individuals at the Ottawa airport to take place on board the flight that was chartered by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. A stop in Winnipeg allowed more than 80 others to join us: bishops, archbishops, Oblates, Grey Sisters, dignitaries, members of the Polish community, … The joy and excitement of all these people coming from all corners of Canada and Poland could easily be felt. Nolinor’s Boeing 737  was filled to capacity. At 10AM local time, we landed in Rankin Inlet and were immediately directed to the church, just a mere five minutes walk away.

Below you will find a small selection of photographs to summarize this memorable day. If you would like to see more images, take a look at the “Rankin Inlet – Ordination of the new bishop Anthony Wieslaw Krotki”  portfolio which includes more than 90 photographs.

Église Mary Our Mother de Rankin Inlet.

Rankin Inlet’s Mary Our Mother Church.

Arrivée des convives à l'église Mary Our Mother de Rankin Inlet.

Arrival of guests at the Mary Our Mother church in Rankin Inlet.

Deux jeunes du Régiment royal canadien montent la garde devant l'autel avant le début de la cérémonie.

The Royal Canadian Regiment gards the altar before the start of the ceremony.

Bannières en peau de phoque confectionnées par la communauté pour la cérémonie d'ordination de l'évêque Anthony Wieslaw Krotki

Seal skin banners were prepared by Rankin Inlet’s community members specifically for the ordination ceremony.


Le début de la cérémonie par l'entrée de la croix (sculptée sur une défense de narval).

The entrance of the cross (placed on top of a sculpted narwal tusk).

Les évêques font leur entrée. Ici, Mgr Bryan Bayda (évêque éparchial ukrainien de Saskatoon) et Mgr David Motiuk (évêque éparchial ukrainien d'Edmonton)

Entrance of the bishops. Here, Most Rev. Bryan Bayda (Ukrainian Eparchial Bishop of Saskatoon) and Most Rev. David Motiuk (Ukrainian Eparchial Bishop of Edmonton)

Plus de 500 personnes ont assisté à la cérémonie.

Over 500 attended the ceremony.


La cérémonie est présidée par Mgr Reynald Rouleau accompagné de Mgr Gilles Cazabon (évêque émérite de Saint-Jérôme) et Mgr Murray Chatlain (archevêque de Keewatin-The Pas)

The ceremony was presided by Most Rev. Reynald Rouleau assisted by Most Rev. Gilles Cazabon (Bishop Emeritus of  Saint-Jérôme) and Most Rev. Murray Chatlain (Archbishop of Keewatin-The Pas)

Cérémonie d'ordination. Remarquez l'ordinand qui est couché sur la peau de l'ours polaire.

Ordination ceremony. Notice the bishop-elect laying down on the polar bear skin.

L'imposition des mains par chacun des évêques présents

The Laying on of hands ceremony by all Bishops present

Prière d'ordination durant laquelle l'évangiliaire ouvert est déposé sur la tête de l'ordinand.

During the Ordination Prayer, the Book of Gospels was placed upon the head of the bishop-elect.

Prière d'ordination durant laquelle l'évangiliaire ouvert est déposé sur la tête de l'ordinand.

Ordination Prayer

La crosse entourée de l'évêque émérite, Mgr Reynald Rouleau, et du nouvel évêque, Mgr Anthony Wieslaw Krotki.

The Pastoral Staff between Most Rev. Reynald Rouleau, the retiring bishop, and Most Rev. Anthony Wieslaw Krotki, the new bishop.

L'évêque Anthony Wieslaw Krotki fait le tour de l'église pour bénir ses fidèles

The new bishop Anthony Wieslaw Krotki goes around the church to give his blessing.

Le nouvel évêque termine la messe accompagné par Mgr Reynald Rouleau et Mgr Murray Chatlain

The new Bishop with Most Rev. Reynald Rouleau and Most Rev. Murray Chatlain


L'évêque Anthony Wieslaw Krotki

Bishop Anthony Wieslaw Krotki telling us stories of his adventures when he first arrived in Nunavut, 22 years ago. “Come here, you, come here”, he was told by an Inuit elder.

Blason de Mgr Anthony Wieslaw Krotki

Bishop Anthony Wieslaw Krotki’s Coat of Arms

Le banquet qui a suivi la cérémonie d'ordination.

The feast that was held in the town’s arena after the ordination ceremony.

Nourriture traditionnelle inuite: viande de caribou, omble de l'Arctique, ...

Traditional Inuit food: caribou meat, Arctic Char, …

Thank you to Bishop Rouleau, Lorraine Branson and the  Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate  for giving me this once in a life time chance. Thank you to all community members of  Rankin Inlet who worked so hard to make this day such a memorable experience for all.

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