Yesterday marked the middle Sunday of my vacation. Normally, while on vacation I wouldn’t attend one of churches that I serve at However, yesterday was an exception as it marked the final service for Rev. Canon Henry Falconer, before he retires. There was an official send-off earlier this month that I wasn’t able to attend and so I went yesterday to add my farewell.
Father Henry served at Holy Trinity for 30 years, starting as verger/caretaking, becoming a deacon, and later priest. During his time as priest Henry’s main focus was the Mission Ministry. Every Monday through Friday, the church served soup and sandwiches to 150-175 people daily. The Mission MInistry also operated a clothing room and delivered about 75 hampers each Christmas. Yesterday was not just a chance to say farewell to Henry, but also a chance for Henry to thank the many people who have over the years served God in their neighbours as part of the Mission Ministry.
For me it was a chance to think a little bit about my time serving with Henry. It’s been 15 years since I first walked into Holy Trinity and Henry has been one of the really constants in that time. Much of my experience in learning the liturgy and taking my place as clergy was helped along by Henry. I often found myself slightly in awe at the amount of work Henry put into the Mission Ministry.
He was also a great entry into the larger community. If I mentioned that I was connected to Holy Trinity, there was a good chance that somebody at the gathering would want to know if I knew Father Henry. He has been a faithful servant of God at Holy Trinity for three decades and he will be missed now that he has entered into retirement, and into whatever adventures God has next for him.
Of course, you can’t have a farewell service like that without having a celebratory feast afterwards. This time around Holy Trinity organized a goodbye potluck. The serving table was overflowing with food, and there was even more waiting in the kitchen, to be put out when that food started to run out. I could describe all the food we had to eat, but that would leave here until my own retirement. I’m putting a gallery below with just a small fraction of the food that was available.
My contribution was a couple of quiches. I was so busy making them on the Saturday evening taht I forgot to take pictures of them. the filling for the quiche, along with the eggs and cream, was green and yellow peppers, red onion, and feta cheese, along with salt, pepper, tarragon and basil. I had more filling than I needed so I port the remainder into a loaf pan and created a crustless version. It was quite delicious.
I probably tasted a little bit of about a dozen items. That was only a small fraction of what was available, but I didn’t want to overdo my eating, because later in the afternoon I intended to hit another fall supper.
St. Michael’s Ukrainian Catholic Church Fall Supper
Being on vacation, one of the things that I really wanted to do this year was to visit some of Winnipeg’s fall suppers that occur earlier in the year. Yesterday, there were two suppers. One at St. Michael’s and ond at St. Anne’s Ukrainian Catholic Churches. I didn’t know if there was much difference between the two in terms of their menus, so I decided I would give the supper at St. Michael’s a whirl.
I had waited to the last minute to decide which one I would go to, and when I phoned after the service at Holy Trinity, I discovered that the dinner at St. Michael’s was a roling service. So all you needed to do was show up between 3 pm and 6 pm when the meal would be over. I ended up arriving just after 4 pm and was a little nervous when I got there.
The dinner is served in the basement of the parish hall. This hall seats about 250 when completely full. When I arrived, the tables were mainly full. Not only that, but the serving laine, which went along the whole of the back wall, and then curved around to side wall and all the way back to the door I entered was 50 to 70 people long. However, there was need to worry. The people serving the dinner were clearly old pros at making sure that everyone was served in speedy fashion. They also did a great job of keeping the tables clear and clean. Especially good at this were the young (6-8 yr old I’d guess) children who were helping taking trays and dishes off the table.
The service was not only speedy, but the food was also plentiful and tasty. There were perogies, followed by cabbage rolls, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, meatballs, fried chicken, sliced cucumbers, a small container of coleslaw and a slice of bread. I chose the sugary cherry drink instead of coffee.
The meal was delicious. The highlight of most fall suppers is the desserts, and St. Michael’s was no exception. There were a variety of pies that were being put out and made sure to grab myself a slice of blueberry pie before I head back to my table.
Unlike a lot of the other dinners I’ve been to there wasn’t a lot of conversation around my table. However, I noticed a priest sitting a couple of tables over from me and went and introduced myself. It turns out he’s a retired priest but he helps out in the parish. Laster in the evening I spotted Fr. Alan Wizinsky, the parish priest. I found out that he’s only a recent arrival to the Winnipeg having been on Vancouver Island before that. His ministry is split between St. Michael’s and St. Anne’s .
As I was getting ready to leave I was thinking that this was a fall supper where I hadn’t run into anybody I know, but as I stood up, I looked over at the lineup, and there was John, a parishioner from Holy Trinity. John is the guy who makes sure the doors get closed after Sunday Services and is always helping get things set up at the Parish. Like me John is also a pedestrian, so I often run into him when I’m wandering through downtown Winnipeg.
St. Michael’s puts on a very good fall supper and I highly recommend that you check out next year’s edition.