Our Lady of Victory parish is happy to welcome Fr. Jon Hansen, C.Ss.R. to Inuvik. Fr. Jon is a Redemptorist priest and has been ordained for 11 years. His past assignments have taken him across Canada from St. John’s, NL to Vancouver, BC. Most recently he has spent the past 6 years as a pastor of a parish in Saskatoon, SK. Interestingly this parish was also named Our Lady of Victory although today it simply goes by the name St. Mary parish.
Living and working in northern Canada has been a long time dream for Fr. Jon. When he was a child he used to read about the early explorers who ventured into the north and the amazing people that they met there when they arrived. He also was inspired by the tales of his grandfather and grandmother who spent several years working in Greenland back in the 1920’s. I guess you could say the north is in Fr. Jon’s blood and he is so happy to finally be here.
For the past number of years Fr. Jon has been helping out across the Mackenzie-Ft. Smith diocese with ministry during the major feast days of the Church year such as Christmas and Easter. He has been to the Sahtu and Tłįcho regions as well as the Athabasca region of northern Saskatchewan. Two years ago Fr. Jon visited the Delta as he and his father drove up the Dempster highway to have a look around and meet some of the people. He liked what he saw and is now happy to call it home.
While stationed here Fr. Jon will be responsible for the parish in Inuvik as well as the missions of Tsiigehtchic, Tuktoyaktuk and Paulatuk with occasional visits to Aklavik and Uluhoktuk. He is looking forward to getting out “on the land” and meeting people in their communities. He hopes that he can pick up a few words of the local languages along the way.
It is important to Fr. Jon that he gets to know the people he is ministering to starting with getting to know their names. Please introduce yourself to him and don’t be offended if it takes him a couple of tries to remember. He also encourages people to stop by the rectory, behind the church, and say hello and would be thrilled to receive an invitation to visit you in your own homes.
The Redemptorists are a congregation of priests founded by St. Alphonsus Liguori. Their mandate is to work in the areas of the Church which are high in need due to isolation or poverty. They believe that they are not only called to share God’s word with those they serve but also to learn from the people they serve because God is already present and active in their midst.