By Mischelle Kuhar
St. Ann’s Indian Mission Director of Development
St. Ann's Indian Mission, Belcourt, ND
St. Ann’s Indian Mission was part of several holiday initiatives to make sure local families had a merry Christmas. Church volunteers assisted the Turtle Mountain Tribal Offices at Thanksgiving and Christmas to ensure that families without transportation were able to receive turkeys and hams offered to each family.
As Christmas approached, an array of toys, games, and candy showed up on the church doorsteps as members of St. John Neumann Church in Canton, Mich. shopped online and shipped toys to Belcourt. Volunteers spent a day wrapping the gifts and then Santa and his elves delivered the gifts to local children in need a few days before Christmas. The delight on the children’s faces was reward enough for the volunteers who made Santa’s visit possible by loaning their delivery van and time.
Local organizer Duane Gourneau, a member of St. Ann’s Indian Mission parish, said, “It was beautiful to bring joy to the children on Christmas, and we were blessed to have one of our priests help out. Father Dave Brokke, our associate pastor, came with us and offered to bless the house of each family on our route.”
The combination of tangible and spiritual gifts reminds us of the call to attend to the needs of those around us as they bring to mind the gifts of Christ’s presence and the magi’s offerings on the first Christmas.