This is a detail from an old Ukrainian Catholic church which is found in countryside in east-central Saskatchewan. The church was built during a Ukrainian immigration period in order to meet the needs of those who settled as homesteaders in the region. More modern churches in urban centres have drawn the children and grandchildren and great grandchildren. Fewer families live in the rural settings. Yet, the church still stands and for now, a few make it their spiritual home.
When I was a youth, I had believed that I would become a priest. I was a serious young person that seemed to have an old soul, a soul that hungered for spirituality, hungered for something more than the day-to-day life that a child experienced. By the time I was an adolescent, I had come to the conclusion that the church didn’t have enough answers for the questions that I had, and for the questions I sensed were waiting to be asked. And so, I gave up on the idea of becoming a priest. I knew that I would not be a good priest – I just didn’t believe enough – there were too many doubts.
It wasn’t long before my quest for answers, the quest for missing questions, lead me to search in libraries. There, I met Neitzsche and a number of others who had also gone in search of questions and answers outside of the church. And in listening to these others, I came to realise that the place I needed to go for my needed sense of spiritual connection was within my “self.” I couldn’t dump the responsibility on any clergy of any faith, nor on the tenets of any faith. The responsibility lay within.