Sister Thérèse Orieux has lived on Seabird Island village (an Indian reserve) since November 20, 2000. The village consists of about 75 families, mostly from the Sto:Lo Nation, the people on the North Shore of the Fraser River. The following is how she describes her ministry.
My ministry in this village is challenging but filled with the Creator’s blessings. One of my general duties is to visit the homes to get to know the people. Over a month ago I received a phone call asking me to visit an elderly bedridden couple. Upon arrival, I was shown to their bedroom by their daughter. They welcomed me and the mother told me of her terminal condition with cancer. She asked me if she could receive communion even if she hadn’t been to church for a while. She looked me right in the eyes and said "I know I’m not worthy but I really want to have Jesus in my heart!" My immediate response was "Jesus really wants to come in your heart too." She died peacefully three weeks later, surrounded by her husband and large family. The words "Lord, I am not worthy" have a whole new meaning for me now.
Other aspects of my ministry consist of attending gatherings such as the Elders’ Celebrations, funerals (a dozen in the past 3 months), and naming ceremonies for children being welcomed into the community. I lead baptism preparation with young parents, help parents prepare their children for First Communion and work with adults who wish to deepen their knowledge of Jesus and the Bible.
Last year, at the request of some mothers, the pastor of an Evangelical church and I offered a week of bible school during July for the young Roman Catholic and Evangelical church members. This was very successful and we plan to offer it again with the help of parents and the youth.