Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of January 24, 2005
Stewardship in Action
Special to the WCR
For many, the notion of stewardship is as natural as greeting your neighbour with a smile or remembering to say "thank you." It stems from a desire to live as Christ, love without boundary and find the fulfillment that comes with generosity and faith.
In the small rural hamlet of Villeneuve, the members of St. Peter's Catholic Church Choir are building their own legacy of service and stewardship with the musical play Mary's Veil.
Mary's Veil began as a fundraiser for the West Sturgeon Aging in Place Foundation, a non-profit organization working towards building affordable and supportive housing for seniors in the area.
In 2001, this housing seemed an unattainable dream, yet choir and community members were willing to put their time and talents toward making this dream a reality.
Sandra Brenneis, the writer and composer of Mary's Veil, along with some 40 other cast, musicians and crew members staged the play in the hopes of raising $10,000 for the cause. The play was so successful that it has run for three years with 16 consecutive sold-out performances. It raised $140,000 for the West Sturgeon Aging in Place Foundation.
Soon others were aware of and supporting the cause. To date, the communities in West Sturgeon have raised more than $500,000 and now with a joint federal-provincial government grant of $2.75 million, the building of the facility will begin in the spring of 2005.
The success of Mary's Veil is twofold: As a fundraiser, it is impressive on its own and the play has also had a powerful spiritual impact on its audiences. Mary's Veil, which chronicles the life of Mary as she grows from child to wife and then mother, is portrayed by four women, each of whom wear Mary's veil when taking on the role of Mary.
It was Brenneis' hope that the audience could connect with the person of Mary, and through her service to God, recognize their personal call to stewardship.
This small group from Villeneuve has accepted the challenges and received the gifts which accompany a commitment to stewardship. And in doing so, they offer one more example of how the combined efforts of each ordinary person can create a place of hope, inspiration and living faith.
This will be the last season St. Peter's Choir is scheduled to perform Mary's Veil at the Arden Theatre in St. Albert. It plays the last two weekends of February and tickets are still available by calling Simonne at 458-0908.
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