Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of July 14, 2008
Noster goes from playing Jesus to being Jesus
- WCR photo by Ramon Gonzalez
Ken Noster and his wife Marlene toured the country with their own theatre company.
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
Kenneth Noster lives out his faith serving the Church and the faithful at St. Joseph's Parish in Derwent.
Over the years Noster, 56, has done almost all that's possible for a lay person to do in the Church - from presiding at lay-led liturgies and doing marriage preparation and sacramental preparation to leading Scripture studies and organizing prayers of intercession to organizing parish missions.
At St. Joseph's he is known as a man of integrity, a homeschooling father of six, teacher, actor, college of arts president and a mixed farmer. He is a familiar face to theatre lovers.
For 30 years Noster played the role of Jesus in the Easter play Love According to John at Edmonton's Jubilee Auditorium.
Now, Noster not only plays Jesus; he "is" Jesus. Through his July 4 ordination to the permanent diaconate, he was sacramentally configured to Christ the servant.
"It's a calling," Noster says of the diaconate. "I was quite happy helping in the Church as a layperson but I received a call, I guess, to greater obedience, greater direction from the Church and certainly to a greater understanding of my faith."
A cradle Catholic, Noster grew up in Derwent and studied acting and education at the University of Alberta. He taught school for three years and then became an actor.
"In 1975 I started acting and got married to my wife (Marlene). We did some film but mostly live theatre and then we got into mime." He and Marlene toured the country for 12 years with their own theatre company, Mime-Light Theatre.
When they got married the Nosters lived in Toronto and then in several other centres before returning to their Derwent farm in 1981, where they are still raising six children aged 14 to 27.
Apart from his involvement in his 32-family parish, Noster is director of Wisdom Home Schooling and president of Living Water College of the Arts, a Christian college designed "to bring art, faith and reason together to serve our culture through development of artists." The college, which Noster and his wife founded and built, is scheduled to open next summer in the Derwent area.
Noster first entertained the thought of becoming a deacon eight years ago when he met a deacon from the Pembroke, Ont., Diocese. Since at the time there was no diaconate program in Edmonton, Noster put any thoughts of becoming a deacon on hold.
When Archbishop Thomas Collins launched the diaconate formation program four years ago Noster got excited but soon realized he was too busy working and raising his family to get involved. "I thought, that's a future consideration. But the Holy Spirit kept niggling at me."
He attended an informational meeting on the diaconate in Lloydminster "just to prove once and for all that this is not appropriate at this time in my life."
As Collins spoke on the deacon's role, Noster felt the archbishop was speaking about him. "He is describing what I am already doing and is describing what I feel called to," he thought. There was no turning back.
He realized that all the work he was doing was diaconal in nature "and I felt drawn to consecrate that service by having it more closely connected to the service of the deacon in the Church."
Noster plans to serve in the Vermilion-Derwent-Clandonald area under Father Stan Lasko, the Vermilion-based pastor.