I just came back from traveling to the east coast. In 9 days I covered Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland. Everywhere I went I experienced the beauty of our country, the goodness of the people, and signs of faith left by our ancestors. Quebec is marked by the Catholic faith, from the street names, to the beautiful churches. Quebec City has an amazing statue of Bishop Laval next to the Cathedral of Notre Dame. It overlooks the city with its size, and with images of the work of early missionaries on the four sides of the base: ministry to the poor, evangelization efforts, education of the new settlers, and worship of God.
Next stop took us to the Cabot trail in Nova Scotia, where along the way many churches were open for tourists to come in and say a prayer. Signs inviting people to come in are a sign of welcome from the locals.
Newfoundland is the land of amazing sights and very kind people. The local delicacies like Cod tongues and Cod cheeks can be had at most restaurants. In St. John’s we ran into a few young guys who were sitting next to us enjoying a cold drink. They initiated a conversation with us seeing that we were on motorcycles, a passion they shared. Even though the conversation was quite worldly, they nevertheless surprised us by thanking God for the many blessings in their life. When asked what they think of the rest of Canada, they had nothing but good things to say. The Cathedral in St. John’s is also a lovely place overlooking the ocean, as well as the sight of Signal Hill at a distance. Canadians are truly welcoming, positive, and faith filled, even when the faith isn’t always practiced in traditional ways, it is nevertheless still there.
Spending so much time traveling on a motorcycle provides one much time for reflection (there are no radios on the motorcycles we were riding). The pain associated with long distance motorcycle riding is also a gift, as it makes us remember that pain is a necessary part of life. As one of the priests told me when we were trying to get through a 900km day in a 40 degree heat: “The only way to make the pain stop is to get to our destination”. This is so true in life also; sometimes the pain simply lets us know that we are alive, and that we must keep going. Thank you to all who watched my videos and shared in my journey this summer, as well as to Fr. Luc for taking on extra work during my time away. Now that I’m back, I’m not going anywhere for quite some time.
Fr. Wojtek Kuzma