There is a book published in Stoneway, Orkney Islands, Scotland called MIDST SNOW AND ICE. It is a revised version of the history of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate
(OMI) in their missionary efforts in Northern and Western Canada. These people were saints en mass. The book is their history written by them. It is factual, often humorous and understated. It treats the pagan cultures and peoples which they encountered with honesty and with respect. When natives were pagans they had diverse beliefs and practices which were often cruel, filled with demon worship, witchcraft and shamans. Some were cannibalistic, many resorted to murder and cruelty to wives and children and had taboos that threatened their existence at times. When they chose to become Christian they were zealous, appreciative, and with the help of their missionaries cast aside pagan ways.
The story could be repeated all over the world. The textbook CANADA”S HERITAGE by Cameron, written in Saskatchewan and used in grade VIII here and in many other provinces defined the pre- Christian English as pagans who sacrificed humans to various gods This is a good text book albeit with a Fabian (socialist ) bent at times. The English were pagans. After the missionary Augustine of Canterbury (695 A.D.) came they were no longer pagans. This is historical fact and it never occurred to anyone that public schools should not have historical facts.
The Oblates were the shock troops to encounter and convert pagan cultures. They shared physical privations, and extreme hardships with each other, natives and pioneers. They never shared paganism. They were Godly, ascetic, and tough. Many Canadians are only two or three generations from that original conversion from pagan to Christian.
Then something happened. Some Oblates decided that pagan practices were a good thing. They thought they could pick and choose, embellish and use. They lost their First Love, the Gospel of Christ and embraced cultural relativism. Since Truth is relative and therefore no longer Truth then one cannot judge cultures by one standard. One need not judge one’s actions by one standard either.
Father Albert LaLond was editor of OUR FAMILY MAGAZINE. He published an article opposing the homosexual lifestyle consistent with Church and Bible teaching. The Oblates fired him and replaced him with Father Nestor Gregoire. That was the beginning of the end of the OUR FAMILY MAGAZINE and almost the end of the Oblates.
Along with defending the homosexual lifestyle the Oblates began collusion with pagan shaman practices. They incorporated them in their public worship. Some began to use occult powers for their own ends. Along with this was the great Apology game. Oblates, the United Church, some Presbyterians and some Anglicans began to apologise for missionary efforts and successes, for English.for criticising pagan practices, for giving some people an education in day or residential schools. If someone mentioned that St.Paul said “ I am not ashamed of the Gospel. It is the power of God unto salvation for the Jew first and later the Greek” that person was targeted for destruction.
These apologies did terrible things to the natives. Their moral structure, their beliefs, their very souls were being discredited and destroyed. They were being denied Christ as surely as the Communists denied Christ to people behind the Iron Curtain. While the policy of Assimilation was treated as the Great Evil Apartheid was really being practised. The DNS line, the line north of Prince Albert was and is really a not so invisible wall where Canadian law, educational standards, ethics and human rights do not apply.
Equally this resurrection of paganism, the abandonment of Christian morality and this discrediting the Gospel brought terrible destruction to the Oblates. Their community was divided. The dissidents were marked for great persecution. Many live with real physical and mental suffering over the persecution they received because they wanted to stay faithful to the Gospel. Vocations are down or non- existent. For many their moral lives are a shambles. There is a movement to restore the Order to rekindle the flame of evangelism. There is clear evidence that this is happening in places such as Kenya where they have a small but important presence. However the destruction will continue in Saskatchewan and the North unless and until they completely reject pagan practices in services and in their own lives. That well may mean exorcism of churches, buildings and of themselves. It definitely means stop the attempt to corrupt other orders, priests, religious and lay Catholics who want to stay faithful to the Gospel in teaching, in morals, and in worship. Gay