Archbishop’s 2023 deanery visitation to begin this spring

Archbishop Gerard Pettipas’ annual deanery visitation is coming up this April and May, taking place in Deanery 3. This represents the most populated deanery of the archdiocese, and includes the parishes of Grande Prairie, Beaverlodge, Sexsmith, Spirit River and Valleyview, and the surrounding church communities of Hythe, Rio Grande, Bezanson, Rycroft, Wanham, Crooked Creek and Sturgeon Lake.

The deanery visitation allows Archbishop Pettipas to devote several weeks of pastoral care to these communities – visiting their churches, their Catholic schools, and the homes and workplaces of various parishioners. It also gives him ample opportunity for some one-on-one time with the parish priests and parishioners, to learn more about the challenges, grievances and joys they uniquely face, in a way he would not get to do on other routine visits. Each year Archbishop Pettipas engages in this visitation with one of the five geographically-determined deaneries in our archdiocese.

This year’s visitation begins on April 14th, with an opening ceremony at St. Joseph Church in Grande Prairie. He will then spend four days with the church communities of Beaverlodge, Hythe and Rio Grande. From April 21st-24th, he will be with the parish communities of Spirit River and Rycroft. Then he will spend three days in Sexsmith and Bezanson. Afterwards, he will be visiting with Grande Prairie’s parish community and Catholic schools for five days, beginning on May 1st. Then, from May 6th-10th, he will be visiting with the Catholic communities of Valleyview, Crooked Creek and Sturgeon Lake, with a final closing ceremony for the visitation on May 15th.

If you are in any of these church communities, we hope you are able to spend some time with the Archbishop during these weeks! Northern Light will prepare a detailed recap of this visitation in the June issue.