The Ste. Anne Paroisse in Falher was filled nearly to capacity on Oct. 16, as hundreds of people helped Msgr. Charles Lavoie celebrate 25 years in the priesthood.
The service was held in English and French, and several biblical readings were offered throughout the event. Communion was held near the end and the Knights of Columbus provided an honour guard as part of the service.
The Monseigneur was born and raised in the Peace Country.
The Monseigneur was ordained in McLennan on Sept. 20, 1991 and he offered some tall tales about himself, which drew laughter and applause. The Monseigneur also highlighted those in the service of the Church, and praised them for all they have done and do.
A lunch was held at the Centre Chevaliers following the service. Beef on a bun was served, along with cake, and entry was by donation.
Archbishop Gerard Pettipas, who is the head of the Archdiocese of Grouard and McLennan (now located in Grande Prairie), said grace before the meal. Later, the archbishop offered his thoughts about the Monseigneur, as well as some tall tales of his own.
Others also spoke: Robert Maisonneuve for the Parish St. Guy, who offered some tales as well; and Victor Cloutier of the Donnelly Parish, who noted the Monseigneur’s compassion and wished him well. Marco Gervais, representing Falher, spoke last and offered similar praise and highlights.
Monseigneur Charles Lavoie has received a special gift from Pope Francis, a framed 25th anniversary plaque featuring the Pope’s photo and a congratulatory message.