On the Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost, 15 November, the people of St Matthew - St Aidan bade farewell to their dear friend and long-time parishioner, Helen Minten ODT. For six years, Helen has lived in Peterborough but made her faithful journey each Sunday to Buckhorn. "The drive worries me with the winter weather coming on and I really need to be putting down roots in my new city," Helen said.
In his homily and tribute to Helen, Father Glenn Empey mentioned that, if it were not for the confinement of the pandemic, this day would be one that we would mark with a special lunch and gala affair to give thanks for Helen, for all she has contributed over many years, and to give her our blessings.
Since there has been no singing at church since the beginning of the pandemic, Susan Knights has not been playing on Sundays. But, she jumped at the chance to offer a very special treat with music throughout the Liturgy on this special occasion. We greatly appreciate her musical gift for Helen and for the parish!
Immediately after his homily and tribute, on behalf of the parish, Father Glenn presented Helen with a table-top coffee book entitled In the Footsteps of the Group of Seven. Along with their actual paintings, the book contains a series of photographs that depict the exact locations where the Group of Seven created their works of art.
At the conclusion of the Liturgy, there were more surprises for Helen. Marylou presented Helen with a porch planter for the Christmas Season and added that it was one of a series of four planters that will be delivered to her by Griffins Greenhouses throughout the coming year. She also presented Helen with a specially embroidered apron since Helen so often sports an apron while working in her kitchen. The special apron was a gift from the ACW with embroidery work by Karen Woodley. Marylou presented another gift from friends at the parish.
Helen was deeply touched by the good wishes of the people of St Matthew - St Aidan. "I though there may have been a few words today but I never expected anything like this," she said.
While Helen has now "formalized" her move to Peterborough, we know that she is not far away. The parish bestowed upon her the honourary title of parishioner emerita to make sure that she knows that she is always welcome at St Matthew - St Aidan. Helen has started to gather with the people of St Luke's in Peterborough where she will make her new spiritual home. She remarked that she already has connections their since Father Glenn serves there as parish priest.