The Crises In Our Self-Images

Carol was raised on a farm.   As a young woman she cared for her mother at home during her mother’s later stages of cancer.  Through critical reflection on this she first experienced God.  She became involved in Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship in university.  From those experiences emerges her compassionate desire to nurture and serve others.  She holds joint Bachelors degrees in zoology, education, and mathematics, a Masters degree in applied linguistics, and a Post-Baccalaureate in education.  She teaches mathematics in our regional high school and serves on provincial test writing committees.

Craig’s background is in agriculture.  He became deeply aware of God’s compassion for him early in high school.  First involved in Navigators in university, he found in his discovery of Thomas Merton the first person who named his contemplative nature.  During that time he worked for his first time in SE Asia doing development work for the church.  While there he came to a critical understanding of himself through the eyes of another culture.  Shortly thereafter he made his first retreats to Cistercian monasteries.  He holds a Bachelors degree in animal science, a Master of Divinity degree, a Masters degree in education, an extended certificate in clinical pastoral work, his Doctorate in educational epistemology with a component of supervised clinical therapy, and is certified to treat compassion fatigue through the Toronto Traumatology Institute.

Tautra Mariakloster Cistersian Monastery, Tautra, Norway

All of these reshaped their lives so that as a married couple they would return to SE Asia to do development and relief work during the 1980’s.  As Protestant clergy Craig served a total of ten churches over the course of thirty years of ordained ministry always with an interest to serving the poor.  As a result in 2000 they were sponsored to start a retreat in the northern parkland region of northwest Manitoba.  In 2005 Craig became an Oblate at St. Peter’s Abbey in Muenster, Saskatchewan.  In 2010 he resigned his ordination and entered the Roman Catholic Church where he plays liturgy and is a lay worship leader in his local parish.  Carol became an Oblate in 2015 and remains Protestant.

Together they committed to become a part of the Catholic Worker Movement as the Parkland Worker Farm.  This reflects their desire to serve others through taking personal responsibility for radical hospitality, carrying out of the Works of Mercy through an extended community, the redemptive and prayerful nature of manual labour, and voluntary poverty in solidarity with the poor.