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At the Igloo Church


The Igloo Church
Inuvik, NWT

There is not much to do in the small hamlet of Inuvik. Going to a very invigorating mass at the Igloo Church. (Map this!)

The Peel river politely froze over so we could drive across, but the MacKenzie refused to cooperate and our forward progress was halted at Fort McPherson. We had almost given up on reaching Inuvik until a last minute call to North Wright Air secured us two seats on their British Norman Islander to Inuvik. So it has been a long drive and a wee flight.

The weather in Inuvik was a balmy two degrees Fahrenheit and the locals were overjoyed with the warm spell. Neena and I, on the other hand, turned into human ice cubes on a walk to the MacKenzie river. Indoor activities were very attractive and when we found out about the mass at the Igloo Church we jumped at the chance.

The Igloo Church is a Catholic Church and I have been grumpy with the Catholic Church since the selection of Cardinal Ratzinger as pope. His conservative philosophy and hard line positions point to a smaller, less inclusive, and more zealous church. It would seem that the Catholic church is to become, well, less catholic…

Inside the Igloo

Inside the unique Igloo Church.

The deacon greeted everyone who entered with an infectious smile. The ‘choir’ was a country music ensemble belting out twangy vocals with an informal air and the entire atmosphere was so welcoming that we were immediately at ease. The deacon apologized that the priest couldn’t come and started talking about his God. His God, he said, was a voluptuous and delicious God, not one that punishes because you don’t follow some obscure and ill-defined rules. He talked about letting go of your old comfortable habits to try something new and challenging. “Climb that tree high, and look around to see where you are and where you can go”. He also quoted Nietzsche, he of the God is dead fame.

How different and wonderful the Igloo Church was compared to all those serious and dour-faced priests we listened to on the Camino Santiago. Lot of what he said resonated strongly with me since we are in the very process of taking stock of where we are and what to do next, to build our resume of life. The Catholic religion is vast, for every dour St. Augustine there is a refreshing St. Francis.

10 Responses to “At the Igloo Church”

  1. Fred says:

    The igloo church is cool .

  2. Jerzy says:

    I am a little concerned about your warming up to the Catholic creed in the Igloo Church. I hope it was just the effect of the freezing weather outside. I am looking forward to many more celebrations of Ganesh with you rather than Ascension, Corpus Christi or Pentacost.

  3. madhuri says:

    The first picture is glowing from sunlight. Awesome! Lets commission Christopher to build us an Igloo church for BM next year :-)

    To each, his own interpretation of religion. Be all uptight about it and swim in power, or let go. i guess it is easy to let go when you are living in harsh climate and arent being watched.

  4. Jan says:

    “as Pope Benedict XVI has pointed out in his writings, there is no conflict between faith and the right use of reason; it is when reason jettisons faith that a fatal unbalance occurs…”

  5. Shreesh says:

    Jerzy and Jan

    There is not much danger of me becoming a Ratzinger style Catholic. The cold weather seems to have affected this priest – he’s actually talking sense!

  6. sudhir tamhane says:

    Dear Neean & Shreesh.
    Congratulation on reaching your first goal of Inuvik. We are happy that now you will now head back to South. Today is 8th. Happy Divali.

  7. Neena says:

    Hello Aai and Pappa,
    Happy Diwali to you as well.
    I think you would have enjoyed the drive but not the cold!

  8. Suhas Taskar says:

    Dear Shreesh & Neena,
    It felt wonderful to see these beautiful pictures of your adventerous trip. Congratulations on reaching the Arctic Circle. We are celebrating Diwali in Mumbai. Just the usual stuff. Nothing as exciting as what you are doing.
    Keep us updated as usual.
    With love

  9. Debbie Williams says:

    Wow…that sermon was rather prothetic! I actually might be able to sit through a Christian service with sermons like that! …okay…well the Country music would have been a wee bit scarry.

    I can’t believe you’re to the Artic Circle!! Way to go!


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