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Figure of Speech

By Gerry Turcotte


Gerry Turcotte
A note of thanks


“Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell.” — 2 Corinthians 13.11

This is the last of my columns as the Prairie Messenger closes down. While I never expected to have the privilege of writing this column on an ongoing basis, I have certainly become used to the regularity of the project, preparing reflections month after month, on both the story of St. Mary’s University, Calgary, but also on the story of my faith in our times as the subject revealed itself to me.

As a layperson I have made a sincere effort to capture the joy of faith in the every day, from church bulletin boards, to charity events, misremembered prayers to the imperfect study of our saints. Through it all I have been blessed with a generous audience, and have been surprised not just at the wide reach of the Prairie Messenger itself, but also the many opportunities, both in and out of church, for me to meet with readers of this humble column.

Recently someone thanked me for writing Small Things: Essays in Faith and Hope, the collection published by Novalis that brought together the first three years of the columns. In truth, I’m the one who owes a note of thanks to the readers for their support, ideas, and generosity of spirit. I have never received criticism from the community for my very ordinary efforts at putting these columns together. On the contrary, I have been blessed with kind words and support. So too has St. Mary’s University, the subject of so many of my columns. For this I thank all of you.

It does seem fitting to be writing this at the approach of Easter. There is a sense of reckoning that comes with the end of the lenten period, and also a sense of stocktaking. It is a time when we gather in thanks for the gifts the Lord has given us, most importantly the miracle of his son’s resurrection. It is a time when families gather to celebrate, to pray and to give thanks.

I want to use this opportunity to thank Maureen Weber, who has been a true kindred spirit. I have greatly enjoyed the dialogue I developed with her in the preparation of these monthly reflections, even though we have never met in person. To Maureen, and to the readers of the Prairie Messenger, I offer my most profound thanks. It has been an honour and a privilege to write for you.

God bless, from all of us at St. Mary’s University.

Turcotte is president of St. Mary’s University in Calgary. If you would like to continue receiving his monthly columns, either electronically or in hardcopy, please send us a note at