Welcome to the website of the Diocese of Moosonee.
The Diocese of Moosonee straddles both northern Ontario and Northwestern Quebec
covering some 560,000 sq kms, second to the Diocese of the Arctic in geographic size.
It is one of the great historic missionary areas of the Anglican Communion and of early
Canada with records dating back to 1780. It is an area set in “an almost unbelievable
land...of forests and lakes and rivers with mountains and muskeg and desolate tundra”
(Olive Mackay Petersen).
The southern part of the Diocese, called the Watershed Deanery, was developed with
the mining, lumber and rail industries.
The northern part of the Diocese that surrounds the James Bay and extends into inland
Quebec and is known as the James Bay Deanery is made up of the ancient aboriginal people of the north mostly of the Cree Nation.
The history of Moosonee is a colourful one of adventurers, fur-traders, map-makers and missionaries. As the area developed the Diocese grew and changed. Missionary efforts changed from paddling the rivers to riding the rails, to driving the highways to flying the northern skies.
Today the present economic picture in Canada, the downturn in northern population, and the First Nations emergence to self-determination has brought new challenges to the Church. Presently the Diocese of Moosonee is a “Mission Area” under the spiritual care and guidance of the Metropolitan of Ontario, Archbishop Colin Johnson of Toronto, brought about with the retirement of the Ninth Bishop of the Diocese at the end of 2013.
Visit through our website and experience a small breath of the north that we call home.
Perhaps your virtual visit will entice you to venture north and call upon us. Do be
assured of a very warm welcome!
2017 Order of Moosonee
2017 Recipients of the
Order of Moosonee
Susan Moses James Sutherland
Elsie Chilton Elsie Halme
Peter Colbert Thomas Coon
Anne Dyas Bryan Gagnon
(who died just after being named)
Evadney Friday – St. Paul’s, Kashechewan
Evadney was about 88 years old, and I believe also had cancer. She served her Church well and enthusiastically as Kash’s first female Lay Reader. She was active in ACW and choir. Evadney served on the Kashechewan Band Council, and mentored couples preparing for marriage. She led services and preached sermons, led Cree hymn singing and often spoke as an Elder at funerals. She was active at Deanery Great Chapter meetings and was a respected Elder. In the fall of 2016 she entered a nursing home in Kirkland Lake as she could no longer be cared for adequately at her home, but there was no bed available in either Fort Albany or Moose Factory. In early January 2017, a bed became available in Fort Albany and she was able to get closer to home. She arrived just in time to be able to attend the wedding of a grandson in Kash, at which I officiated.....she was brought over from Fort Albany for the day....a couple of days later I was in Fort Albany hospital and gave her communion along with other Kash elders who are residents of that hospital. Evadney died on February 7, 2017 after the announcement had been made of her being chosen to receive the 2017 Order of Moosonee.
James (Jimmy) has been a lifelong active member of St. Stephen’s Parish CLFN. He has travelled extensively to many communities from Newfoundland to Vancouver. Significantly he travelled with Bishop Caleb Lawrence to the coastal communities of James Bay. Along with his late brother, Edgar and his late wife, Janet, James was a long serving Lay Reader at St. Stephen’s Church. In addition to his contributions to his parish, James attended Great Chapter meetings and Diocesan Synod and offered his skills as a translator and had served on DCIP. Jimmy has helped with the construction of the first three Church buildings, the first of which was a log Church. He was instrumental in getting the 300 thousand dollar funding from Chief and Council for the current church building. Though confined to a wheel chair he continues to be actively involved in the ministry of the Church and in the community at Large.
Elsie Halme. St. Matthew’s Anglican/St. Paul’s United Church, Hearst
Elsie has been member of the Parish from its beginning. She was a staunch supporter and a driving force behind the amalgamation of St. Matthew’s Anglican Church with St. Paul’s United Church which has lasted for over 45 years. This very successful inter-church ministry is widely considered as one of the best models in Canada. Elsie has been actively engaged with the community providing volunteer catering services for many local organizations and all of our Parish functions. She continued this work into her late 80’s. Elsie is a shining example and proof that old age is not an impediment for ministry. She is locally recognized for her wisdom and leadership in the Church and in the community at large. Even at the age of 90 and now residing at an retirement living facility in Cochrane, ON. She still contributes to our Parish both financially and spiritually.
W Peter Colbert - St. Matthew’s Cathedral, Timmins
“Peter” has been an active member of the Anglican Church of Canada at the National level as a member of General synod, a member of the National finance committee, CoGS, and as a member of the governing committee for the Anglican Book store. He has been a member of the Provincial Synod and sat on ACPO for the diocese of Moosonee for many years. Peter was the Diocesan Treasurer for 15 years beginning in 1979 as well as the diocesan director for AIM from 1981 to 1983. He has been an active Lay Reader in the Cathedral since 1976 to the present time, and after participating in the training program for Hospital Visitors in 1999 has continued until the spring of 2016 to do much of the hospital visiting on the Cathedral’s behalf. Peter has been a member of the Cathedral Select Vestry in most of the positions and is still active as the Vestry Clerk. He is a trusted advisor to the Dean and keeper of the Cathedral ministry history. It is with great pleasure that the Cathedral Select Vestry recommend Peter to the Archbishop for admittance to the Order of Moosonee for his many years of active service to the life and mission of the Kingdom.
Anne Dyas - Holy Trinity Parish, Cochrane
Having lived in many places, and coming originally from England, Holy Trinity Parish, Cochrane is blessed that Anne Dyas settled here and is part of our lives. Anne is dedicated in all her ministries in our Parish and in the community. Anne was the first, and is still, the only Moosonee Lay Reader to have earned the Thorneloe University Certificate in Lay Leadership (C.A.L.L.) She has served on Great Chapter, Diocesan Executive Council and is an ACPO assessor at the Provincial Church level and was active in the preparation and process leading to the election of the 9th Bishop of Moosonee.
Anne is Rector’s Warden, Bible Study Facilitator, and Chair of our Stewardship Committee as well as being a member of ACW, Choir, Altar Guild and serves on other special projects as they arise. She offers her time in the community through Busy Hands Artisan Co-operative, the Agricultural Society and the Cochrane Farmers’ Market. Holy Trinity is proud that Anne has been chosen to receive a 2017 Order of Moosonee Award. God Bless you, Anne.
Elsie Chilton, St. Thomas Church, Moose Factory, Ontario
From her early years, Elsie devoted her life to St. Thomas Church until her health prevented her to continue some 12 years ago. She was a long-time member of the local ACW holding all the executive positions; a leading voice in the church choir; a longtime member of the vestry; read lessons in Cree; translating sermons for non- Cree speaking clergy, bishops and others alike; taught Sunday School . . . all in span of some 60 years.
She attended many Great Chapters over the years participating in discussions and always looked to for Cree translation.
Elsie was member of the Diocesan ACW holding executive positions as well as participating at Diocesan Executive Councils. She also represented the Diocese at several General Synods.
In her service to spreading God’s Holy Word, she was instrumental in the Cree translation of the New Testament and liturgical services including the Eucharistic Services. She was a mentor to many in encouraging the corporate and personal reading of scripture in the Cree language. She was always active in the community and in the wider church in many aspects always living out her mission of strengthening God’s presence in the hearts of his people.
Elsie now resides at Golden Manor in Timmins, Ontario.
Susan Moses - St. Peter’s on the Rock, Kirkland Lake
From the opening of the doors of St. Paul’s, Virginiatown in 1963 until it was closed, Susan was involved in the service of the Church. She was Rector’s Warden, served on Vestry and ACW, as well as being Church Treasurer. She attended Great Chapter of the then Kenogami Deanery. Susan has been involved in every aspect of the life of the church. When it was -40 and the furance broke down, Susan was the one who worked to keep the pipes from freezing and made sure repairs were quickly made. Susan continues to be active in her church, now travelling to St. Peter’s in Kirkland Lake. Susan is an example of a dedicated and faithful servant of Christ who serves both her Church and community well.
Thomas Coon, St. John the Evangelist Church,Mistissini, QC.
Thomas Coon is a faithful member of St. John the Evangelist Church, Mistissini, Qc. Thomas is a hard worker and dedicated to the church and the community but serves tirelessly the Cree Nation and the church in the Diocese and the Anglican Communion. Thomas has helped plan and organize church events in Mistissini like the Great Chapter Meetings and Healing gatherings.
Thomas serves on the Select Vestry and after faithful service both he and his wife Josephine are Select Vestry members Emeritus (Honorary members) Thomas has been a church warden served as a translator and a chalice bearer.
Thomas has served the community of Mistissini as the Past President of the Cree Trappers Association, and on the school board. Thomas has served as a translator at many community functions.
Thomas has served on the Executive Council attended Synod Meetings and has served as a translator at both Synod and Great Chapter Meetings and Healing gatherings in other James Bay communities.
Thomas has attended National Synod Meetings and on some occasions served as a translator. Thomas has not allowed his fight with cancer to slow him down in spite of pleas from his wife Josephine as this weekend is just one example where Thomas has been a hard worker and advisor behind the scenes to help put these things together.
Bryan Gagnon - St. Mark’s, Kapuskasing
Bryan’s involvement and service to St. Mark’s goes back for many years. He has served in many capacities for over 40 years. He has been on Select Vestry, served as Parish Treasurer, has been a Warden and has been a member of Synod. Bryan is recognized as a community volunteer for his work with the Royal Canadian Legion, the Red Cross – Meals on Wheels and as Finance Chair for the Kapuskasing Santa Fund.
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