A Dieu

Chaplain’s Corner

Padre Zibby Jonczyk

The Bible tells us that “there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven….” Eccl. 3: 1-8. This Old Testament passage reminds us that there is a reason and purpose for everything in our lives. Therefore, there is also a time to say hello and a time to say goodbye.

Five years ago I arrived in Cold Lake to serve as a unit chaplain. Only few months later the Wing Chaplain retired and I was asked to take over his responsibilities.

With the new job came some challenges, like for example: to ensure proper pastoral and spiritual support to all members and dependants of our Defence team while being understaffed; to allow training and development opportunities to my team without affecting the quality of our ministry; the long periods without proper administrative support; the relocation of the Beehive thrift shop… it truly was baptism by fire.

Overcoming these challenges would not be possible without the support of my past and current team, my Chain of Command and, most importantly, the support of my family.

In the last five years I have met many fantastic people, who have truly inspired me by their faith, dedication and generosity. I am truly grateful to many volunteers who shared their time and talents helping our chaplain team at the Holy Name and St Mark’s Chapels, the Beehive, with summer Soccer Camp, Christmas Hampers, Angel Three and the Padre’s Christmas Dinner. Without their dedication we would not had been able to offer many of these programs. THANK YOU for your support. I would also like to use this opportunity to invite you to consider volunteering whether at MFRCS or any of the places or programs I mentioned earlier. Albert Einstein said that “only life lived for others is worth living.”

What I enjoyed mostly about Cold Lake is its natural beauty. They say that “the best things in life come free”. Apparently Cold Lake is the only place in North America to offer free public transport but there are so many other things in our City which are completely free. I enjoyed walking with my family in the Provincial Park and along the beach and the water front. Different seasons and even times of day can offer us beautiful, unique views of the city. You can admire the Northern lights dancing and changing colours over the night winter skies while the summer evenings treat us with the most breathtaking sunsets.

I am grateful for the opportunity I was granted to serve for the past five years our 4 Wing community. You will be always in my prayers. Thank you for your service.

It is with a bittersweet feeling that I will be leaving Cold Lake as my family will be staying behind. Although I am looking forward to my new job and the opportunities God set ahead of me, part of my heart will stay in Cold Lake. It is now time to say goodbye, but as we often say in the Canadian Armed Forces – till we meet again. God bless.

zbigniew.jonczyk@forces.gc.ca