Aboriginal Devotional Development - Complimentary to the Mass

I just had an “ah ha” moment today as I was watching a series of Youtube videos on the Taize services. The Taize service is NOT THE Mass. Yet the Taize Mass has features and dynamics that simplify the focus of worship to the Lord without much else to disturb the concentration.

The Taize service helps us to find a way to deepen our faith, love, experience to accept Jesus as the man and Jesus as the Christ or Cosmic Jesus if you will. It provides a cultural, artistic manner in which to focus one’s soul. It is a form that is not for everyone…but what I think that the services arising from the Charismatic Movement, the Taize service, Ignatian spirituality, Fransiscan spirituality, Opus Dei, etc., are all complimentary strategies to deepen the soul…it focuses to a degree on “us” and we experience the deepening of our faith.

These services allow us to then focus on the central function of our mass and that is the remembering, reliving and renewing the actual and remember sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for our sins or finite nature and limits as humans. The taize services etc., allow us to grow, to become more sensitive, to continually be converted and to continually fall in love.

It is those complimentary and spiritually nourishing strategies, services, etc., that I am talking about when I talk about making greater utilization of aboriginal spirituality. The Aboriginal Catholic community is free to develop devotional services, sacramentals, honour our own saints like Tekakwitha, etc., as a way of growing up as individuals and allowing us to focus - with the rest of our global catholic family - on the work of redemption that Jesus has done for all of us.

Bruce Ferguson
trickster (Aboriginal Symbol of Transformation - or Conversion)

When I was a prison chaplain in Alberta I had the opportunity to work with Aboriginal inmates, and attended many spiritual events as a result.

I realised that many Aboriginal men and women are deeply spiritual and hungry.

I was lucky enough to participate in a couple of sweats with inmates: and sitting naked in the dark along with some of the men I ministered to, listening to the drum as it entered my soul and I felt centuries strip away, sharing the pipe and participating in the healing process is a time I will never forget.

Thank you triumphguy! That is very meaningful and appreciated by me! My hopes and "calling’ if you will, is as an Aboriginal Catholic, I know that we have worked to do in reconciling our “beginning gifts” in life; being born Aboriginal and being invited by an Aboriginal Catholic family into the Catholic faith community through our baptism. To reject aboriginal birth to me means rejecting God’s choice for us and to reject the church is to reject the Aboriginal community who made that community decision for me…I must honour both.

So, I hope that you share your thoughts and work with me in thinking through how we can - as JP II encouraged us to do - attend and be Catholics as our authentic selves, as Aboriginal people who are Catholics … blessings Triumpguy.

Bruce Ferguson
Trickster (Aboriginal symbol for Transformation).

trickster, with all do respect (this means I can say whatever I want now…) for your concerns and your culture, why do you post this stuff in the trad forum? I can only assume you are trolling and baiting.

Hey Bruce:

Well the Creator (Grandfather (Oki) for the Blackfoot and Blood tribes near here) created you aboriginal and me white.

One thing I learned was that to respect the aboriginal person the best thing I could be was authentically “white” (ie true to myself) and not play the wannabe “Indian” (like many "libeals want to do).

There was actually a watershed moment for me.

I was “leading” Sacred Circle, since the Native Elder was sick (and then quit), and about 20 men would come to it, but the atmosphere was terrible. I really tried to understand and empathise, and talked about how I understood history, and how abuse had occurred on a systemic level over decades, but this seemed to alienate them more. Then one Blackfoot man yelled at me that I was a “wannabe Indian… you want to wear the braids and the beads, but you know nothing.” The level of tension was high… “So I took a leap, and said I’m proud to be white, I want you proud to be red. My tribe beat your tribe - I don’t have to prove anything” (I know that sounds appalling, but I didn’t mean it in a demeaning way, it just came out -I was actually scared, and my fighting spirit came up - which I think they respected). One of the older guys said, “He’s cool.” and everything improved.

I found that the “liberal” bleeding-heart approach is actually insulting to aboriginal peoples. They don’t want to be understood as a victim, they want to be respected as equals.

I also learned that the native men I met have a wicked sense of humour, and are very generous. I’ve made some bad protocol mistakes on reserves taking inmates to funerals and they never judged me or scolded me.

I also would take the handcuffs off the inmates before we got to the reserve, and say “If you run I won’t chase you.” I never had one fail to show up when it was time to go back.

It’s got nothing to do with what you are asking, but I thought I’d just tell a bit of my story.


Trickster, you seem to have a wonderful way of looking at things.

I would love to know your opinions on other non-aboriginal topics.

I seriously feel like we need a subforum or something because there are so many threads on this.

And since this topic is very much about innovation in the Mass, I’m not sure why there are all in the TC forum, but I guess that’s up to the moderator.

Not really Bert…I think most people on TC would acknowledge that I am a very respectful and genuine person. My interest is to explore how aboriginal or indigenous Catholics relate to the church as it was in prior to the council and since the council as well as how Catholics understand aboriginal spirituality. It is quite important to me.

I think the discussion is quite appropriate for the tc because the TC in its time and place had done some great theological and pastoral work with indigenous communiites…and you can see that in mission church’s of today.

The other thing that i am noticing too is how aboriginal ceremony, etc., places God in an Almighty position and that is clealrly close to how God is viewed in the TC church as well…so yeah…no trolling and baiting here.,…


Bruce Ferguson
Trickster (an aboriginal sign for transformation and conversin)

But Trickster, do you not have like 10 threads on aboriginal Catholicism?

Triumph guy or Anthony (that’s my middle name too)…you are dead on! Thank you for that insight…we can only be who God created us…and all of the people in humanity need to treat each other as equal and as a part of God. We have a lot of work to do as now we have “reverse discrimination” even I face it as a “half-breed” they used to say with a native mother and Scottish father…but more and more, most of our people and most non-native people want to get on with living, achieiving better lives, improving the economy for all of the ocmmunity and so forht…

So you are right and you are proud not of being “white” but of God’s creating you who you are…well said…you can only function in worship to God by being your authentic self…



AND YES! You can say whatever you want Bert, you know it will be respected by me…



Well seek and ye shall find, ask and it will be given unto you (or something like that) not too good at quoting scripture!~ :slight_smile:

What do you want to talk about?


I agree too…I bring two dynamics (aboriginal spirituality and catholic teaching) together in a way that hasn’t been thought about by the people who have designed this wonderful website…and that is no one’s fault.

However, you know…one of the reasons I like posting the things on TC is 1) indigenous peole participated and love the TC and I like exploring those relationships - my grandmother and mother were brought up in the TC and I lived in that church as a kid, remembering the changes which were experienced at the parish level when I was about 14…so I was part of that TC church before it became popular again…if you know what I mean…I assume that you remember the old church too, right?

And 2) people on the TC usually give me well thought out answers which has helped me develop my thinking (as I am sure that I have helped others expand their thinking with respect to indigenous spirituality) and I appreciate the disagreement given to me in such a respectful way…on other places I don’t get the same level of frankness…I am not asking people to agree with me as that would make us all robots…but I enjoy the level of thinking on the TC posts…

If that makes any sense…


Yep, it is called passion, interest, excitment and engagement about an interest…however, it is getting hard to keep up with… :slight_smile:



Why would you assume I remember the old church? Are you calling me old? :stuck_out_tongue:

To quote my friend Governor Rick Perry…I say “oops”… :slight_smile: I am curious though if you experienced the traditional mass prior to the council…I have and I went to catechism in the old church from 1961 to 66…and starting around I guess 1968, the local parishes started to experience Vatican II changes.

I remember in the 70\s when we were allowed to take communion in our hands and standing…that has been marked so clearly in my mind and it felt right…it still feel’s right to me…so I guess that speaks to my not being sure why the fascination with the old mass…that’s all…I think it is spiritually nourishing for people and for that reason alone, the Latin Mass should be available as a choice. If the Latin Mass facilitates a deeper connection to Our Lord, why not…go for it…but it is not for me personally.



1961 - 1966? I wasn’t born yet.

But if you look at my signature line, you will see that I just entered the Church in Sept 2011 and I discovered Catholicism in March 2011.

But more importantly, the first mass I attended was an EF, which absolutely blew me away. I always say if I had attended an OF, I probably wouldn’t have converted.

God knew I needed the “wow” factor and that’s the approach he took with me. :slight_smile:

Oh WELCOME True Light! That is fascinating and I hope that what I think aloud is not discouraging to you. Many people who love the Extraordinary form of our Mass are attracted to it because it is focused soley on the sacrifice of Jesus at the Cross and what that means for our eternal salvation. It is spiritually nourishing. The fact too is that many young people are attracted to that solemnity for some reason.

Even me, my favourite and most special time is during Eucharistic Adoration. In Victoria at St. Andrews Cathedral, our parish had novenas based on the adoration. We all took turns to pray for an hour. In the cathedral there is a crypt where the old bishops were buried and right beside it was an alter still set up as it was in the 1800’s and to me that was the most intimate time I have with the Lord…so don’t get me wrong…I love many of the old and established practices of our church, but I also want to find a continuity that speaks to the needs of my people too…

I enjoy your comments, don’t be worried about challenging me too…as I am very challengable…except when I don’t have any more brain cells left at the end of the day…but free talk, thinking, exploring our doubts…seeing our doubts as invitation to search deeper in spiritualiyt is truly a journey, we spend our whole lives converting and becoming more like Christ and that is a project requiring more than a life time…trust an old dawg like me on that one…that is why I chose the word “trickster” as it is a archetype that speaks to transformation (into Christ) represented in our cultures as coyote’s or ravens…those are the two trickster animal spirits that I know…

Anyways, I always enjoy your comments, so “do carry on”… :slight_smile:


Well, thank you for the good wishes. Since you’re so nice, I will return the compliment and say that you are always patient and charitable.

…and I hope that what I think aloud is not discouraging to you. Many people who love the Extraordinary form…

Nah. I’m used to comments about the EF by now. :smiley:

Well thank you…I have learned over the years that one can only be honest. Why pretend you believe in all the teachings of the church when you don’t understand them, or don’t believe in them…that is the true blessing of being a follower of Jesus. Even the apostles didn’t get it for a long period of time…and they tried Jesus’ patience…but they kept asking questions…that is all I do too.

I would rather be authentic in my ignorance and share my ideas, visions, hopes and see those ideas developed and clarified by many who disagree with me as those who disagree with you also teach you…if I hung out only with people I agree with…I’d be bored and would not grow…so I treat oppostition as a blessing…hence the ability to be “patient and charitable” because I am blessed by oppostion and disagreement in that I learn, sharpen my communication tools and progress in my understanding of Jesus and his church - which in my case might take two or three lifetimes…

Take care True Light…


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