Lenten Catholic Mission and Pastoral Visit in Greenland

Greenland is geographically and politically autonomous territory within the Kingdom of Denmark. It is the world’s largest island located between the Artic and Atlantic Oceans, east of the Canadian Artic. The population of Greenland is around 55,000. As of January 1, 2021, there are 401 Filipinos, the second biggest group only after the Danish made up by the Greenlandic natives and Danish who settled in the territory.

From the Roman Catholic organizational perspective, Greenland is a part of the Diocese of Copenhagen together with Denmark and Faroese Islands under the Most Reverend Bishop Czeslaw Kozon. The pastoral care of Roman Catholic in Greenland is taken care of Krist Konge Kirke located in the capital, Nuuk. The parish priest, Fr. Christian Noval, serves as its pastor since 2014 until now and he involves all the Clergy willing to extend pastoral assistance to the parish.

Given that Overseas Filipinos Workers (OFW) have started to come and thrive in the island, the presence of Filipino Catholic faithful comes to the fore. Especially in the Krist Konge Parish, they have found new churchhome. They are actually the face, backbone and flesh of the catholic community as they are the numerous ones. They are active in the different ministries and they keep the Parish alive for the English liturgical throughout the year.

I have been in Nuuk, Greenland three times for three consecutive years (2020-22) in different periods, but the last one included Ilulissat, a city further north of Nuuk happened during this Lent celebrated in the missionary intent and spirit of 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines extended in places abroad like Greenland. Aside from the Lenten Sunday Mass, I together with the Filipino community in Nuuk and Ilulissat were able to make 5 stations of homechurch Masses rekindling once more our Catholic Christian faith and affirmed the 500YCP theme and motto: gifted to give (Mt 10, 8b).

Fra Stephen Bejo, OFMConv.
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