Former Aboriginal lieutenant governor of New Brunswick leads spiritual retreat in Sechelt

Graydon Nicholas

A former Aboriginal lieutenant governor of New Brunswick will lead a seminar in Sechelt next month detailing his unique life story and spiritual journey. 

Graydon Nicholas’ story seems improbable. Born on the Tobique Reserve in 1946 to an Indigenous family of 10 children, he nearly died when his mother fell into an icy river, so he was born two months prematurely. However, his mother’s fervent prayers for Graydon were answered and he lived. 

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He was sent to an English-speaking school on the Reserve before he could speak any English. Despite failing his first year, he resolutely pursued his studies and against all odds broke through many barriers. His academic career took him to increasing achievement in social work and law. He became the first Aboriginal Provincial Court Judge, before his appointment as lieutenant governor of New Brunswick. 

A spiritual journey was important to Nicholas’s success. He studied the teaching of a 16th Century soldier, Ignatius of Loyola, who was severely wounded in battle. After deep reflection, Ignatius developed a set of simple meditations, prayers and other mental exercises that were published in 1548. Ignatian practices have spread worldwide to many spiritual seekers, including Catholics and a variety of Protestant denominations. 

On Friday, Oct. 5, from 7 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 6 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Nicholas will talk about his life and his experience with Ignatian teachings. This seminar will be at Holy Family Church, 5700 Nickerson Rd. in West Sechelt. Admission is by donation with proceeds going to the Food Bank. Please call 604-885-9526 to register. 

– Submitted by Kenan MacKenzie and Paul Wagler

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