Celebrating Community | Catherine Pate

Celebrating Community | Catherine Pate

CPateHeadshotPassionate and compassionate. Adventurous and steady-hearted. Catherine Pate, the wife of saint benedict’s table’s Reverend Jamie Howison, is a dynamic and caring minister in her own right, taking a keen interest in people, in how they think and what they’re all about. This lends itself perfectly to her company, Stage Left Communications, which also allows her to marry creativity and marketing savvy with administrative and writing skills. Catherine was born and raised in Winnipeg. She is mother to Callaway Stephenson-Pate, and step-mother to Jessica and Margaret Howison. Read on to find out more about what makes her tick…

I’m writing this contribution to “Celebrating Community” from the treehouse my husband Jamie and I have rented for the month of February on a small island off the coast of Honduras. It’s been raining today so it seems a good day to do a bit of work and reflection.

Some might consider a treehouse a fairly adventurous place to choose to reside while on holidays, and an island in Honduras a little too off the beaten track for an ideal getaway. It seems the older I get however, the more appreciation I have for finding the nooks and crannies of our world—places that other people pass by on cruise ships or fly over on their way to more well-known and “safer” destinations. I love to settle into a place and learn what I can about the people and their culture—the day-to-day rhythm of life in places that are new to me.

I don’t know if I have always been adventurous or if the opportunities I have been give to travel have broadened my appreciation for new things and deepened my natural curiosity. Or perhaps it’s because I was born and raised in Winnipeg and with the exception of two years, have spent my entire life living there.

In my youth I couldn’t wait to get away from Winnipeg. The day after I graduated high school I drove across the country with a friend to Vancouver, swearing to never return to live in Winnipeg again. The reality of the high cost of living and few opportunities for work would soon drive me back to my birthplace with my tail between my legs and a newfound appreciation for my hometown and the lifestyle it could afford me.

My faith life has, in some respects mirrored my physical life. I am the youngest of four children. My mother stayed at home while we were growing up and my father was the rector of the Anglican church down the street from our house in Fort Garry.

With the exception of the five years I spent in worshipping at St Stephen and St Bede’s—an Anglican & Lutheran worshipping community in St James, I have only ever worshipped regularly in an Anglican church—either where my father was the rector or my husband. It has been a very small religious world for me.

This is why saint benedict’s table, although very much an Anglican worshipping community, offers so much adventure for me as far as my faith life is concerned. So many people I worship with each Sunday night have come to sbt from vastly different church backgrounds than my own. I am continually amazed at the faith stories I hear from people within our community and I have learned so much about other denominations and what makes us different and what makes us the same. This community has truly been a gift to me. When I look around the communion circle I am awed by how we are bound together in worship and the sacraments. We aren’t interested in picking apart doctrines or practices. We all just want one thing; to find ourselves closer to God than when we walked in.

I have to tell you, Utila Honduras is a pretty beautiful place and there is much to commend it. But Winnipeg and the sbt community are great places to have come from and to be returning to when this adventure is done.

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