Felician Sr. Celeste Goulet had never met a native person when she first felt called by the Holy Spirit to work with them following a 30-day retreat in 1973.
Now she’s a pastoral leader among the North Slavey people of Tulita, Northwest Territories, where she’s been ministering since 1979. Goulet runs a preschool, ministers sacraments in a diocese without a priest, and provides support for victims of alcoholism and sexual abuse. The recipient of the Catholic Missions in Canada’s 2016 St. Joseph Award, Goulet has also received the 2008 Government of Canada’s Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Education and the 1999 Status of Women Council of the Northwest Territories Wise Women Award.
Goulet attributes her successes to meeting the people where they are.
“They’re a people whose spirituality is deep, but it’s a spirituality focused on the creator of the land,” she said. “That’s when you most see their generosity and who they really are.”