Fr. Mark McGuckin being ordained by Archbishop Michael Miller in the Archdiocese of Vancouver, 2016.
“A beacon of hope here, for our region…like a haven for the disenfranchised, for anyone to walk in the doors and feel something, to be nourished by a warm community, for them to be introduced to the God who loves them.”
— Fr. Mark McGuckin
Alex Lee Hoy | Sept. 28, 2022
Fr. Mark was first exposed to DR when he was studying theology in the seminary, diving into the distinctions between evangelization and catechesis. At the time, he was gathering many perspectives as he contemplated how to really make Jesus known.
DR “was for me a no-brainer, this is the way we’ve got to go, mission-oriented church and we have great mentors to rely on. It’s like oh, okay, how is there anything bad here? How could we possibly say no?”
When Fr. Mark came to Port Moody and was appointed as the Pastor of St. Joseph’s Parish he knew where he wanted to go. He started in group coaching with DR and building up leaders in the community.
By 2021, Fr. Mark knew his parish just needed to dive in. He said to his team, “let’s stand on our own two feet. We can host an online Alpha. I don’t know how we’re gonna do it but here’s a deadline – we’re going to launch this day and let’s just build the team and it’ll push us to really just do it.”
Since then he has focused on “building up our SLT and then raising up leaders, faith study leaders and just being connected with Stephen Corsi (DR Leadership Coach) … doing coaching.” Fr. Mark finds, “it’s been really, really awesome to have that support and just great wisdom of the pastors and lay women, men, connected to DR who have been through the trenches for years… a wealth of experience from all over North America, all over the world.”
Fr. Mark’s vision for his parish is to be “a beacon of hope here, for our region. Not just the Catholics coming through our door, but for our whole region…like a haven for the disenfranchised, for anyone to walk in the doors and feel something, to be nourished by a warm community, for them to be introduced to the God who loves them. And we get to be participators in that work.”
Fr. Mark sees the reality that being on mission is an ongoing course of action – one that does not remain in a state of comfort, but rather is an exciting process – especially when thinking about the next level and getting more people on board.
Fr. Mark commented that “It’s so great to have models like Saint Benedict and St. Ignatius and other parishes – and it’s okay if it takes some time. We don’t have to rush to get there…this year we’re really going to focus on vision casting and then go from there.”
As of August 2022 Father Mark was appointed Pastor at St. Francis de Sales Parish where he continues to pursue mission and introduce people to the transforming love of Jesus.