Friday, March 23, 2018
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Non-Indigenous Training Team


Father Francois Paradis omi
Winnipeg, MB

I am a Missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate since August 15, 1967. I was ordained in July 1972. My entire priestly ministry has been with the Ojibwa First Nations communities of Southern Manitoba. I was pastor in Sagkeeng and the surrounding First Nations for 17 years (1983-2000). After four years as pastor of Kateri Tekakwitha Aboriginal Parish in Winnipeg (2003-2007), Returning to Spirit became my full time ministry.

Reconciliation is the gift that I have been called to share. It has showed up in various ways within my pastoral activities. One of the ways has been in inter-religious dialogue with First Nations’ spirituality. I have participated in countless First Nations’ ceremonies. My Master of Arts’ research paper was a reflection on my inter-religious dialogue experiences. Now, reconciliation is brought forward in Returning to Spirit.

Since my certification as a trainer in January 2007, I have been on the Non-Indigenous team delivering the Returning to Spirit workshops. I am pursuing my development as a trainer. Beyond reconciliation, I am very interested that a new partnership of equals be developed between the Non-Indigenous peoples and Indigenous peoples.
Gigi Jakobs
Nanaimo, BC

I was born and raised in northwestern British Columbia and developed a love of nature at an early age. After earning degrees in Geology and Theology, I worked as a Pastoral Assistant in Prince George for several years.

I took my first Returning Spirit workshop in October 2007 and experienced the truth in “Alter your conversation, alter your life”. I recognized that I was not fully expressing myself in life and made a declaration to let go of fear and be in development with freedom and self-expression.

I made a choice to leave the Catholic Church and work as a Trainer and Keeper for RTS.


Jacques Lafrance
Lorette, MB

I am originally from Hearst Ontario and have lived in Manitoba for the last 30 years. I am general manager of Light of the Prairies, a retreat and conference centre situated south-east of Winnipeg Manitoba.
I am a man of many interests and hobbies such as beekeeping, woodworking, singing in two choirs and many other life-giving projects.

I took my first RTS Workshop in May 2007. The workshop was the beginning of a transformational journey which continues today. I have experienced and seen true Reconciliation between First-Nation and non First-Nation people – a relationship I have come to love, so much so that I am now contributing to RTS as a Trainer in the delivery of Workshops and Seminars and also as Special Event Coordinator.

At the heart of my life is a deep desire to contribute in creating a better world by the way I live and by the choices I make.


Susan Campbell
Prince George, BC

I am the director of the Mt. St. Francis Retreat Centre in Cochrane, AB. I have worked in adult faith formation for 30 years.

I attended my  first RTS workshop in 2008 and the Reconciliation Workshop in 2010.

I am a Trainer with Returning to Spirit.

Trainer (retired)

Sister Olive Halpin mo
Winnipeg, MB

I was born and raised in the little French Canadian town of St. Eustache in Manitoba. My family moved to St. Boniface, Manitoba, where I finished high school and entered the Missionary Oblate Sisters (MO). After my training to become a sister, I completed my university degree (B.Ed) and received my Teacher’s Certificate. I taught for 25 years in both Catholic and public schools in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

I worked as host coordinator at our MO Renewal Center for three years, as director of our St Charles Retreat Centre for one year and as a support person in a centre for personal and spiritual growth for nine years. I am a certified translator and hold a certificate in Pastoral Studies.

In April 2005, I participated in the RTS 5-Day workshop and, in January 2006, I embarked on an adventure - that of being a trainer with the RTS program! It has been quite the ride - a transformative and empowering one! I am truly grateful!
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