The Clergy Support Memorial Church Board was in full agreement to certify the Rev Donna Bekkers-Boyd to the Office of Appointed Designated Minister – Life Celebrations and Pastoral Care on September 8th, 2015. After retiring as a Catholic Educator, Rev Donna joined us to continue her work to provide fellowship, counselling and leadership with CSMC, a church whose mission resonated with her understanding and appreciation of outreach ministry and allowing her to become a “Roaming Catholic”, as she sometimes calls herself. We welcome her energetic drive, and her creative and supportive nature. Her contribution to date has been recognized by both the church and the members of her community that she serves wholeheartedly.
Education and Memberships
- Master of Education, University of Ottawa, 1993
- Bachelor of Education, University of Ottawa, 1985
- Bachelor of Arts, Concentration in English and History, 1985
- Certificate of Achievement, Canadian Ministers Institute, October 2019
- Victoria Cycling Adventures Club, Run Victoria Group Runs
- Cross Canada Cycle Tour Society, Esquimalt Recreation Centre
- Esquimalt Recreation Center
It goes without saying, Rev Donna is an outdoor enthusiast! She will take on most outdoor activities with relish … the newest sport to master will be Sculling and or Kayaking now that she is living in Victoria.
Donna has cycled to see wonderfully historic and breathtaking sites in Europe and loved that kind of cultural, physically challenging experience: Ireland, France, Cotswolds, Czech Republic, Portugal. To cycle in Italy is a plan for the future and to have her husband join her … she will save that cycle trip for the Netherlands, birth home of her father.
She enjoys cooking with locally sourced fresh produce and organic meat, poultry and fish, sometimes following a recipe in detail and sometimes, NOT. Donna enjoys feasting locally at the hidden gems of small cafes but mostly loves the hunt for a good farm with acreage and a regular stand at the end of the laneway … easy to come by on the West Coast.
In Aug 2015, Donna began piano lessons and continued lessons twice a month up to the hit of COVID-19 in February 2020. Having played accordion, as a young teenager (at a lot of family Dutch events and Lions’ Club events and Senior Centre events), the move to piano was friendlier to her ear then to the reading of music. Now, she has mastered some familiar pieces and actually doesn’t mind playing them for a wee audience … mainly her patiently supportive husband!
Care Activities and Counselling Activities
Donna has spent a predominant amount of her time serving inner-city school communities. She counselled families new to Canada as they began the daunting task of learning English and assisted them in learning the ropes of navigating the many new social, economic, and political systems of Canada. This work left Donna filled with positive energy for her creative pursuits and is grateful for a career that gave her professional development and leadership opportunities as a life-long learner. Staff considered her to be a keen, fair, dynamic and compassionate educational leader. She will continue to enjoy her voluntary work with Candlelighters, and assist Babouchka’s Farm in Val des Monts, Quebec with the sales and distribution of goat soap to benefit childhood cancer support programs.
Life Celebrations, especially wedding ceremonies is something she’s more than happy to provide couples and families. She gives peace of mind and ritual to those with limited or no church connection.
Being new to Victoria as of November 2019, Donna looks forward to discovering the volunteering opportunities available in her community. She hopes to get involved with similar activities she enjoyed in Ontario, such as assisting with charity Fundraising Musical Events for local church groups, etc. in whatever way she can.
For over 30 years, Rev Donna has used her leadership skills to create and deliver, many liturgies for students and parents. Donna enjoyed working with teams to choose reflections and passages and music selections that supported community and individual faith development. Sharing, of a meal as part of the fellowship was always an anticipation of the gathering! Donna collaborated with the different community clergy to schedule and to create the liturgies, prayers and music which would benefit the children in their spiritual growth. Liturgies for students and families, staff retreats, and Sacramental preparation were key parts of her role as a Catholic Educator.
Her own Spiritual Growth
At this point in her life, Donna enjoys early mornings as “the rudder of her day”; those targeted hours of darkness and sunrise are treasured for oftentimes piano and reading, along with a freshly brewed pot of coffee.
Her newfound ministry allows her to learn more about her spiritual side. Having a variety of reading interests and purposes, she is drawn towards reading Richard Rohr’s Daily Reflections, and the poetry and prose of the expressive writings of Rupi Kaur. She appreciates Richard’s candour for acknowledging the shortcomings of the Church and his ability to inspire us to actively embrace our own spirituality development; Rupi’s poetry and prose speaks to the heart of all of us in her illustrations of human being loss, love, trauma, healing and femininity. And in a completely different genre, Rex Murphy is certainly amongst Donna’s favourite writers as well.
For Donna, to worship is to be mindful of the persons, places and events which have grown her relationships over many years. She was brought up within the structure and walls of the Catholic church and school system, however she has discovered that being a “Roaming Catholic” is a truer description of who she is about. It is critical for her, that any formal religious institutional leader of any faith “invites” and “inspires” her to join that community. She needs to be certain that non-bias and inclusion is part of any formalized community. She adds; “It’s also worth noting that churches do provide wonderfully acoustic buildings for music to be enjoyed and for that, I will go out of my way to enjoy and with a choir, I’m happy to sing along!”
“All humanity has been gifted a wonderful sacred globe to share; my world view is one that that we all need to practice tolerance and acceptance for each other. No faith alone is the perfect fit; I enjoy sharing my beliefs with others but mostly, I enjoy knowing that really, we are all looking for the truth and the good in life. The good in all of us, despite our religion, creed, etc., is easy to find with open eyes, minds, and hearts and this is the essence of my world view.”