St. Cecilia Parish Hall was packed Sunday, July 3, with people to help celebrate their pastor Reverend John Weckend,’s 70th birthday. “It’s just wonderful,” said the popular priest speaking with the Prairie Messenger. “There’s people here from several of my previous parishes. And there are some fellow priests here too.” Seen among the crowd were Winnipeg Archbishop Emeritus James Weisgerber, Reverend’s Ken Koep, Stephen Bill and back for the summer from the first year of his two-year study leave was Reverend Brad Fahlman. Knights of Columbus cooked hamburgers and hot dogs on outdoor BBQs behind the church while parishioners were asked to bring salads and deserts. They didn’t disappoint. It required two lengthy tables to hold all the food. July 6 is his actual birth date.
Weckend is one of Regina’s ubiquitous priests. Besides his pastor duties at St. Cecilia’s parish he serves on several archdiocesan committees, frequently appears in area schools and annually takes part in the Queen City Marathon as part of relay team raising funds for Visitation House, a Regina drop in centre for women. He began what has become a traditional practice in his parish of gathering the teachers from his area schools for a special Mass and blessing for them at a mass opening the new school year. It’s a practice he is promoting for other parishes to encourage more support for teachers and for Catholic education.