“Society is increasingly plagued by polarization, populism and protectionism, and so the church is called to share Christ’s unconditional love and indestructible hope. When we as Christians live out of that same love and hope within us, we share in and offer others the divine gift of the Creator’s continual renewal, redemption and re-creation in the world.”
The Reverend Canon Catherine Ascah has served as the Incumbent Priest at St. John’s since September, 2017. Catherine was born in Montreal and grew up in Montreal and London Ontario. She earned her Bachelor of Arts (French) from Huron College, University of Western Ontario in 1991. Then, for ten years, she worked in the private sector, in the areas of business relations, corporate compliance and dispute resolution. In 2005, Catherine earned her Master of Divinity (with distinction) from Huron University College, and was ordained deacon and priest in the Diocese of Huron serving in hospital chaplaincy and as the parish priest in a newly reconfigured, multi-point rural parish. After more than 25 years in southwestern Ontario, God called for a huge change, and commanded Catherine to “go before me to the land I will show you”. She left the rural shores of Lake Huron for urban Ottawa, where she served as the Vicar at Christ Church Cathedral for nine years.
Catherine is passionate about the ministry of servanthood and hospitality, grace-filled preaching, vital, transformative and carefully executed liturgy, liturgical renewal, and the awe-inspiring mystery offered in the Anglican tradition. Since her appointment as Incumbent Priest at St. John’s, Catherine has worked with lay leadership to enable the parish to live more fully into its baptismal identity and to reflect the parish’s great faithfulness and generosity.
St. John’s is embarking on a journey of discernment and renewal in how it serves Jesus in the community and welcomes others on that journey. It is seeking ways to collaborate with community partners to respond to human need in loving service by sharing in its possessions and possibilities. Catherine sits on the Huron University College Corporation, is an RCMP Chaplain for the Headquarters and National Divisions, and serves on Diocesan Council, the Community Ministries Committee, and the Christian Formation Sub-committee. She is a Assessor with the Advisory Committee on Postulants for Ordination (Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario) and is currently on the local arrangements committee of the National Worship Conference scheduled to meet in Ottawa in July 2020.