The rectory located between the Sainte Anne church and the sparkling waters of a large inlet in Ste.-Anne-du-Ruisseau, is full of Christmas spirit.
Each room features items from a collection that Father Albenie d'Entremont has been collecting for at least 35 years.
“I love Christmas. It’s a very special time of the year for me,” he said.
An open house was held earlier this month and another is planned for Tuesday, Dec. 18, 6 to 8 p.m. (call the rectory to confirm at 902-648-2315.) The entry fee is a free will donation to benefit a charity.
Father D'Entremont says he adds a little more each year to the massive assortment of beautiful trees, nativity scenes, ornaments and figurines.
There are Christmas souvenirs from around the world, including Alaska, Holland, Kenya and the Phillippines. Every collection has a story.
“Everywhere I travel I always look and see what people are doing there. I see what the trends are. They all have different things, everywhere you go,” he said.
Three women from his congregation are responsible for most of the decorating, with some assistance from two who belonged to his former parish in Meteghan. In addition to the Ste.-Anne-du-Ruisseau church, he administers to Saint Michael’s Church in Wedgeport and Saint Agnes in Quinan.
This is his 17th year of sharing his collection, which spills over from room to room and even into his office.
He says Christmas was always a very exciting time for him as a boy.
“We had an aunt and uncle next door so we always had to see what Santa brought to our house, then go see the next house,” he said.
When he grew older he sang in Christmas choirs. Music remains “very beautiful” to him.
When asked if there was any one gift that stood out above the others as a child, he thought about it for a minute before replying.
“I love Christmas so much I can’t remember any gift more than another.”
Flameless candles flicker at the heart of this centerpiece at the Sainte Anne church rectory in Ste.-Anne-du-Ruisseau.
CARLA ALLEN PHOTO