From the personal records of Fr. Oswald Fuchs, there is a Christmas reflection he wrote in 1991 about the first time he had to chance to go back to his hometown of Sedley to preach a homily:
Sedley Revisited (The little Fuchs goes home for Christmas)
In his book “Pioneering in the West”, Father Boniface refers to the author of this article as “the little Fuchs,” and describes him as the youngest and smallest of the group of twelve who set out from Sedley and the surrounding area to attend school in the fall of 1926 at a newly-established Junior Seminary, called St. Anthony’s College, in Edmonton by the Franciscans.
The missionary priest, Fr. Boniface, who has recruited these young men for the new school said in his book that he felt sorry for the little man lost in the crowd of well-wishers who had come to railway station to say farewell to their favourite sons on the evening of their departure for the Alberta capital.
I was twelve years old at that time and in all the sixty-five years that have passed since then I never had the occasion to return home for Christmas, until this last year.
Someone was needed to say the midnight Mass at Christmas in the parish that had over the years spawned about thirty priestly vocations and an equal number of Sisters. I heard the call and was overjoyed to accept. I knew in my heart that the Lord has something special in mind. Perhaps it was simply to render an account to the people of Sedley of what I had done since leaving home in 1926. I felt privileged to be given the occasion to share with them the results of my search for truth. The yeas of travel and studies in some of the best universities in Canada, the United States and Europe had provided answers to the questions that had haunted me for so long.
The homily at midnight mass provided the occasion I had been waiting for. The meaning of the Crib and the birth of Christ into our world – these thoughts contained the message that I had formulated in my heart for this occasion. I knew that what I had discovered could best be expressed by pointing to the Babe of Bethlehem. As the sign of God’s love he represented the invasion by the mystery surrounding us of our narrow boxed-in world.
The message that the Lord had wanted to bring to these good people, even though they were two or three generations removed from those who crowded the station platform on the night when the trek to Edmonton started, was that we had lost the sense of mystery in our lives. We had taken the surface facts and explanations for the ultimate realty. As farmers we thought we could explain crop failures on the sole basis of poor weather conditions; as business men or women we could blame our bankruptcies on the economic climate of recession that is prevailing in our country. If success attended our efforts, we took credit for it; if failure dogged us at every turn, we took that to mean there was no benevolent divinity in the world.
The Christ-child represents a possible break-through into our closed little world of the mystery surrounding us, because a baby lying in a manger and wrapped in swaddling clothes is a sign of the irresistible nature of God’s love. Who can close his heart to the pull of a baby’s smile? The shepherds could not resist and neither can we.
The first break-through in actual life comes when we search for the ultimate motives of our actions and find these fused with our personal identity. This is bound up with the God-in-us, namely the Christ. He forms our true selves. He is the answer to the question, who am I?