Robert Wolfall, Presbyteradmin | 3 September 2010
The collect for bishops and other pastors, in commemoration of Robert Wolfall, Priest (source):
Almighty and everlasting God,
who didst call thy servant Robert Wolfall to proclaim thy glory
by a life of prayer and the zeal of a true pastor:
keep constant in faith the leaders of thy Church
and so bless thy people through their ministry
that the Church may grow into the full stature
of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
who liveth and reigneth with thee,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Church of England priest Robert Wolfall was chaplain to the third Arctic expedition led by Martin Frobisher. On 3 September 1578, Rev’d Wolfall presided at the first recorded Holy Eucharist in what is now Canadian territory: Frobisher Bay, Baffin Island.
The service was held on the ship Anne Francis, whose captain later wrote:
Master Wolfall …. preached a godly sermon, which being ended he celebrated also a Communion upon the land …. The celebration of the divine mystery was the first sign, seal and confirmation of Christ’s name, death and passion ever known in these quarters. Master Wolfall made sermons and celebrated the Communion at sundry other times in several and sundry ships, because the whole company could never meet together at anyone place.
A few weeks later, Frobisher abandoned the hope of establishing a permanent settlement on Baffin Island and the expeditionary fleet returned home to England. Anglicans would not celebrate Holy Communion in Canada again for almost a century.