My name is Harold Visser and I am the Chaplaincy Leader at Notre Dame. I have been chaplain at ND since fall, 2017 and am blessed to be part of our community. Notre Dame is my first position as a high school chaplain and I look forward to many more! Please reach out, even if all you need is a listening ear.
I have lived in Ottawa since 1995 but am originally from Vancouver (with three years in Holland as a teenager). I met my wife, Rebecca (another Westerner, from Edmonton), in Ottawa and we are blessed with seven children, two in elementary, one in high school, three in university, and the oldest a nurse. Our home is in Barrhaven and I generally enjoy the scenic drive on Fallowfield (except in a snow storm!) to and from school each day. Both Rebecca and I grew up Evangelical and became Catholic as young adults. We attend St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church
Outside of school, I am very involved in soccer, both as a coach and organizer. My family love the game, both playing and watching (I'm an Arsenal fan; all my kids are Manchester United fans - not sure how that happened!). We especially love to cheer for Holland, and Canada, of course. I also love to sing, especially at church and with my family. As St. Augustine say, when you sing, you pray twice.
A final note about my educational background. I finished high school with good grades and was therefore expected to attend university, except I had no idea what I wanted to study. I was a History major my first term, a Chemistry major in my second, and finally settled on Theology in my third. After my third year, however, I dropped out, needing some life experience before I continued studying. After working for a youth organization for eight years, and getting married, I returned to school, all at Saint Paul University
in Ottawa - first a Bachelor in Theology (Eastern Christian Studies) and then, part-time while working, a Master of Arts in Theology (Eastern Christian Studies) and finally a Master of Pastoral Theology in 2015. I did not have a 'normal' educational journey (and not one I recommend to my children!) but it was one where God was present - we need to always trust that no matter what turns our path may take, He is there with us.
Mary, our Lady, pray for us.