"I have never felt so blessed" shared one of our young adult pilgrims after he had received a departure blessing from the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto at their home at 2 O'Connor. The second weekend in August, Faith Connections and the Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Canada organized a pilgrimage to London, Ontario for young adults (18-39 years). Within the theme of “Living Joy”, the 22 participants experienced the history, charism, spirituality and ministries of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Ontario.
Dr. Josephine Lombardi spoke eloquently about sexuality and Theology of the Body established by Saint John Paul II at Theology on Tap East on June 25. She shared with us many different ways in our lives that lead to authentic freedom which is truly knowing God. This is what Christ wants for us all. God wants us to be perfect in our wholeness as we are all created in God's image and likeness. God wants us to be the best version of ourselves.
I have to admit that I have never been a big fan of summer. I’m one of those crazy people who typically prefer cooler weather; humidity and I just don’t mix. I would take spring or fall over summer almost any day. However, after the intensity of the winter, I am relishing the warmth of the sun, and the simplicity of being outside without fives extra layers of clothes. I didn’t realize just how grateful I was for this until Faith Connections' "Celebrating Summer" Hike and Prayer at Edwards Gardens on July 5.
One of the best parts about moving to Toronto from a small town was the sheer number different things I could do on any given day. There were so many things to choose from that it was overwhelming. Young adult ministry events were no different. I was invited to volunteer at Faith Connections within weeks of arriving, but as I got settled I began learning about other groups that were also doing young adult ministry. Faith Connections' Young Adult Ministry Networking Evening, hosted on June 4, was a refreshing reminder of just how much is going on.
There is one line from Faith Connections’ Theology on Tap on May 26 that keeps coming back to me: “I am enough, just as I am.” Mary Jo Leddy reminded us of this, saying that we need to remember this in the face of increasingly materialistic society, which tempts us to always desire more: a bigger car, a nicer house, a better paying job. She has noticed that so often this materialism leads us to equate both our happiness and self-worth with the things we have. Therefore, unless we have the latest and greatest, we cannot be happy and we aren’t worth anything. According to Mary Jo, when we practice radical gratitude, we can begin to accept that we are enough, just as we are right now, and that our self-worth is not tied to what we have.
As part of the 15th annual Doors Open Toronto, our Faith Connections’ Hike and Prayer on May 24, 2014 took us through downtown Toronto to various historically, culturally, and socially significant buildings. Our starting point was at St. Michael’s Cathedral where we got an opportunity to introduce ourselves to our fellow hiking companions before engaging in a group prayer. We asked God to help us be open to His presence in each moment and in each space.
On May 12, 2014, Paskwa Mutunga, an Innovation Manager at World Vision, spoke to young adults from the Peel Region at Theology on Tap West about ethics in the workplace. The event was hosted by Faith Connections, the Office of Catholic Youth, and local parishes at West 50 Pourhouse and Grille in Mississauga.
On May 4, 2014, over 80 people attended the Fontbonne Ministries Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon at St. Paul's Basilica Parish Hall. In a beautiful parish hall decorated with colourful balloons and flowers, Faith Connections volunteers gathered with staff and Sisters. Together, they enjoyed a meal and celebrated the volunteers' contributions to different Fontbonne Ministries programs.
On March 10, 2014, young adults gathered at West 50 Pourhouse and Grille in Mississauga for Theology on Tap West. Professor Moira McQueen PhD, from the Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute, gave a talk entitled, “Sexuality and God’s Covenant of Love.” Using the Vatican II document, Gaudium et Spes n.49-52 on Marriage and Family, H.H. Paul VI’s encyclical, Humanae Vitae, and St. John Paul II’s “Catechesis on Marriage,” McQueen focused her presentation around three themes: Original Solitude, Original Innocence, and Original Unity, as found in St. John Paul II’s lectures on the “Theology of the Body.”
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