By Susannah Johnson
On Saturday October 13th I was in St. Catharines, Ontario to attend the graduation from the Redemptorist sponsored Canadian Certificate in Youth Ministry Studies. I want you to know how this program changes lives.
One student was a middle aged single mother of five. She shared with me how CCYMS helped her raise her children on her own. She learned how to better communicate with them, help them increase in self-confidence and foster their faith life. The skills she learned which she currently practices at home, she also uses with the youth in her parish.
Another young man who works in a supermarket had never attended university. This was his first efforts at post secondary studies. He now feels confident to continue his education while volunteering with the youth in his parish.
It was moving to see how proud all these students were! They had formed bonds that will continue after they each go their separate ways. This formation, however, does not only help the students. The program you sponsor has the ripple effect of touching the lives of a frequently neglected part of the Body of Christ: our youth.
The bishops of Hamilton and St. Catharines were there, as they had collaborated and supported these students together. They thanked you, the Redemptorists, for taking on this program and offering this gift to the Church.
I know that you support various endeavours both personally and financially. I too want to thank you. What I witnessed at this graduation taught me that the CCYMS is indeed a worthwhile project.