By Fr. David Purcell, C.Ss.R.
In January, the St. Patrick’s community met to reflect on our work of promoting God’s call for people to join our Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. We recounted stories about what has helped foster vocations in the past. We also discussed some of our disappointments from the past. With the present configuration of the community most interactions with young adults come through our parish ministry at Our Lady of Mount of Carmel and St. Patrick’s.
Fr. Peter Chin and I agreed to work with some of the young adults in the parish he serves to consider the Redemptorists as a good choice for their future vocation. Fr. Peter also helped me to connect with a large gathering of Catholic young adults to be held at Camp Northlands B’nai Brith in Haliburton from August 30th to September 2nd. There is a need for priests to help out with some of the Sacramental celebrations. If you would be willing to attend this weekend with me then please let me know.
Fr. Joseph Ruta, Fr. Santo and I will follow up with some advertising in the St. Patrick’s parish community for a Come and See evening to be held later in the spring or summer. If you know of anyone who lives in the Toronto area and might be interested in learning about the Redemptorist community then please refer them to……….. phone: 416-789-3217; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
All across the country there are a growing number of invitations we receive to meet young people at vocation fairs or displays in parishes, at youth conferences, and on university campuses. Fr. Ciro Perez helped represent us at the youth conference in Saskatoon just after Christmas. Thank-you also to Fr. Mark Miller and Fr. Tom O’Rourke who represented us at the Newman Centre at the University of Toronto at Sunday Masses on the 20th of January. Here is a picture taken from a Vocation Fair held at St. Phillip Neri. I was invited to preach at one of the seven Sunday Masses and I handed out information about our Congregation through our display. As you can see there were a number of religious congregations and organizations represented at this Vocation Fair.
We have an invitation to attend a youth conference in Calgary at the end of June and a pilgrimage at the Canadian Martyr’s shrine in Midland in August. If anyone is interested in representing us at these gatherings then please let me know.
A special thanks to M.C. Havey who created a display in honour of Fr. Don MacLellan (pictured at right in our display). The display gave a short biography including the fact that a Catholic school was named after Fr. Don. Would you like such a display set up in your church or chapel featuring a well known Redemptorist from your area? Please let us know and we would be happy to help you get that set up.
Thanks to all who are working to promote the call of God to our Congregation. As we work to make this gentle invitation heard in many hearts, let us pray that God’s Spirit would open hearts to respond generously to this invitation.