By Fr. David Purcell, C.Ss.R.
I have heard the complaint that when young adults go off to study at university they “lose their faith.” University training does teach us to ask questions, and test out what has been handed on to us. However, I am so excited to show off examples of how our education can enhance our service of Jesus and the Church.
On a sunny Sunday afternoon (the Sunday before Holy Week), in Toronto (when many others were out in the plazas in downtown Toronto), in the midst of final papers and exams, the group called Ryerson Catholics (pictured at left) met at St. Michael’s Cathedral Church Hall. This group of people serve Catholics and others who attend Ryerson University in Toronto Ontario. They celebrated their love for Christ and one another; gave thanks to all who had provided leadership during the past school year, and introduced those who would provide leadership for the next school year. These people are delighted to be part of a wholistic Catholic ministry which offers service to the needy, small group faith sharing, Catholic Catechism and Bible Study, social activities, and much more.
Another gem I discovered in Toronto…..The University of St. Michael’s College Campus Ministry, among other ministries, hosts awesome student liturgies every Saturday evening in the basement of St. Basil’s Church.
For the Easter Triduum, they went all out and decorated up the banquet hall. Especially inspiring, their choir practiced for hours each week in the weeks leading up to Holy Week, and then led us in some deeply impressive liturgies. I was impressed by the hours that the music ministry, liturgy committee, drama club, and servers devoted to preparing, creating, practicing, and rehearsing for our Triduum celebrations – and of course even more impressive – all smack in the middle of exams. Wow! It is another sure sign that practice of the Catholic faith is very important to young people today!
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