Thursday, November 9, 2023
"One thing that really stuck with me was that even if all the churches were to disappear, it wouldn't matter, because we are the church, all the youth, all the parents represent the church," said Emilia from Brampton, one of the participants in a weekend workshop for youth group leaders organized by Oblate Youth Canada (OYC) and led by Fr. Martin at the Oblate Queen of Apostles renewal center in Mississauga. Asked about the purpose of the workshop, he said that the main idea was about "young leaders learning about the Oblate charism, learning about St. Eugene, also to learn about different ways to lead a youth group, feel more confident in doing so, and return to their parishes ready to help lead youth groups."
The workshop was attended by young people from our Oblate parish communities in Brampton, Mississauga, Toronto, Courtice and Edmonton; together, more than 20 people. What attracts them to youth group meetings is first of all the atmosphere of joy, but also that "when we meet we can talk about Jesus, about God" (Ania from Toronto), "together we learn about Jesus in fun and happy way" (Emilia from Brampton), "I have all my friends here, and we gather every week, and I also like that the priest who leads the group is very kind" (Ola from Toronto), "sense of community, but also I want to deepen my relationship with Jesus" (Maciek from Edmonton).
On the other hand, when asked what they learned at this workshop, they answered: "I learned that the church is made up of many members, that we are all His body and that every member is needed" (Ola from Toronto), "I learned how to organize a youth group meeting, I think this will be very useful knowledge that I will use in our group in Edmonton." (Maciek), "Above all, the inner qualities that are needed, that I have to build bridges between other people in the group, and not be a boss for them but a leader who shows how to do something" (Ania from Toronto).
Oblate Youth is the young people’s response to the Oblate mission and charism. Want to find out more look here: https://www.oblateyouthcanada.ca/who-we-are.html
TJ OMI / review and correction Fr Daniel Janulewicz OMI