Day of gathering for the Synod on young people

Friday, September 28, 2018

On Friday, September 28 from 9 am to 5 pm, more than 150 participants gathered at Saint Paul University in Ottawa, Ontario in preparation for the synod on young people. Its theme was Faith And Vocational Discernment. Faith leaders, students, and those in ministries throughout Archdiocese of Ottawa attend this event. They spent the day sharing experiences, discerning their lives’ path and possibilities. The facilitator was Mark Slatter from the faculty of theology at Saint Paul University (SPU).


In the morning , the guest speaker was Dr. Regina Bibby. She gave an eloquent presentation on Canada’s Millennials: New life, New hope, New possibilities. It was thorough with facts, figures, and surveys from her research. 


The afternoon was lighter with Jason Lamantia, SPU theology graduate student and Kerry Kronberg, Wesleyan Methodist minister and SPU theology student, sharing their personal stories of discernment and lessons learned. The students had time for group discussions, personal reflection, and a well-appreciated coffee break.  From 3 to 3:45 pm, we had a panel on vocation and discerning God’s will. This was an opportunity for students to voice their questions and comments about the day’s theme. The panel members were Professor Karl Hefty, Sister Annette John, fmm, and Reverend Kerry Kronberg. During this exchange, the young adults raised their concerns, preoccupations, hopes, and dreams to the panelists with great faith, openness, and respect. 


The day ended with a beautiful and meaningful celebration of the Eucharist by Christian Riesbeck, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Ottawa in de Mazenod chapel. The lively choir added an extra spark to the whole liturgy. The day was indeed a day of blessing for all the participants.     


Annette John, fmm

An Annual Franciscan Gathering for Youth 18 to 30

Labour Day weekend, August 31 to Sept 2 2018

Rich in His Poverty was the theme of the 15th Fête des tentes that Arlene van Zyl, Agnieszka Pal, Maria Lich, and Vinosa Mary, our four FMM sisters were able to attend.  The theme is a reference to the letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians: “for you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”(2 Cor. 8:9)  We attended several workshops during the weekend open to French-speaking young people interested in the Franciscan spirituality.  We addressed the topics of voluntary simplicity, the religious vow of poverty, Laudato Si, & poverty in the bible.  It was a joyful opportunity to share with other Franciscan religious communities also present and with young people passionate about their faith.  A spring of thanksgiving is what remains in my heart after this experience. 

Arlene van Zyl, fmm

The Present Moment

The Present Moment is a short documentary video by April Barrett, a third-year McGill student, for one of her class projects as she and the participating sisters now share with us.