Letters From a Young Catholic

My reflections as a Catholic young adult passionate about the Faith, seeking to grow in knowledge and understanding of God and discerning the will of the Lord in my life.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


As I posted previously, I'm busy this week with friends visiting and then I'm heading back to the city for another fun filled year of university.

The friends I have up are involved with a Catholic campus ministry program called Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO). The husband, Rob, is a former mennonite pastor and relatively recent Catholic convert who is now working full time as a lay Catholic missionary in response to Pope John Paul II's call for the new evangelization. He has quite the story to tell, coming from working as a pastor in a church his dad started to quitting his job because he decided to enter the Catholic Church after reading the Church fathers. He was married with two children at the time and went from a full time job as a pastor to working at a fastfood restaurant just to support his family while he prepared to enter the Catholic Church. Conversion stories like that really humble me. He's now a full time missionary on university campuses and he has to raise funds for his salary in order to support his family (he and his wife now have three young children). This is not easy.

I was introduced to Catholic Christian Outreach when I moved to the city to go to university. Although they're not directly involved at the college I attend (since the college is Catholic) they're doing some amazing work at several of the campuses of secular universities in our archdiocese (and across Canada).

CCO is "a university student movement dedicated to evangelization. We challenge students to live in the fullness of the Catholic faith, with a strong emphasis on becoming leaders in the renewal of the world." CCO's work involves Faith study groups, ministry and leadership training, retreats and conferences, missions projects, Youth outreaches, Sports, recreation and socials, etc...

CCO is motivated by the words of Pope John Paul II "Youth must not simply be considered as an object of pastoral concern for the Church. In fact, young people are and ought to be encouraged to be active on behalf of the Church as leading characters in evangelization and participants in the renewal of society."

Perhaps one of the most popular events they sponsor in our area is a monthly event called "Summit." This is a Eucharistic Adoration event that is held once a month in a different parish every month and young adults from all over the archdiocese attend this. There are typically around 200 people, on a monthly basis, at Summit. There are also always several priests available to hear confessions after Adoration and the line-ups for the confessionals are always long. After Adoration there's usually a social which allows us to get to know other young Catholics from throughout the archdiocese. The work of CCO has helped to foster vocations to the priesthood and religious life as well as connected more than a few "CCO Couples" who have gone on to marry and continue to be actively involved in the life of the Church.

Anyways, Rob is up with his family for a few days. They're having a bit of a holiday up here but he will also be giving a talk tomorrow night at our parish to share his testimony and the mission of Catholic Christian Outreach with the parishoners here. Please pray for Rob and his family and the work of CCO.

Several of my fellow bloggers from this area also attend CCO events (hmmmm... A Journey, Et In Arcadia Ego, VanCatholic, Confessions of a Young Catholic, Almost Anonymous, . . .)