The authors celebrated the official release of Portraits of Faith with their friends and family at a party hosted by the Sisters of St. Joseph Toronto headquarters. Photo by Julius Arulnathan

'Portraits of Faith' puts spotlight on young Catholic Canadians

  • November 16, 2016

Single, engaged, married and ordained Catholics share stories of their faith life in a new book by Faith Connections and the Sisters of St. Joseph Toronto.

Portraits of Faith shines a spotlight on the faith life of young Catholic Canadians. The book is a collection of 15 essays about how young people are growing in a deeper relationship with God.

"It's beautifully diverse, both in the people and in their experience. That's what really touched me," said Sr. Mechtilde O'Mara, ministry director of Faith Connections and co-editor of the book.

Friends and family celebrated with the authors at the book launch party on Nov. 15 at the Sisters' main offices on 101 Thorncliffe Park Dr. Sixteen of the 18 authors − three couples, six women and six men − book attended the evening. Attendees got the chance hear the author's stories in person over wine and cheese.

O'Mara said she is excited to finally hold the book in her hands because it has been a year in the making. The book was originally the brainchild of Novalis publishing director Joseph Sinasac.

When Sinasac approached Faith Connections with the idea for the book last year, O'Mara said she jumped at the chance. She wanted to make sure that the collection shows the many different ways that young people are active in the Church in Canada.

Working with Faith Connections for more than a decade, program director Vanessa Nicholas-Schmidt said she hears amazing stories like these every day. But for those who work outside of youth and young adult ministry, it can sometimes seem like young people are waning from the faith.

"I believe that the hope that I feel is the same hope you will feel, reading the essays of this book," said Nicholas-Schmidt. "I want to say a big thank you to the authors for the courage they have for sharing their stories and filling us with hope."

Portraits of Faith ($14.95) can be ordered online at

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