Mardi Gras time for OCY

  • February 8, 2009
{mosimage}TORONTO - A Lenten/Mardi Gras retreat for teens will take place in Orillia, Ont., this year, as the archdiocese of Toronto’s Office of Catholic Youth strives to be more inclusive of its northern parishioners.

About 100 teens are expected to attend the Feb. 20-22 retreat which will feature a Mardi Gras dinner and dance on the Saturday night. They will experience catechesis sessions led by Toronto Auxiliary Bishop Peter Hundt at The Highwayman Inn & Conference Centre where the retreat takes place. They will be offered opportunities to deepen their faith in preparation for Lent with the help of a local music ministry team.

“We can’t be downtown-Toronto centric,” said Office of Catholic Youth director Christian Elia. “The archdiocese is vast and we must be acquainted with those who are doing wonderful work in the north, west, south and east.”

The OCY has previously held youth events in Midland and Barrie. This Orillia-based event, which promises to draw teens from all over the archdiocese, will offer teens the chance to reflect and also have fun as OCY plans to host a Mardi Gras party.

“It’s important to have good balance in our lives, plus Mardi Gras belongs to (Catholics),” Elia said. “We are a rejoicing people. Carnaval before Lent was started by Catholics in Venice and from Venice it spread out to other places around the world.”

Registrants have the choice of paying $50 for registration, transportation to and from Toronto, two nights accommodation, breakfast, Saturday lunch, Mardi Gras dinner and dance, or $30 for all the above minus transportation.

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