Let's talk about love

  • August 26, 2008

{mosimage}The University of Guelph was alive with talk on love during the 10th annual CFC Singles for Christ (SFC) and Youth for Christ (YFC) combined national conference Aug. 15-17.

The conference theme, “Love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34), played front and centre for all the talks, workshops and reflections attended by about 500 youth and 300 young adults from across Canada.

“It was to allow the young adults and youth to know how God deeply loves them,” said Lissa Untalan, SFC full-time national pastoral worker. “They know God loves them, but they don’t always know how deeply.”

SFC and YFC are ministries that branched from Couples for Christ (CFC), a ministry for married Catholics  started in the Philippines in 1981 — a movement intended to strengthen and renew Christian family life.

SFC aims to provide Christian support for single men and women aged 20 to 40 who are discerning between the vocations of marriage, religious life or “single blessedness.” YFC, for ages 13-21, like CFC and SFC, works to bring its members closer to Christ.

Untalan said the different workshops focused on all aspects of love, including the kinds of love (worldly love and Godly love) and how to love God in the Eucharist, which they could put into practice during adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

“A lot of people were just nourished,” she said. “That’s when they could really let themselves be loved by God.”

Christian Elia, director of the Office of Catholic Youth in Toronto, attended the Guelph conference as a speaker on God’s design for every person in terms of their vocation. He said he was impressed by the structure of CFC and its umbrella ministries for the various ages.

“It’s pretty amazing how they can mobilize so many people,” Elia said. “It’s pretty ingenious when you move from kids to youth to single to couples.”

Elia’s talk was one of the more popular workshops, with a question-and-answer period that covered a variety of topics related to courtship, including things like premarital sex and birth control.

“I was taken aback by the attention they gave,” Elia said. “They wanted to know what the church is saying. Overall they’re very devout people.”

Elia talked of courtship as “a discernment of your (future) spouse” and a deepening of their relationship with God, while also discussing marriage.

The weekend’s events included Mass, worship, adoration the workshop sessions and also youth-oriented games and competitions including a simulated beach party, and a dance choreography event.

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