Dan Freeman, district director for Kingston, Ont. for Catholic Christian Outreach and Oriana Bertucci, the director of Ryerson’s Catholic Campus Ministry.

CCO to launch Ryerson chapter in fall 2013

By 
  • November 22, 2012

TORONTO - Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO) is finally coming to Toronto.

To coincide with its 25th anniversary, CCO has entered into a partnership to bring the student-focused evangelization movement to Ryerson University starting in the 2013 fall semester.

“As a movement we are very excited to be invited into the archdiocese of Toronto,” said Dan Freeman, district director for Kingston, Ont. “The real excitement is just the opportunity to service Christ and influence the culture in a place as significant as Toronto but also Ryerson University.”

Since forming in 1988 on the University of Sasketchewan’s campus, CCO has spread coast to coast, from Dalhousie University in Halifax to the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Ryerson will be the 10th campus to have a CCO ministry and the third in Ontario, joining Queen’s and Ottawa universities.

The new partnership came at the invitation of Cardinal Thomas Collins, the archbishop of Toronto.

“CCO is always on campus at the invitation of the local bishop,” said Freeman. “So in this case we were invited by Cardinal Collins to Ryerson because he deemed it to be the most appropriate location for our ministry.”

Oriana Bertucci, the director of Ryerson’s Catholic Campus Ministry, was thrilled by the announcement.

“We’re really excited because it is an opportunity for us to grow the number of people that are here to support the Catholic population at Ryerson,” she said.

Bertucci says there are 15 faith groups on campus and they currently account for about 25 per cent of the room bookings by the Ryerson Student Union.

“The RSU has been really supportive in realizing that this is a growing need on our campus,” she said, adding space is always a challenge in downtown Toronto. “They’ve worked with the university to find and renovate and open some additional space specifically for faith groups on campus.”

Freeman says the first step in launching CCO is becoming familiar with student needs.

“Our focus in the first months is going to be getting to know the students, who they are, where they come from, what their personal aspirations are, what programs they’re in. We’re going to be very much dependent on their experiences and their observations,” said Freeman. “There will be more strategical tactical goals after that. Leading faith studies and unrolling our programs.”

One of the first programs excpected is Discover Studies, essentially a Bible study, which focuses on a relationship with Jesus to remind students that, through Jesus Christ, Christians connect with God.

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