A great block by a player from St. Monica parish against St. Paul’s and Holy Martyrs of Japan parish. Photo by Teresa Quadros

Fellowship, fun and frisbee

By  Teresa Quadros, Youth Speak News
  • August 25, 2017

Ten years ago, youth minister John MacMullen could never have imagined the power of a frisbee.

What started as a little event around fellowship and a friendly frisbee game has grown into an event celebrated by 13 parishes from across the Archdiocese of Toronto.

More than 150 teenagers from LifeTeen youth groups around the Greater Toronto Area came together on Aug. 12 in Pickering, to participate in fierce, but friendly, competition at the 10th annual LifeTeen Ultimate Frisbee Tournament.

MacMullen first organized a frisbee night for his youth group in 2007 at St. Timothy’s parish in Orangeville.

“It started out as a way to reach out to kids who weren’t necessarily practising Catholics,” said MacMullen, who now works as associate director of youth ministry at the archdiocese’s Office of Catholic Youth. “And it continues to be a tool in sharing the Gospel in the everyday community, to relate to those youth looking from out in, but in a social and recreational church activity.”

The tournament brought together youth groups for a day of reconnecting with old friends and creating new friendships.

The youth began their day with outdoor Mass with St. Isaac Jogues pastor Fr. Paul Dobson on the fields of St. Mary’s CSS.

“The youth are challenged to be virtuous on the field as they strive to showcase Catholic values and be gracious whether they win or lose, praising the Lord through their good team play,” said Shelley Coish, who has run the event for the past three years from Pickering’s St. Isaac Jogues parish.

In honour of its 10-year anniversary, raffle tickets were sold to raise $1,800 for the Ronald McDonald House. A variety of prizes were given out that day, such as mini-putting with the Sisters of Life, CNE passes, tea with Fr. Paul and Blue Jay tickets.

Throughout the day, praise and worship bands from the participating parishes played music and urged the crowd to worship in song.

“It was awesome seeing everyone coming together, we truly grew as a family today,” said George Mathew, 17, who was participating for the first time with his parish, St. Anthony of Padua in Brampton. “We got our ups and downs, but with teamwork, we fought our hardest fight and won as one team.”

Catholic musician Joe Zambon closed off the day as the tired teens congratulated the winning parishes, St. Paul’s and Holy Martyrs of Japan from Bradford, Ont. The joint team was awarded a large Frisbee trophy and bragging rights as 2017’s Ultimate Frisbee champion.

Dufferin-Peel Catholic school board trustee Shawn Xaviour was proud to see high school students living out their Catholic faith.

“In LifeTeen, in every aspect, we keep pushing for fellowship, to grow in Christ and grow in faith, as one community, in our everyday lives, and today the athletes showed what it means to have a true Catholic spirit,” said Xaviour.

(Quadros, 17, is a Grade 11 student at Holy Name of Mary Catholic Secondary School in Brampton, Ont.)

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