Fr. Claudio Piccinini says Mass for students at the Teopoli Summer Experience.

Teopoli students will experience Sr. Carmelina

  • June 29, 2011

TORONTO - About 80 young Catholics attending this year’s Teopoli Summer Experience will be doing more than outdoor sports, making new friends and the usual summer camp fare.

They’ll also be introduced to Sr. Carmelina Tarantino of the Cross, the late Passionist Sister of St. Paul whose cause for sainthood is underway.

At the Teopoli camp in Gravenhurst, Ont., students will learn about Sr. Tarantino’s story “in a gentle way” and how she was able to endure her trials through her faith in God, says Luca Mirenzi, a Teopoli youth minister. Sr. Tarantino suffered unexplained illness but maintained a devout life of prayer through it all. For 24 years, she was bed-ridden at Toronto’s Riverdale Hospital (now known as Bridgepoint Health) and was visited by thousands of people seeking spiritual direction. She died in 1992 at the age of 55. The official inquiry into her cause for sainthood began two years ago.

Youth will also visit the memorial at the camp built in Sr. Tarantino’s honour, said Mirenzi.

One of the things that makes Teopoli unique, Mirenzi said, is that mixed in with sports, drama, arts and crafts, summer campers also learn about the basics of the Catholic faith. Mirenzi said it is “the central aspect” of the summer experience.

“Students can express their questions, concerns, doubts about their faith,” he said, adding Teopoli’s founder, Fr. Claudio Piccinini, C.P., will be on hand to respond to students’ queries.

There is daily Mass, children learn to pray the rosary and sing Catholic hymns.

Proceeds from an annual August pilgrimage helps support the Teopoli Summer Experience.

The camp runs from July 5 to Aug. 31 in four 12-day sessions. It is open to youth from six to 16 years of age. For more information, visit

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