Symposium prepares for Eucharistic Congress

By  Sara Loftson, The Catholic Register
  • April 12, 2007
TORONTO - Leaders of Catholic lay movements in the archdiocese of Toronto will attend an annual symposium March 24.
The meeting is to prepare the movements for the Eucharistic Congress in Quebec City in June 2008 and to update the directory of lay movements in the archdiocese.

Auxiliary Bishop Richard Grecco, director of lay movements in the archdiocese of Toronto, has invited Bishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Alexandria-Cornwall diocese to speak about the congress. This will be followed by a roundtable discussion. Fr. Michael McGourty, who is organizing an archdiocesan-wide pilgrimage to the congress, will be present to continue planning with the lay movements.

Lay movements “play an evangelizing role. They are very much serving to reach out to other members in the community in a way that parishes are not able to,” said Grecco.

“Some of the lay movements emerge out of a particular ethnic community so they have the devotions, the language, to reach out to people in their own community.”

Grecco said some common misunderstandings about lay movements include that they are in competition with parishes, they are all charismatic groups or that it’s a kind of elitism developing in the church. But Grecco does not think any of those points true. 

“Every time there is a group that’s different, somebody thinks different is superior, but it’s not, it’s just new,” he said.

Grecco estimates that there are 200 lay movements in the archdiocese of Toronto. Since the fall Grecco and his assistant Ann Andrachuk have been trying to compile a complete list of the various lay groups after the groups requested to have more contact with one another. However, only nine have sent in their information.

Each group must fill out detailed information of the history, description and structure of the organization on the archdiocesan web site.  

“I think people are still timid about inputting information because they aren’t sure what’s going to happen,” said Andrachuk. “I’m hoping at the next meeting there is going to be a greater comfort level.”

The symposium will be held March 24 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Roch’s parish, 2889 Islington Ave.

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