OCY launches leadership program

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  • September 8, 2009
{mosimage}TORONTO - The Office of Catholic Youth is launching a leadership program this year to strengthen young leaders in their schools, parishes and communities.

The nine-month leadership training program is open to 16- to 19-year-olds in the archdiocese of Toronto and aims to develop their skills and equip them to be active witnesses of the Gospel not only in youth ministry but in all aspects of life.

“(For) young people who are already favourable to Christ and are well acquainted with our church and church life, we need to make sure that they have the support in place to sustain those feelings and that they have the training to further refine that zeal they feel so they can become responsible young Catholics, successful young Catholics,” said Christian Elia, director of the OCY.

He said the goal is also to equip them to successfully answer their call in life, whether married life some day, a priestly or other religious vocation, or as a part of the lay faithful.

The program will run from October to June, beginning with an overnight retreat in Rockwood, Ont. Throughout the school year, students will take part in four formative sessions, each followed by a service block to put what they’ve learned into practice. They will also be assigned a mentor to meet with and discuss their hands-on leadership task for each session, which will cover identity and giftedness, Christ as the model for leadership, church social teachings and mission works and God’s individual call.

The OCY ran a similar leadership program more than a year ago, but it consisted only of the four learning sessions without any practical application.

“With the other program, we weren’t able to see if they were actually applying what they were learning,” said Gerard Calderon, assistant program co-ordinator. “With the service blocks, we know they will be building on each formative session. This new one will also have a stronger catechetical component to it.”

The deadline for applying is Sept. 30. The cost for the entire program is $40 and space is limited to 50 people. For information, visit www.ocytoronto.org or call (416) 599-7676.

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