St. Joseph's youth continue Mass tradition

By  Andrew Santos, The Catholic Register
  • April 11, 2008
{mosimage}TORONTO - Youth from parishes across the eastern section of the archdiocese of Toronto took part in a regional Mass at St. Joseph’s Church on March 30.

The St. Joseph’s Youth Group hosted the Mass, eucharistic adoration and a reception that took place in the parish hall immediately following the Mass.
Among the neighbouring parishes represented were St. Martin de Porres, St. Rose of Lima, St. Thomas More, St. Barnabas, St. Maria Goretti and Precious Blood.

The St. Joseph’s Youth Group was continuing the tradition of a regional Mass, held periodically in parishes throughout a particular district in the diocese.

The last regional Mass was held at St. Barnabas Church on Nov. 17 of last year.

Fr. Edwin Gonsalves, director of the archdiocese of Toronto’s Office of Catholic Youth, was on hand to celebrate the 7 p.m. Mass.

Gonsalves spoke about how important it is to stay connected as a community.

“I thank and appreciate the efforts of the St. Joseph’s youth group who, through their time and effort organized this gathering. It is with hope that this tradition will be carried on,” he said.

“I encourage you all to form a Facebook group, or to join together however to dialogue and share your Catholic faith amongst each other.”

Youth group members were also on hand to lead participants in icebreakers and testimonies.

The St. Joseph’s Youth Group was formed in September 2005 by Eric Pinto, church sacristan, and Al Kiel. Several altar servers had expressed interest in forming a group to share their faith and personal experiences with each other.

What continues to be a strong group of altar servers is now a thriving youth ministry where time, energy and talent are poured forth in the parish and Sunday liturgies.

Kristina D’Silva, 17, is thrilled to be a part of the group.

“I have made many friends in this group since joining,’ she said. “I look forward to our meetings and interacting with everyone. It’s just like another family.”

Since its inception, the group has presented numerous activities for the parish.

In early 2006, members of the group  organized a bowling night and pizza night for parishioners.

On top of its many social activities, the group continues to grasp its spirituality in many different ways.

A ministry retreat was put together for all members at the Manresa Spiritual Centre in May of 2006.

The group meets together after Sunday Mass in the parish. Many members are encouraged to attend Mass.

Several serve in other capacities in the parish such as altar serving, ushering and as lectors.

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