Ottawa gets youth-friendly archbishop

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  • May 25, 2007
OTTAWA - The newly appointed archbishop of Ottawa has a heart for youth.
{mosimage}“I think that many young people are very close to God and to the church, but others are not and those are the people that we want to reach out to,” said Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J., who was appointed archbishop of Ottawa on May 14. He succeeds Archbishop Marcel Gervais, who is retiring.

Over the course of his nine-year post as archbishop of Halifax and apostolic administrator of Yarmouth, Prendergast has brought several youth initiatives to Nova Scotia.

He helped bring the first Steubenville youth conference to Canada (scheduled for Aug. 3 to 5 at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S.). He also invited Catholic Christian Outreach, a university campus evangelization movement, to start its first chapter in Atlantic Canada. He serves on the board of directors for both Catholic Christian Outreach and the New Evangelization Teams.

Gervais had introduced the NET movement to Canada in 1994, inviting the organization into the archdiocese of Ottawa.

Prendergast said he wants to continue working with young people.

“Youth seem to be people that have drifted away more than others in the practice of the faith so if we can help them see how faith is important, that will enrich them and their parents,” he said.

He plans to visit Catholic schools to help chaplains encourage vocations.

“I’ve particularly asked that young people be present at the installation because it’s important for them to know that they’re not only the future of the church, they’re also the present,” said Prendergast.

Prendergast’s installation will take place in Ottawa at 10 a.m. on June 26 at Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica. Halifax youth will gather with the archbishop 7 p.m. June 22 at St. Catherine of Siena Church to say farewell.

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