The architectural rendering of Kintore College, a new women’s residence on the University of Toronto campus run by Opus Dei. Combined with a 13-storey high rise condominium, the residence will span four floors. Photo courtesy of Kintore College

Kintore College to offer a spiritual space at the University of Toronto

By  Thien-An Nguyen, Youth Speak News
  • April 11, 2012

TORONTO - It can be difficult for students to maintain a healthy balance between studies and personal spiritual growth. Kintore College, a women’s university residence to be run by Opus Dei in downtown Toronto, hopes it will help students find that balance.

“While Kintore will certainly provide a serious study atmosphere for its residents, we do believe that a healthy lifestyle includes all aspects of the human person: the social, cultural, spiritual, physical and emotional,” said Crystal Mason, the college’s director.

Officially opening Sept. 1, 2012, the college is located on the St. George campus at the University of Toronto. However, the residence is open to students from different universities and colleges such as Ryerson, explained Mason. Combined with a 13-storey high-rise condominium, the four-floor residence promises future residents not only a beautiful place to live but a warm atmosphere as well.

“The building was designed to maximize the use of sunlight and makes for a beautiful and warm home away from home,” said Miriam Hyginus, a second-year student at the University of Toronto. Although Hyginus will not be living at the college due to a prior commitment, she is very excited for the college’s opening.

“Personally, I find it inspiring to see students who are committed to advancing both academically and spiritually,” she said. “These are women who are serious about getting into both grad school and heaven.”

The property was purchased by Pro-Edu-Val (PEV) in 1997, a charity organization whose mission is “to foster the education of women of all ages and backgrounds in order to promote their unique influence in the shaping of society through their family life, professional work and community,” explained Virginia Nanouris, Kintore’s project manager and an employee of PEV.

The leadership of Kintore is given to members of Opus Dei, a Catholic organization helping people seek holiness in their everyday lives.

The college is open to people of all faiths and religions, but promises a vibrant spiritual life for students who choose to take part in it. For example, Hyginus noted that Holy Mass will be celebrated every day and there will be opportunities for confession, talks on different topics and classes about the faith.

“Far from taking emphasis away from having a relationship with God, Kintore promotes this with the variety of activities it offers. It’s a great place to challenge your mind, nourish your body and strengthen your soul.”

To give students more time to study and to participate in the various social and spiritual activities, Kintore will offer a healthy meal plan and full cleaning and laundry services, said Mason.

Mason also hopes that the residents and members of the management team will feel like a family.

For Hyginus, this welcoming atmosphere might help prevent anti-social behaviour that arises from too much studying and stress.

“University years are one of the most precious times in one’s life and a moment for forging friendships that will last a lifetime,” said Mason. “We want these years to be truly formative and energizing for students.”

Kintore College is currently accepting applications. “We are receiving and reviewing applications as we speak. We have not yet made any offers of admission but we plan to do so very soon.”

(Thien-An Nguyen, 19, is a second-year history and political science student at the University of Ottawa.)

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