The Throneway 2019 band performs at Michael Power High School Aug. 24. Photo by Dylan Michael

Catholic convert shares a message of hope

By 
  • August 28, 2019

Benjamin Turland has become a prominent figure for Catholic youth over the years, but it wasn’t always that way. 

“Coming from a non-Christian home, I know what it’s like to not have Jesus in my life at all or have any hope,” said Turland, team leader at Ryerson University with Catholic Christian Outreach. 

Turland is the only Catholic in his family. He converted to Catholicism in 2014 while in Grade 11 because of the unconditional love that he found in the Church. He also felt loved by people for just being a son of God. 

“Being gifted with faith at a young age and seeing how that has made me a better … complete person makes me want to make sure that everyone is living their faith to the fullest.”

Turland was the guest speaker for Throneway 2019 at Michael Power High School in Etobicoke on Aug. 24. The event was held by Jesus Youth Canada (JYC) in conjunction with the Office of Catholic Youth (OCY). Prayer groups from different ministries lent a hand in the planning process. The concert was developed for people to experience God in a new way.

“The idea behind Throneway specifically is worship through the arts. As much as it is reaching out to people, we also just want to be able to give God our best,” said Dylan Michael of JYC.

“The last couple of years we have decided that as God’s calling, we want to bring this out to more people. That’s why we started working with the OCY so we’re able to reach more people and share this gift that God has blessed us with, with as many people as we can.”

Music was provided by the Throneway band and Lazarus prior to Turland’s talk. It then followed by the crowd congregating to the centre stage to experience the Eucharistic adoration. 

Turland has been with CCO since 2011 and worked at Ryerson Catholic Campus Ministry for seven years. He spent time around the world in countries such as Uganda and Malaysia speaking to hundreds of crowds. He responded to the call of the new evangelization by dedicating himself to lead a team of campus missionaries in their journey to proclaim the Gospel message to students.

“A lot of people have a very bleak or dull kind of view of the beauty of the Catholic Church and this is why we think this is something that we can use to attract people but to also bring them to a very deep point,” said Turland.

Turland’s work has left a deep impression on Michael.

“I spent some time this year with Ben at Ryerson Catholic,” said Michael. “He started that chaplaincy maybe eight years ago now. His passion and yield that I’ve witnessed is so powerful and fruitful in bringing people closer to Christ. Especially people that never met him before.

“He has been such a fire with ministries with NET Ministries and with CCO he has been able to do so much and all across the country actually,” said Michael. “I definitely has seen God work so much in his life.”

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