2012 Theme: “Proud to be the Catholic Youth of the Third Millennium!”
A Unique Opportunity for Youth
This year marked the 11th Youth Festival held in Toronto, Canada: a weekend of fun, fellowship, and formation for youth led by the Fathers and Brother of the Institute of the Incarnate Word and the SSVM Sisters. It is an opportunity to grow closer to Christ through participation in the sacraments, talks given by priests and sisters, and fun games and competitions. Among other talks, Fr. Daniel Mentezana, IVE spoke on the Catechism of the Catholic Church and 1001 Reasons to be Proud to be the Catholic Youth of the Third Millennium.
Over 240 youth from all over Ontario participated in the event which was held over two days. The youth were divided into four different teams and competed against each other in various sporting events and a talent show. A beautiful piano piece composed and performed by one of the young ladies and some daring yo-yo tricks proved to be the highlights of the talent show. The grand prize for the winning team was a pizza party held at the parish.
Hearing His Word
The main goal of the Youth Festival is to give the youth personal time with God. Daily Mass, opportunities for confession, and the recitation of the rosary form the heart of the Youth Festival in order to bring youth into contact with Christ in His sacraments and in private prayer.
This year we were especially blessed by the presence of His Eminence Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, former Archbishop of Washington D.C. and His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto. It is so wonderful that the youth had the opportunity to meet these important Shepherds of the Church who serve as special connections to the Pope. The youth were able to know personally the interest and concern that our bishops have for them.
Forming a New Generation in Christ
One beautiful fruit of the event is that since it has been occurring for over a decade now, many of the leaders and youth ministers that chaperoned groups of youth had themselves attended the Festival when they were younger. The result is that, while we definitely have many new youth each year, there is also a large number of teens and young adults who have been coming for many years. These youth have really been able to learn and incorporate the spirit of the Youth Festival, and are thus able to take full advantage of the weekend to grow in love for Christ.
We thank everyone who participated in this event, especially our benefactors and guest speakers. We ask through the intersession of Our Lady, that the youth in Canada may grow in faith and love to become bold and effective witnesses of Jesus Christ in the Third Millennium.