Articles from Parish Newsletter

 

 

Volume 2011, issue 19 (October 2, 2011)

GT2011 ECCCLC     ~ John Wang

 

Volume 2011, issue 18 (September 4, 2011)

A Love Letter to Our Lady, Queen of Peace     ~ Connie

 

Volume 2011, issue 8 (May 1, 2011)

Youth: The Jesus in disguise  ~ Tiffany Lam

30 Hour Famine Reflection  ~Jason Man

The 30-Hour Famine  ~Eva Xu

 

 

Articles from Parish Newsletter (2010)

 

Articles from Parish Newsletter (2009)

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Volume 2011, issue 8 (May 1, 2011)

Youth: The Jesus in Disguise  ~ Tiffany Lam

 “If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” – Mother Teresa

 On a beautiful spring weekend, April the ninth to tenth, youths of SCYO and SOTW church gathered together and offered their hunger to the people of Iraq. For thirty long hours, they fasted and joined in spiritually invigorating activities that refreshed them with ambition and inspiration to be closer to Christ.

They participated in activities such as sing-spiration that provided a fun and interactive way to learn about the vast love of God. It also provided a way to build camaraderie and companionship. Later on, participants created their own crafts. One craft was to recreate the 14 Stations of the Cross. Father John Lung led us through the stations with reflections that applied to daily life.

Father Peter of Merciful Redeemer came to participate and spoke about the underlying meaning of Lent. He gave an opportunity for spiritual growth while guiding us toward self control and humility. His talk energized us with the passionate Holy Spirit. He proclaimed that our hunger symbolized our personal desire for God to give us meaning. He also spoke about his journey to becoming a priest and gave us courage to show our love for God to other communities.

All in all, this was a memorable event for the youths that prepared them for the coming of Jesus Christ and renewed or deepened their faith to being instruments of God. This fast was very successful and raised money that would in turn give a helping hand to those of need in Iraq.

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30 Hour Famine Reflection  ~ Jason Man

The 30 hour famine was a very fun and enjoyable activity. There were many activities that I liked. For example, the singspiration and just the fact that all of us youths got a chance to gather together and share our thoughts about God. The singspiration was fun because the dance movements for the songs were really funny and when I saw other people dancing to it I laughed. Also, I liked how the whole activity was planned and organized. It was organized well because after we did the icebreakers, we had a break which gave us a chance to get to know each other even more. On the other hand, I would suggest a later bedtime because after lights out, nobody even went to sleep yet. In conclusion, I enjoyed the activity a lot and if it were to be organized again, I would love to participate in it.
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The 30-Hour Famine  ~ Eva Xu  

On April 9, 2011, I, along with many other youths participated in the 30-hour famine at the Saviour of the World Chinese church. To say the least, it was an experience of a lifetime. Not only did I successfully survive the fast for 30 hours, I also made new friends, learned more about my faith, and made memories that will last forever.

I was one of the latecomers to the event, and I arrived to some people talking about different youth groups and camps. It was interesting to hear about all the different opportunities in the world, and it made me think about my future choices. Throughout the evening, we created and participated in the Stations of the Cross, played games, and got to know one another. It was a great opportunity to make new friends, and I’ve also strengthened my pre-existing relationships. The day was exciting and eventful, and we all had a great time.

The next morning, we went to Mass. Although it was in Cantonese and I didn’t understand what was being said, it was interesting to just look around the church and experience the atmosphere.

 All in all, it was a very enriching experience, and I’ve gained a lot from it. I’ve become closer to my faith, accomplished my goals, and was able to create and nurture relationships that will last me a lifetime.

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Volume 2011, issue 18 (September 4, 2011)

A Love Letter to Our Lady, Queen of Peace

Dear Blessed Mother in Heaven,

Once again, thank you so much for inviting me to Medjugorje.  Ever since I came to visit you in 2008, I kept praying to you that I would be able to come back this year with my family for your 30th apparition anniversary.  Without your graces and blessings, I would not be able to rejoice in the abundant wellsprings of delight and witness your unconditional and endless love to your children on earth.

I can never thank you enough for granting me the opportunity to volunteer myself to be one of the pilgrimage coordinators.  I deeply experienced your Divine Son’s love through the gift of His salvation not only as a pilgrim but also during the course of coordinating the day-to-day program activities.  I surrendered myself to you and opened my heart, my eyes, my ears and my soul in witnessing all the miracles you have shown me.  You made me believe I can take up my cross joyfully, embrace it lovingly and carry it courageously on my shoulders as long as I proceed with everything according to your gentle messages and His Scripture.

The Youth Festival was truly a ‘Mother School’, which strengthened my faith with testimonies and lectures of individual’s conversions.  I also enjoyed the music very much and embraced God’s love through singing and dancing together with all other pilgrims.  Imagine the singing voices of pilgrims from all walks of life, unable to speak to each other, but united by singing the same song, yet in different languages.  There are honestly no words I can think of to best describe this moving and holy experience.

Same as other young pilgrims, I found climbing the Apparition Hill was a walk in the park and going up and down from Cross Mountain was not that tough due to your special blessings in providing us gorgeous weather.  When I saw some pilgrims climbing up the hill ‘bare-footed’ as penance for their sins, I was overwhelmed with a great sense of serenity.

I was very thankful to see the youths who enjoyed attending Holy Mass every day, praying the rosaries and participating the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.  I was also amazed how strong their faith is even though they are so young.  No wonder they are so blessed, as they are truly God’s disciples.

            I was very touched and moved and had tears streaming down my cheeks everyday from the first day I arrived at Medjugorje until the last day of the pilgrimage.  Even now as I write this, my eyes swell with tears.

On my return flight home, I continued to pray to the Holy Spirit and you, Our Lady, for guidance and strength to overcome my weaknesses.  May all the pilgrims from all over the world live out their faith and the messages from you.  I am confident that through your intercession to your beloved Son, Jesus, their Christian journey will be filled with love, peace and joy for all eternity. 

Glory to our Almighty Father and may He be exalted by His people on earth.

Love,

Connie

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Volume 2011, issue 19 (October 2, 2011)

GT2011 ECCCLC     By John Wang

Part One- Are you serious?

           A lot of people wonder why the return campers of GT have to pay an extra 5 dollars fee. Here are the answers for you.

          The camp locates in Glen Bernard, Sunridge, Ontario. It is a 3-day-camp starts from Sep 2 to 5. There are around 150 people in total. The main theme of GT this year is “Extreme Makeover: Holy Spirit Edition”. The main speaker is Fr.  Allan MacDonald. He gave us 6 talks about how to find the source of power, make the choice to follow Jesus and receive the power from God. This retreat thoroughly renews my soul, strengthen my faith, and give me great power from the Holy Spirit.

          ECCCLC is the short form for Eastern Canada Chinese Catholic Living Camp. It basically targets on addressing the growing concerns that many Catholic youths may have on their faith and beliefs. Some of the concerns may include: the sense of disconnect from the Church’s value, a weak relationship with God and unawareness of the powerful yet ‘unopened’ gifts from the Holy Spirit. Of course, as a foreign student from Guangzhou, China who just starts to approach God in the RCIA class, I have all these feelings above. But here’s how they got kicked.

          In the first talk, the most significant question by Fr. Allen that I literally drop down on my note book is: “When you are standing right in front of God being asked, ‘What makes you in heaven?’ What’s your reply?” Of course, different answers tightly follow, “I believe in Jesus, I love my enemies…” Then, Father Allen gives his answer looking around with a friendly smile, “I am saved by grace through faith from hell to heaven by the cross.” And the answer leads to the key point that he is trying to make, “Salvation is a gift from God; we are receiving it but not earning it.” Another word, Lord Jesus has been sent and God’s salvation plan succeeded. We don’t try hard earning Lord’s salvation but just receiving it. As sinners, our sins are forgiven by God when we worship Jesus’ body and blood.

After the talk, we went to our small church for the Taizé. With the deep prayers being sung and contemporary but diverse songs being played, I sink into the center of the earth and flow back up onto any corner of the universe. This meditation makes me feel the presence of our God everywhere around us. Though we boys end our first day in the dark cabins (most of our flashlights run out of battery), discussions continue on and on till one in the morning and we are all looking forward to our next day of surprises.

         Then of course comes the second day, and everybody tends to focus onto the Adoration (Eucharistic Adoration).  And that is the climax of our camp.

 Part Two - Will there be a Part Three?

           Eucharistic Adoration reminds us of a passage from the gospel:

           “And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood for twelve years… When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, ‘if I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole’ and straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.” (Mark 5:24-29)

           “Compared to the healed woman who simply touched Jesus’ robe, we receive the Eucharist every time when we have Mass. Isn’t it so much more meaningful and powerful?” said Fr. Allen on the second last talk.

           After the talk we all walked to the church for the Adoration. We got there around 9pm. Following the instruction, we sat into two big rectangles with a one meter wide and 10 meters long path from the door to the stage in the middle. After 10 minutes or so, Fr. Allen came out in a white robe, “We will first sing a few songs, and then I will walk around you, give you blessing and after that, I will invite you to come up to touch Jesus’ robe.”

           Then, lights were turned down and the choir started to sing. Fr. Allen took out the Eucharist from the tabernacle and put it into a special holder called a monstrance. He then carefully held the monstrance in front of him and started to walk towards us with the other two altar servers with candles on their hands. After the blessing, he walked back to the middle of the stage, and started to invite the first row up to the stage to touch his robe (There were 13 rows and I was in the tenth).

            At that moment, I was very excited for two reasons. First, I felt that Jesus Christ was present right in front of us. He was perfectly pure without any sins, looking at me, waiting for me to touch him to share his power. Furthermore, as I had never received the Eucharist in the Mass before but merely received blessings after crossing my arms at the front, I felt the distance between me and Jesus. But at that specific moment when I saw the people at the front kneel right in front of Jesus, touching his robe, I felt him very close to me.

           But it took forever for the first nine rows to finish. I knelt there till I couldn’t feel my knees. Then I saw that almost everyone on my row were already on their butts. What a great temptation but I felt the power of God pushing me, keeping my body straight up. One and a half hours passed and thank God, it was finally my turn. I slowly moved to the path in the middle (I tried to move fast, but it was not going to happen when you are on your knees), started to think of things that I was going to pray for. Finally when I reached Jesus, I felt the great power flow into me. It was with such ease that I walked back to my row and sat down, not only because I had knelt there for a long time but also, and more importantly, because of the faith I had gained by seeing and touching God. “God is present, God exists.” I repeated to myself over and over again after the Adoration.

           Then, on the third day, we had our very last Mass. Fr. Allen pointed out that although our faith was strengthened, our relationship with God might also be changed, but when we go back to our school, our workplace, even our home, people could behave exactly the same way as they did before. “But you are the witness of God and God will use you as the best tool to transform them, to reunite their broken relationship by no one else but you. Your power will reignite candle after candle” He said at the end of the Mass, “You are all sent; go with the power of God.”

           And I guess I somehow figured out the meaning of these few lines and that’s why I try to share my experience with you in the newsletter. For part three though, please pay attention to the GT2012 next year…

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