Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 8, 2002
Going to WYD is a parish affair
Congregation backs youth group's adventure
By RENATO GANDIA
WCR Staff Writer
Yes, it is the youth group of the Parish of St. Andrew that is going to Toronto for the 2002 World Youth Day.
But before that summer week happens, the whole parish is being caught up in the young people's joyful preparations and plans.
Since October, the parish has held a World Youth Day Mass every fourth Sunday of the month, with the young people helping with liturgical ministries.
The youth group also presents a banner illustrating the theme of their monthly spiritual preparation.
"It is important that we include the community with our activities, so that we're not just a secluded group," Claudia Mossmann, parish WYD co-coordinator told the WCR.
"This is not just an event for and with the youth, but this is for the whole Church, so it's important everybody helps out and be part of it."
Being appreciated, both by the older people in the parish and the younger ones as well, comes as a real boost for this group.
Edwin Konnik, 29 is confident they are well received in the parish. For example, the young people have a music group bursting with high energy and enthusiastic singing.
"I think what it does for a lot of seniors is give them the chance to re-energize themselves, (seeing) the energy from the youth during the WYD Mass," said Konnik.
"It adds a boost to the parish. It gives us the chance to get closer to the parish too because they can see we've got a WYD group, but we also want the whole parish to be involved in it. So it's bringing the parish closer together."
Justin Gamble, 26, parish WYD coordinator, said, "Before the (preparation for) the WYD started, St. Andrew's was lacking an adult youth group."
Once preparations began, a group of young adults became regulars and many are interested in keeping this group beyond WYD, said Gamble. "That's a significant improvement."
"Our vision with the young adult group is to keep going past WYD so we can - through fellowship, friendship and prayer - build community and support one another in our daily life."
She believes the parish takes joy in seeing the youth assume an active role, take their faith seriously and prepare enthusiastically.
"We draw strength from each other, preparing together and seeing each others' commitment to the faith and how we grow in our faith. So what happens is excitement spills over and it builds."
As WYD comes closer, the group is encouraged to see young people in the parish take part in the preparation. They have 14 registered participants, but hope the numbers will grow before July.
"There is a great spirit of anticipation. It's like the countdown is on," said the 28-year old co-coordinator.
Dennis Saniche, 18, and his brother David, 17, are all set for Toronto.
"I think there is a great spirit of readiness," said Dennis. "We've been comparing (our progress) for a couple of months now and we're kind of waiting for the main event. It's kind of like Lent. You know that Easter is coming up and you're anticipating Jesus' resurrection."
He thinks WYD is going to do something great for the youth of Canada and other parts of the world.
David agreed with his brother, saying the preparations they have been doing "build friendship and provide an avenue to celebrate their faith. I profit from the spiritual preparation.
"When I go to the WYD, I won't just be there standing and looking. I will be actually internalizing what I've learned from the preparations."
He says coming prepared makes it a "better experience, because what you put into it is what you get from it."