Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 20, 2002
Assumption youth come together as a group
By RENATO GANDIA
WCR Staff Writer
Jody Sliger's desire to have a sense of the universal Church prompted him to sign up as a delegate to the upcoming World Youth Day.
"The Church is so big and you know that because you were told it is," said the 29-year-old Assumption Parish parishioner. "But you don't really experience it first hand."
Knowing the Catholic Church is universal and that there are Catholics all over the world is one thing. "But I just think that the experience of being around hundreds of thousands of Catholics would be amazing," said this father of one.
Cherie, Jody's wife, is also making her pilgrimage to WYD. "We're excited to see the pope," she said.
Before preparation for WYD, there was no active young adult group in Assumption Parish. But now the parish is blessed with a group eager to enrich its faith.
Even if he doesn't go to Toronto, Jody believes he still experienced WYD. "It's more than just a week in Toronto. It's all these preparatory events, the event itself, and the effects of this event to our lives."
Renee Schmitz was in Rome during the WYD 2000. She is going to Toronto to re-live her experience of that event and to experience a new one.
"I think what hit me the most in Rome was that there were millions of youth who have the same faith as mine and that we can share the same ideas."
Her most memorable experience was the vigil night when two million youth from everywhere got together and celebrated the Mass with the pope.
"It was just incredible. What I picture is one big family. Everybody was singing together and everybody was bonding."
Group coordinator Lynette Bastide said, "Everyone is going there for the same idea and the same thought. That is just wow! When we started coming together as a group, our commitment in the parish has expanded immensely."
Bastide said parishioners now walk up to them and talk with them about the event. "Before we were just ordinary members of the parish."
On May 25 the group is sponsoring a youth Mass followed by a Mark Mallett concert. In between spiritual preparation and fundraising, the group finds time to simply have fun and get to know each other. Although they did not start organizing the group early, Bastide said, "We've come together really strong as a group, really strong."