Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of August 29, 2005
Student's initative spurs donor to fund her trip to Germany
By WCR Staff
Her wish came true, after all.
While a Grade 12 student at Austin O'Brien High School last February, Anastacia Bodnaruk was busy raising money for her friend Jocelyn McKenna, to help with expenses for McKenna's trip to Cologne for World Youth Day.
Bodnaruk could not afford to take the trip herself.
Circumstances in her life at the time were such that the McKenna family, members of Assumption Parish, took Bodnaruk into their home.
Working parish bottle drives and baking dozens of cookies and cupcakes for school bake sales to help her friend was Bodnaruk's way of expressing her gratitude to the McKennas.
"I'm helping out to support Jocelyn," Bodnaruk said in a Feb. 14 article in the WCR.
After the story was published, an anonymous donor contacted the McKennas, paying for Bodnaruk's trip to WYD.
"After I found out, I wrote a letter thanking them for the experience I was going to have," Bodnaruk told the WCR Aug. 24, barely 12 hours after returning from Germany. "Jocelyn's parents sent it to them. Now, I am going to write them and thank them for the opportunity to go and to tell what happened."
"The trip was a lot of fun. I was able to visit Venice and Paris before I went to Germany."
Bodnaruk met up with Jocelyn in Europe. They stayed with a host family in a German village. They built toys for local children and made rosaries with an order of women religious.
Bodnaruk met youth from Italy, Germany, South Africa and across Canada. Two members of her host family are planning a trip to Edmonton next year.
Bodnaruk understands her faith a lot better now that she has experienced so many young people openly discussing their own faith.
Bodnaruk will take the RCIA program at Assumption Parish beginning this fall. She wants to be baptized next Easter.
"I am looking forward to it," she said. "When I have my own children, I can raise them in the Church."