Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
March 15, 2010
Catholic Christian Outreach leads students to personal relationship
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS
OTTAWA - A new relationship has been forged between one of the Vatican's most senior cardinals and Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO), a 21-year-old ministry evangelizing Canadian university campuses.
"I am overjoyed to be here," said Cardinal William Levada March 8 as he addressed his second CCO Meet the Movement fundraiser in two days. The talks were organized by Father Raymond de Souza, chaplain of Queen's University and a columnist in The National Post.
Levada, an American, is prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican's top doctrinal official.
He told the hundreds of young people and benefactors packing a downtown hotel ballroom that de Souza had told him CCO is "the best thing happening in the Catholic Church in Canada."
The Catholic faith is worth passing on because it is true and offers something every young person seeks: authentic enduring friendship, Levada said.
"The truth of our faith is personal. It is personal in its object, Jesus Christ and all that he has taught; and it is personal in its subject, the human person."
He praised CCO for helping students "discover the truth of Jesus Christ and to see all their other endeavours in the light of that relationship, what CCO calls, I'm told, 'the ultimate relationship.'"
"The hearts of the young yearn for meaning, for some purpose towards which they can direct their energies and talents, for some cause to which they can devote their lives, he said. "The campus mind seeks knowledge; the campus heart seeks a great mission."
Universities are full of young people with the capacity for great ideals and an eagerness to make sacrifices, yet many do not know Jesus Christ, he said.
"We hand on the Catholic faith on campus because there are eager souls looking for that one mission among a thousand options," he said. "The mission we propose is greater than any other on offer."
Co-founder Angele Regnier told the gathering CCO's mission was unveiled to her and her husband Andre when they were attending the University of Saskatchewan. She was an evangelical Protestant convert to Catholicism who saw the hunger among ex-Catholics for the Christian faith.
It broke her husband's heart to hear so many ex-Catholics saying "they thought they had to leave the Church to encounter Jesus," she said.
When students understand that God is not distant or dead, but real and intimate and loving, the whole Church becomes alive to them, Regnier said.
Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 -- Western Catholic Reporter
Our mission: To serve our readers by bringing the Gospel to bear on current issues in the Church and in secular culture through accurate news coverage and reflective commentary.