“Forming Relationships One Step At A Time”

Hello Everyone!

We are just about a month into ministry here in Vancouver, and it is so evident that God is working in our midst. We minister to the youth of Archbishop Carney Regional Secondary School in Port Coquitlam and St. Thomas Aquinas Regional Secondary School in North Vancouver. This past month, we have been focusing on relational ministry. Simply put, this is establishing relationships with the students so that we can build trust.

At Archbishop Carney, we have been attending all of the religion classes. We sit in on the lessons, participate in discussions, in some cases lead small groups, and sit with the youth in the cafeteria during their lunch.

At St. Thomas Aquinas our ministry is similar, but we can choose which classes we go to. Our team has started leading small group sessions in grade nine religion classes, guided by the Alpha program. It is encouraging to see that these students have some very real, serious questions about life and God. We are looking forward to continuing those small groups and diving deeper with the youth through them. We invite students to come to the mass that is celebrated every week, attend Morning Prayer with the staff, and lead a prayer group for the youth before classes start. We also have our first retreat coming up for the grade eight class at the end of November, and are excited to see our Lord work through it!

Our main focus is just intentionally getting to know the students and really investing in them! Every person desires to be seen, known, and loved, and each student has their own story; things that they love and things that they struggle with. We want to know them and we hope that through building genuine relationships, we can help lead them to the ultimate good, which is Christ. Before class started in one grade eleven religion class, I was chatting with a girl who unexpectedly opened up to me about the struggles that she was going through and the pressure she was feeling from different sources in her life. I listened, asked questions, and asked if I could pray for her. Even though she is not Christian, she told me that I could.

A lot of the youth at these schools are under a tremendous amount of pressure; many just want someone to talk to, and to have that person really listen. That is what our ministry looks like right now; just being there for the youth. Some of the students have never known or trusted someone who is Catholic before, and so by building trust through relational ministry we are able to bring them one step closer to knowing Christ.

Written by Jessica Taylor

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