EASTER REFLECTION FROM OUR PARISH VITALITY FACILITATOR – TERREL JOSEPH
Pillars this Easter: The Resurrection of Jesus and signs of life in the Church
First off…Christ is Risen!!! Truly He is risen alleluia!!!!
With Holy Week behind us, we have just kicked off the Easter season, in which the Church invites us to reflect on and appreciate anew the fact that Jesus Christ rose bodily from the dead just over 2000 years ago. Through our faith in Him and our baptism into His Church, we all share in the hope of the resurrection of our own bodies and of the whole world at the end of time. Pretty cool stuff if you sit down and really think about it!
As Catholics, at our core we are people of the Resurrection. People who live in the hope of the life of the world to come, and in the hope of the resurrection of the Church and our world, right here and now.
Since its inception in 1972, the Pillars Trust Fund has been an organization living in the spirit of the Resurrection. Its initial mandate from Bishop Crowley called us, among other things, to “encourage individual initiative”. Individual initiative and the leadership required to make it happen has long been the engine driving growth and renewal in the Church.
As winter 2018 slowly draws to a close (emphasis on “slowly”), we can look proudly back at the many “individual initiatives” undertaken by our beneficiaries that have helped to bud new life into many different corners of the English speaking Catholic community.
Catholic Professionals Network event
On Thursday February 8, Sacred Heart High School hosted the latest Catholic Professionals Network event, sponsored by The Pillars Trust. The mission of these events is to draw together Catholic working professionals from all over the island for an evening of relationship-building and reflecting on our shared catholic faith. This year’s key-note address was given by Deacon Marco Argentino of St Ignatius of Loyola parish. He gave a moving testimony about his faith journey and the discovery of his vocation to be a family man, a business man, and a deacon. Over 100 people attended.
On the weekend of Friday, March 9 to Sunday, March 11, the Montreal Catholic Challenge Movement (Challenge) held their 38th bi-annual Challenge weekend retreat for young adults. This Spring’s retreat was co-sponsored by The Pillars Trust. Challenge is a Catholic movement run by and for young adults , promoting evangelization and engagement in the life of the Church. Like all Challenge retreats, Challenge 38 was the fruit of months of planning on the part of over 50 young adult volunteers. The Challenge movement is also entering its 20th year of ministry in Montreal, having been co-founded in October 1998 by Bishop Thomas Dowd, V.G., among others.
On Saturday, March 17th , the Newman Centre hosted a panel discussion and workshop discussing questions related to bio-ethics, co-sponsored by The Pillars Trust. The Newman Centre hosted this event in partnership with the newly founded Gianna Molla Society, Cardus, the Association Jérôme Lejeune des médecins catholiques de Montréal and the Diocesan Centre for Marriage, Life and Family. The afternoon of activities was capped off by the Newman Catholic Students Society’s traditional Saturday Night Supper, which is a homemade meal prepared by the students.
The Lenten Armchair Retreat
The 6 weeks of Lent this year also saw the continuation of a decades-old annual collaboration between the Ignatian Spirituality Centre and the Newman Centre, known as the Arm Chair Retreat. Each Lent, trained spiritual directors from the Ignatian Centre are paired with students from the Newman Centre for 6 weeks of one-on-one spiritual direction. Both the Ignatian Centre and the Newman Centre are long time beneficiaries of The Pillars Trust. We are proud to see our beneficiaries working together towards a common goal.
Parish Vitality Conference November 2018
While this event is still many months away, the Office of English Pastoral Services (OEPS) at the Archiocese, in partnership with the English Speaking Catholic Council (ESCC), is busy coordinating and planning the next Parish Vitality Conference. This November’s key note speaker will be Fr. James Mallon, E.V. of Parish Renewal for the Archdiocese of Halifax and author of Divine Renovation: From maintenance to mission. The Pillars Trust is proud to co-sponsor both the ESCC and the Parish Vitality Conference.
As we move into spring, we at the Pillars Trust will continue to seek out “individual initiatives” like these to help to build up the life of the Church and manifest the Resurrection of Jesus right here in Montreal today.
Parish Vitality Facilitator
If you’re excited by the work you’re seeing in your community, especially through those efforts of the Pillars Trust Fund, please consider donating to our campaign: Click here