Monday, September 30, 2013

Pow! Bam! Superhero Jam!

Nananananana BATMAN!

In our last cell, we displayed our teamwork and superhero qualities as we raced across the dangerous peanut butter river on floating fruits! Our QCCC superheroes showed strength, perseverance, and leadership as we piggy-backed and carried our sidekicks over to the other side.

There are many modern day superheroes as well as people in our lives who we look up to as superheroes. Jesus calls upon us to act as superheroes in our daily lives. When we reach out to people who are lost in their faith, when we are there to support someone on a bad day, or when we help share other peoples' burdens, we act as superheroes in a special way. It is very important for everyone to act like superheroes so others in our community feel safe and loved.

Jesus and superheroes have many things in common; however, Jesus possesses additional qualities that we don't typically see in superheroes like Batman or Superman. Jesus died on the cross for his enemies and all those who persecuted him. On the other hand, we only see Hollywood superheroes endlessly fighting their enemies. We should take some time to reflect on the true way to deal with those who hurt us--the way Jesus would want to see us treat others. Jesus does not need weapons or use violence because He is the ultimate weapon sent down by God. His peace and love are enough to touch the hearts of everyone. He is the ultimate superhero in our lives, and we should live every day the way Jesus did.

We concluded the night with an interactive Saintspiration (with COOTIE CATCHERS!) on St. Joan of Arc, a saint who acted like a superhero before she was martyred. St. Joan of Arc teaches us to always put our faith in God, because He will always be with us through all our battles.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Heart of QCCC: Building a Community

We always tell our new members that they don't have to be Chinese or Catholic in order to be a part of the QCCC family. However, a heart of community and a mindset of togetherness is essential for our growth. In our last cell, we demonstrated to one another the importance of community through an activity where everyone was assigned a physical disability as well as a handicapped partner. With our handicaps, we need the support of others to help us in areas where we are weak. Likewise, we need to support others in areas where they are incapable. We reflected on how we can overcome our daily obstacles whether it is by ourselves, with our friends and family, with QCCC, or with God. From this, we learned that it is often difficult to face challenges on our own, and that is why QCCC is always here with an open heart and open arms to accept and love everyone who comes our way. We are a family to lean on when you feel weak or abandoned.

The message was strengthened by the Story of the Butterfly, and we learned that God will give us challenges and obstacles only so we can grow stronger and taller, but He will never challenge us in ways we cannot overcome.

We concluded the night with Saintspiration on St. Angela Merici (patron saint of the sick and handicapped) and of course Singspiration (with an encore of QCCC's version of "I Knew You Were Trouble" eeeeekk!!)
Remember, we're always here for you to lean on! 

Open House

Better late than never but we had Open House two weeks ago. It was a great time getting to know everyone. The night was filled with laughs over the curtain game as teams tried to outsmart each other for the glory of winning. Smarties questions allowed for further bonding moments as well as delicious treats (Can anyone do the Can Can??). Afterwards, we showed what QCCC was all about. Hopefully this was made clearer through the presentation. Singspiration was lots of fun, mixing in some classic “Only Hope” and “Trading my Sorrows”.

Afterwards, pictures, chips, and HOT curry fishballs (Tap water was needed to cool ourselves down). Finally, the night was capped off with bubble tea at Classics.

Thanks to everyone who came out and we hope to see you in the coming weeks :)

P.S. Thanks Mathias for making the spicy curry fishballs, they were delicious!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Wolfe Island Fall Retreat 2013: Revive, Refresh, Renew!

The weekend of September 14-15, 2013 was a time for all the Catholic groups on campus, including QCCC, to gather and reflect on their role of spreading the Catholic faith. The retreat was held on the idyllic Wolfe Island, a secluded spot only 15 minutes away from Kingston by the ferry.

Upon arrival, we were given a warm welcome by the CCO missionaries, and Father Raymond, who is the pastor of the Sacred Heart of Mary Parish on the island (and the pastor in charge of Newman House too!). After lunch in the gym of a local school, we headed out to the church and were astonished by its beauty, despite being in such a small, isolated community.

Father Raymond, as well as Father Stephane (from St. Mary's Cathedral in Kingston) presented two talks, which including bible sharings. We also had the opportunity to visit the renowned Wolfe Island Corn Maze, a great time socialise with other leaders of our Catholic community.

There was also time for Eucharistic Adoration. Moreover, Father Raymond also treated us to a bonfire at one of his parishioner's houses overlooking Lake Ontario. The retreat ended the next morning with an outreach to Queen's students who attended mass at St. Mary's Cathedral. This was certainly a good time to revive, refresh, renew and prepare for the challenges of yet another school year!

Friday, September 6, 2013

“Collect 200 Blessings as You Pass GO.” – World Youth Day 2013

The pilgrimage began in the heart of South America and continues in the hearts of all those who attended World Youth Day 2013. On July 18th, 2013, 27 youths from the Salesian Youth Movement departed from Toronto Pearson Airport to begin their two week pilgrimage in Brazil for the 28th World Youth Day.

The first week was our “Missionary Week”, which took place in Angra dos Reis, a beautiful city tangled between greenery and oceanic waters. During this week, we lived with host families. These were local Brazilians who had graciously opened the doors of their home to receive the pilgrims staying in this area. The kindness and generosity we received during our stay with our host families was an incredibly humbling experience. Rooms were given up, luxurious warm showers were offered, delicious meals were cooked, and family stories were eagerly shared (conveyed in a mixture of Portuguese, charades, sign language, and a splattering of occasional English). We learned what it meant to live simply, to find joy in the smallest gestures of kindness – a warm glass of milk, a “good night, God loves you!”

Our host families had little to no understanding of English, which made communication rather difficult at times. However, without the ability for words to fall loosely and without thought, every action and intention becomes held to more definite importance. Words become redundant when there is something far deeper reaching out towards each other between the two parties. Smiles, love, and kindness is the universal language that everyone understands, even if we speak different tongues. Parting with our host families was a teary and heartfelt occasion. Host families and local youth volunteers came to send us off before we headed to Rio de Janeiro. With a flurry of hugs, tears, and promises to write, the bus took off and ferried us towards our next destination.

Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city in Brazil, was the host city for World Youth Day. Our week in Rio was bookmarked by early mornings, late nights, and a lot of rain. In the morning, we had English catechesis located in a cathedral close to the school where we were staying. The first catechesis was held by a Cardinal from Australia, the second by a Cardinal from Boston, and the third by a Cardinal from Bangladesh. The catechesis, the homilies during mass, and the Pope’s address during vigil night, all served as spiritual enrichment through deepening our understanding of different elements in our faith. 

Most of the large events such as the opening mass, opening ceremony, Way of the Cross, vigil night, and closing mass were held at Copacabana beach. At all of these events, the amount of vibrancy and joy through our shared faith escalated to awe-inspiring proportions. The four kilometres of golden sand was filled with youth proudly displaying the flags of their country and the love on their faces. When the familiar movements during mass take place – kneeling, standing, praying – the power of millions of others doing it with you, the flags lowering, reminds us that the differences in nationality are irrelevant. We are not alone in our faith. We are united by the Church and the strength of our faith. 

World Youth Day 2013 was Pope Francis’s first international trip after being chosen as Pope. He was a Jesuit who chose his papal name in honour of St. Francis of Assisi. Pope Francis was inspired to take the name of St. Francis of Assisi because of his desire that the Church should serve the poor. He is a man who seeks to serve others first, while asking very little for himself. During the vigil night address, Pope Francis challenged us to “Go, do not be afraid, and serve.” These are the three simple ideas that he preached towards the attending youth. “Go” was central to the theme of this year’s World Youth Day: “Go and make disciples of all nations”. Pope Francis asks that we share the experience of our faith and bring Christ into every area of life. He tells us “do not be afraid” and reminds us to always be aware of the companionship we can find in the whole Church and the communion of the saints. Finally, we are told to “serve”. The Pope tells us that the life of Jesus is a life for others. It is a life of service.

World Youth Day ignited our hearts on fire, burning with passion for Christ, as it came to an end. The life-changing events that took place carried beyond the contours of this South American country, imprinting deeply within the hearts and souls of the travelling pilgrims. The statue of Corcovado, Christ the Redeemer, stands on the peak of a mountain overlooking the city with its arms spread wide as both a reassurance and a request.  Jesus, the Church, and the Pope are counting on us! We are called to build a better world through the vision of Jesus Christ’s infinite love and mercy.

World Youth Day 2016 in Poland awaits you!