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Can a mission country help spread the good news?

As Catholics, there are countries we always think of as places where the missionaries go to take the good news to those who don’t know Christ. But can those countries evangelize the world?

Looking at countries like India, where Catholics represent less than 4% of the population, there are movements like Jesus Youth that are taking the Catholic faith to other parts of the world. The ones who were once evangelized are now evangelizing others.

If we think about it, this is the mission of every Christian. It started with Abraham to whom God said, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” (Gen.12:1) and continued with Christ when he said “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). God indicated to us that we need to reach out to others, to leave our comfort zone and take the message of Christ to all around the world.

This week on Perspectives: The Weekly Edition, Deacon Pedro speaks with George Devassy of the Jesus Youth Movement to tell us how a mission country like India helps to evangelize the world.

Join us for this discussion, tonight on Perspectives Weekly at 7 and 11pm ET / 8pm PT. In the meantime, take part in the discussion on Facebook.

Photo of the Day

This is the S+L Photo of the Day. Our producer Deacon Pedro Guevara Mann, with the director of the new documentary on the life of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, Matt Gallagher, with the Finkbonner family of Ferndale, Washington. Jake Finkbonner (2nd from the left) was healed of Necrotizing fasciitis or “flesh-eating disease” through the intercession of Blessed Kateri. Deacon Pedro and the crew were on-location in Washington for the upcoming film about the soon-to-be Saint.

Sacred Heart of the Father

It’s 11pm, Saturday night and I’m sitting up waiting to go pick up my soon-to-be sixteen year-old son at a party. His mother had to work today and is working late, so I took his thirteen year-old brother for dinner, a movie and then ice cream. He’s now exhausted, in bed. That’s after a full day at a soccer tournament, mowing the lawn, cleaning the pool, paying bills and grocery shopping. And so, I am up thinking about being a dad – and it’s so cliché, but it’s true: it just seems like yesterday we were changing diapers and pushing strollers… So I’m taking a break from Eucharistic Congress and thinking about being a dad…

And being a son.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.
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May God Bless Deacon Pedro and Cheridan & Matthew in their new ministries and commitments

Last Saturday was a day of great rejoicing for all of us at Salt + Light Television Network.   Many of us spent a good part of the day inside St. Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto, first taking part in the ordination ceremony of new permanent deacons for the Archdiocese of Toronto, including our own Pedro Guevara Mann.  After a brief break we returned to the Cathedral to celebrate the marriage of one of our stars, Cheridan Eygelaar to Matthew Sanders, who works at the Archdiocese of Toronto Pastoral Centre.  I concelebrated both masses and preached at the wedding Saturday afternoon, presided over by His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins.

It was a moment of deep gratitude and personal pride for me, as CEO of Salt + Light, to witness three outstanding young adults make such significant life commitments.  One of the great joys of the past nine years at Salt and Light has been to take part in the priestly and diaconal ordination ceremonies, celebrations of religious vows of numerous young men and women, and to have witnessed at least 12 weddings of our young staff.  I have also baptized several children born to our newly married couples.

First a word about Pedro Guevara Mann.  As I watched Pedro come forward and kneel before Bishop Vincent Nguyen to promise obedience to the bishops and his successors, I could not help but recall my first encounter with Pedro back in the fall of 2000 as we were preparing for Canada’s World Youth Day.  Meeting such a young, dynamic, committed Catholic who manifested a genuine desire to serve the Lord using his creative, artistic and theatrical talents, I hired Pedro on the spot that day in 2000 and put him in charge of the “Youth Festival” component of World Youth Day 2002.  We worked closely together for those two years and my esteem and respect for Pedro grew by leaps and bounds.  His creativity and fidelity to Christ and the Church, and his wonderful relationship with his wife and two sons impressed me very much then and now.  Many will remember the Youth Festival component of Toronto’s World Youth Day to be one of the most successful Youth Festivals of all the World Youth Days combined over the past 27 years.
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Called to serve, not to be served…

Many of you have heard the story that when I was twelve years old a doctor in my parish was ordained a permanent deacon. Ever since that day, the permanent diaconate has been in my heart. Many of you also know that four years ago, I was accepted into the Permanent Diaconate formation program for the Archdiocese of Toronto.

I truly believe that the Permanent Diaconate is the Church’s best kept secret. Most people have never heard of it. And there are many men out there (you could be one of them) who would make great deacons. Not only does the deacon get to assist with the liturgy and sometimes proclaim the Gospel and preach, they get to perform baptism and burials and can perform marriages, but they get to minister to the neediest in the community. Deacons are occasionally found ministering in hospitals, senior homes and prisons. But they are not just chaplains, counselors or pastoral care workers – they are ordained ministers of the Church. That means they’ve received the Sacrament of the Holy Orders.

In preparing for my ordination I spent some quiet time reflecting on how I got to this point. There are so many factors, beginning with that doctor in my parish 30 years ago. Perhaps the most significant factor was the two years that I spent working for the World Youth Day 2002 National Committee. World Youth taught me what Church really is. WYD taught me that we are all called to be saints. WYD taught me that Christ calls us to follow him as disciples, but at some point He needs you to be an apostle: He sends us out to proclaim the Good News to the ends of the earth. WYD also taught me that if God has a plan for you, there’s no point in resisting. Sooner or later, God will have his way.
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Congratulations Deacon Pedro

This weekend Salt + Light’s Pedro Guevara Mann was ordained a permanent deacon for the Archdiocese of Toronto.

Bishop Vincent Ngyuen celebrated the Mass and performed the ordination of 14 men to the permanent diaconate at Toronto’s St. Michael’s Cathedral. Pedro said he was drawn to the idea of the permanent diaconate as a young boy in Panama, watching the permanent deacon who served in his home parish. Through his work at Salt + Light Pedro worked closely with permanent deacons and realized he was being called to this ministry.

For more on the permanent diaconate visit the Archdiocese of Toronto webpage about this ministry.

Congratulations to Deacon Pedro and his family from all of the Salt + Light family.

Our congratulations also go out to our associate producer Cheridan Eygelaar who was married this weekend to Matthew Sanders. The wedding also took place at St. Michael’s Cathedral, just hours after the deaconal ordinations.

The Permanent Diaconate – Catholic Focus

This past Sunday was the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. For many of us, the image of a priest or religious comes to mind when we say ‘vocation’ but there’s also the permanent diaconate. Meet these great men, who’ve said yes to the call to serve. Host Pedro Guevara Mann explores the permanent diaconate.

Abraham’s Tent premiering tonight

A group of Israeli youth consisting of Muslims, Jews and Christians spend two weeks at a multifaith camp with a group of young Canadians. Sharing their beliefs, stories and struggles through play and prayer, the young people gain a deeper appreciation of the beauty and meaning of each others’ faiths and cultures as the seeds of peace and understanding take root. In a world plagued by religious conflict, this inspiring short documentary shows us how simple it is for people who are different to live in peace.

Watch Abraham’s Tent, tonight at 8:30pm ET (9:30pm PT). For a full schedule of rebroadcast times, visit saltandlighttv.org/abrahamstent.

Come gather under Abraham’s Tent with this courageous group of young men and women and share in this story of faith, hope, peace and friendship!

Are you in a spiritual rut?

Are you in a spiritual rut? Is your prayer life mundane, habitual? Are you praying just because the Church asks you to? Are you really living your faith? How do you inject your spiritual life with new life?

On this episode of Perspectives: The Weekly Edition, Pedro asks Ralph Martin, President of Renewal Ministries, how to get out of a spiritual rut, and to also suggest some good practices to better live our faith.

Salt + Light launches WYDCentral.org, new permanent website for all things World Youth Day

Are you interested in World Youth Day? I don’t mean  Madrid11 – I mean ALL World Youth Days: before Madrid and beyond.

[singlepic id=30 w=320 float=right]If so, you can now benefit from a new resource: www.wydcentral.org. This new website features a repository of information on World Youth Days and will be an information hub for pilgrims, ex-pilgrims and pilgrims-to-be, and all interested persons throughout the world.

What can you find at WYD Central?  There’s background information, travel info related to WYD Madrid 2011, reflections from pilgrims around the world, information on previous World Youth Days and a wide assortment of videos, including footage from every event going back its beginnings in 1985. For me, that’s the best thing!  This unique archival footage is available in the site’s WYD-TV platform.

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