It all began with two seminarians leaving on the train, early…very early, to head off to Quebec City from Toronto. After nine hours of travel, the two Salt + Light seminarians, walked off and prepared to face a land that is rich with history, rich with culture, and apparently thriving with faith.
Upon arriving at the Quebec City train station we were greeted by the Marie-Jeunesse, a new Catholic community who devotes themselves to the youth. After being shown around the wonderful city of Quebec, I began to discover what this community was all about. They provided Christopher and I with a room, food and most importantly what I would call unconditional friendship.
This loving and awesome community was about to receive a blessing so great that no blog, or words can describe well what was about to happen. On Friday June 20th, 2008, eight Marie-Jeunesse were ordained to the Holy Priesthood (along with four other men).
As I watched them lay down before the Altar and Bishop, I was so moved by their devotion not simply to serve others, but their devotion to Christ, who not only humbled himself by becoming man, but who humbled himself even more to become bread for us! And these eight men spoke out to the world, authentically, joyfully, and lovingly, that their mission was to share the Gospel and to offer the Mass for all people.
As I reflect on my experience, all I can really say is, “wow,” what an experience of community and belonging. This community quite definitely has at its roots in the workings of the Holy Spirit, and it brings great hope and joy for all of those who are weary and burdened. Although the phrase may be cliché (and highly misused) it is clear that living with the Marie-Jeunesse is simply a ‘little piece of heaven.’