On Tuesday I officially celebrated my one month anniversary of landing on Canadian soil! I have come to Salt + Light from Australia to complete a three month internship and what an experience it has been so far! After being in Toronto for the past four weeks I was delighted to be invited to attend the 2009 Youth Summit in Québec City. It was a wonderful opportunity to combine work with some sightseeing and I was definitely not disappointed. What an extraordinary and beautiful city it is!
Welcoming all youth from across Canada this was the 5th Youth Summit which has been an annual event since 2005 and will continue as it builds from the success of the International Eucharistic Congress in 2008. The 2009 Youth Summit’s theme “Mission-Era: St Paul Style” is very fitting for the year of grace we are living in… the year of St Paul. In inviting all youth to participate in the Youth Summit from May 15th-18th, Cardinal Ouellet stated: “Missionaries Because of the Eucharist and Missionaries of the Eucharist.”
The 450 passionate youth who participated in this Youth Summit embraced the theme by attending a variety of workshops, seminars and talks all centered on mission, evangelization and proclamation. And it just wasn’t about listening but also action in which the participants braced the rain and headed to the streets for public missions, street evangelization and a pilgrimage through Old Québec City with the Ark of the New Covenant.
As media play an imperative role in evangelization, Salt + Light TV had a presence of four staff members in which we ran two work shops titled “Media and Evangelization”. Jasmin led one in French and I did the English workshop. The focus of the workshop was to explore the importance of evangelization within the media and how to effectively communicate between the church, target audiences and the media. Key elements included practical advice, challenges faced between media and the church, personal testimonies of communication professionals working within the Church and examples of Catholic media operating within the Church.
Salt + Light's CEO, Fr. Thomas Rosica kicked off the Youth Summit on the Friday evening by giving the keynote address: "Be the Change You Wish to See in the Church and the World.” He challenged those present to be missionaries of heart and mind saying:
To be witnesses, apostles and agents of change in today’s world and Church means first and foremost to announce the Gospel that is joy. Jesus Christ loved me and gave himself for me! We bring about this change by evangelizing others and the world. To evangelize, to proclaim Christ crucified, is to teach the art of living, not on the surface but really and truly living!
His inspirational talk was the foundation for many mission talks that followed over the course of the four days.
Being part of this Youth Summit in Québec City was a wonderful opportunity for me to see a glimpse of the very alive and active church in Canada. It was a great joy to meet young people from across this nation who shared of the many graces and fruits that they received through WYD Toronto. Having been heavily involved in Sydney’s WYD it gives me much hope and excitement of what’s to come in Australia post WYD!
Photos: Denise Morneau, visit here for more photos from the event.