This morning’s session of the Archdiocese of Toronto’s Priests’ Seminar was marked by a moment of silent prayer at 11:00 am led by His Grace Archbishop Thomas Collins.
Earlier, after Morning Prayer, we heard a presentation from the Sisters of Life. This community now in Toronto was originally founded by Cardinal O’Connor in New York City. They work to promote life, seemingly primarily around the issue of abortion. A key initiative in Toronto is their Visitation Ministry where women who are considering an abortion can be welcomed by the sisters. The community is geared to really listen to the women and welcome their goodness. They also provide practical assistance through various co-workers in the community. It seems like an amazing ministry. I’m still not sure how it relates to or distinguishes itself from ministries like BirthRight or Rosalie Hall.
This was followed by an excellent presentation by Fr. Hansoo Park, the new vocation director for the Archdiocese. Hansoo spoke about the need to create opportunities for young people to encounter and deepen in their relationship with the Lord. It is this deep love relationship which leads many young people to naturally then ask… what do I do next? This was a thoughtful presentation and really focused on the need for inner-transformation as the key to more vocations.
Finally, after the prayer for our fallen soldiers, the Archbishop continued the custom of taking some time to update the priests about a variety of matters and to entertain both written and oral questions. The nature of this very free, open and honest exchange kind of requires that I respect its privileged and private nature. Let me just say that, once again, as is his custom since coming to Toronto, the Archbishop thanked the priests present for their generous service to the People of God. It doesn’t cost a lot to say “thank you” but boy, does it make a difference to feel appreciated.