At the beginning of May 2022, I got on an airplane and travelled over 4000km from my hometown in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Kelowna, BC, to participate in a CCO Mission. Even a few months before, this was something I would have never thought I would be interested in doing. While on mission, we worked in a few parishes and schools in the area, primarily leading CCO's Discovery Faith Study. We led parishioners of all ages, from the Youth Group to Young Adults, to Adults and Seniors. We also worked in the local Catholic High School, where we helped lead retreats for the grade 11 and 12 students and a lunchtime Discovery Faith Study with students.
In addition to leading faith studies, we had the opportunity to host events called Summit. Summit is an evening to encounter Jesus in a new way. Typically we have a talk that sets the theme for the evening. Then we hear a testimony from one of the missionaries. After this, we transitioned to a period of Eucharistic Adoration with some gentle music in the background. During Adoration, we had the opportunity to approach people in the Church and ask why they decided to come to Summit and hear a bit of their faith journey. We often shared a small booklet called the Ultimate Relationship Booklet during our conversations. This booklet talks about what kinds of relationships you can have with people. It relates these relationships to the types of relationships we can have with God. Ultimately the goal of the Summit is to give people an opportunity to invite Jesus to be at the center of their lives.
Above all, my favourite part about being on mission was meeting so many new people and learning from them. On mission, I fully realized that as Baptized Catholics, we are called to be missionaries. Pope Paul VI once said, "Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize." We can flip this and put our own names here. “Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to ____________, his/her deepest identity. _____________ exists in order to evangelize.” We exist to spread the Gospel and to invite others into a relationship with Jesus.