The Toronto Community followed up on a topic discussed at last year’s Canadian Regional Assembly regarding the sharing of the life and spirituality of Fr. Dehon. As Fr. Aegi Warsito writes, “Over the years many people with whom the members of the Toronto community have had contact through ministry have expressed an interest about who we are, about our congregation and about our spirituality.”
At a community meeting in November the Toronto community came up with a plan to share our spirituality and mission.
As a first step, they invited David Schimmel, the director of Dehonian Associates in the US Province, to join them so that he could share the present Dehonian Associate Program in the US Province. He also helped them to find an engaging way to share our spirituality. The community was quite excited about the meeting with him and it encouraged them to take the next step.
As a way towards a possible establishment of a Dehonian Associate group, it was decided to test the waters by hosting a number of Lenten Reflections at St. Thomas More Parish in Scarborough. The theme for the Lenten reflections is “Passion for Christ, Passion for the World – Leo John Dehon and Us.” The first, “His Life and Realities of Now,” was held March 14 to coincide with the anniversary of the birth of Leo John Dehon. The community was overwhelmed by the response! It was one of the coldest days the winter in Toronto and lo and behold, 65 people joined them. The second reflection “Spirituality of the Heart” was held March 22 and 75 people were in attendance.
The third reflection “Mission – Go to the people” will be held on March 29. The response prompted the community look to June when they want to extend an invitation to the parish and to UKI to begin the process of inviting people to become Dehonian associates.