Joshua Coutinho

University of Ottawa

World Youth Day

About me

Hi everyone!

My name is Joshua Coutinho, I’m in my third year of Electrical Engineering at the University of Ottawa. I’m currently living in Ottawa but I’m from Mississauga, Ontario. In my free time (in the rare occasion I have some), I like watching or playing sports like basketball, baseball or lacrosse, listening to music (especially Taylor Swift 🙂 and spending time with friends.

I’ve been involved with CCO since my first semester of university in 2019, but I started off my first semester living a very secular life. I was born and raised Catholic, but I always saw faith as something that I could come back to when I was older and more mature. I wanted control of my own life and to do what I wanted. It was only till halfway through the semester that I realized that all the bad habits I thought I was enjoying actually weren’t fulfilling me. I tried everything but I needed something more. I realized that I couldn’t live my life for myself anymore and it was at that point that I made the decision to invite Jesus to be at the center of my life. I’ve had my highs and lows since then, but after feeling the peace and joy of a true life with Jesus, I could never go back to living my life for anything else.

Why do I want to be on Mission?

Ever since I discovered my missionary identity at a CCO conference called Rise-Up in 2019, I have experienced the joy of sharing my faith with others. But I specifically wanted to be part of the World Youth Day mission because of what happened in my own life in high school. I would go to Catholic youth conferences every summer and every time I went, I would have a personal encounter with Jesus and be moved to tears with how real it felt. This would move me to pray more often, but every time I went back to school in September I would go back to living the same life I tried to leave behind. This cycle would repeat itself every year and part of it was because of peer pressure, but I think I also didn’t know what to do with that encounter, and what Jesus wanted from me. It was only until I had the Gospel proclaimed to me clearly and simply that I understood what I had to do and respond. I know a lot of people have an encounter with Jesus at World Youth Day, and having the opportunity to share the Gospel and invite people to respond on such a large scale made me SO excited. Also gathering with millions of others Catholics in one place would be a once in a lifetime experience!

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