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Olivia

Olivia Saldanha

McMaster University

World Youth Day

About me

I grew up a cradle catholic in my house of 4. As a young girl I had a natural desire to make others feel loved, but I often struggled to connect with those around me, beyond my family. This was only amplified in grade 8 when I moved to Canada from Abu Dhabi (or Dubai if you haven’t heard of it). I felt deep loneliness and turned to God. He responded in the best of ways. My first close friend that I made in high school was a model of love and virtue, and she invited me to the local youth group. As I continued to attend, on a night of Adoration, I came face to face with Christ. I shared all that was on my heart, and I felt His love pour out on me. I heard him prompt me to confess and my response was immediate. That confession left me with the joy of reconnecting with God. I realized that I had met Jesus! He was a real person who loved me.

I was transformed in that moment and then even more so over the years. It’s been a beautiful experience to be transformed into who I am meant to be through my relationship with Christ! These days I minister as much as I can to the community at McMaster University. I have one more year left to complete my Bachelors of Science and I intend to continue to love as much as I can while I’m here!

 

Why do I want to be on Mission?

The years after my personal encounter with Christ were full of ups and downs. The journey of being loved and learning to love well is still a continuous process. Looking back, I can see how important that first invitation from my friend was and how important all the supports in my life were. I was intentionally accompanied by my parents, friends, priests, and ministers before I even knew the words for it. I’m so excited to get the chance to do that for others. Just like the Samaritan woman at the well, I want to share the Good News to all who are weary, forgotten, and unloved. I once gave my yes all those years ago at Adoration, this year I give my yes to Mission in Portugal!

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