I first encountered CCO in 2004, during the IMPACT Halifax project. For so many years I had simply gone through the motions as a Catholic, and my faith seemed nothing but a burden. During IMPACT I encountered people just like me; people who liked to play sports, enjoyed going to parties, or going to pubs to listen to music – things I didn’t necessarily think faithful Catholics would do. There was one difference, however. These young missionaries had a joy that stemmed from their faith in Christ, from being Catholic. It was something I didn’t have, but I realized I wanted. That summer I made a concrete decision to live for Christ. As a result of this commitment, God gave me the grace to root many areas of sin out of my life, and live more faithfully. Since my conversion in 2004, CCO has provided me with so much training and plenty of opportunities to be missionary.
In 2005 I was part of CCO’s World Youth Day pilgrimage to Germany. It was during this project I met my future wife, Jackie. We were married in 2009, and had our first child, Xavier, in Aug, 2012. Jackie has been serving as CCO staff since 2008.
I am currently serving as a missionary at CCO headquarters in the Missions & Events department. Previously, I served in Halifax on the campuses of Dalhousie University and St. Mary’s University. As a campus missionary, I led faith studies with students and planned a wide variety of events – some social in nature, some more prayerful. My favorite part of working with CCO has been working with young Catholic leaders. I’ve had the privilege of training students at a very high level of leadership, equipping them to be missionary in any situation so that, when they leave campus, they are able to not only share their faith, but also build up other missionaries.
In 2008 I was invited to be part of a mission project CCO was holding in China. For two week we experienced the culture, and were exposed to the challenges in the Church there. After returning, I discerned God calling me back to China for a more extensive year of mission work. I moved to Beijing and lived and served with a Catholic community, all while attending a University there to study Mandarin. Jackie and I hope to be able to return to in a few years and use what we have learned in CCO to build leaders for the Chinese Church.
As a result of working on campus, specifically at Carleton University, several students I worked with have gone on to lead their own faith studies on campus, as well as in their parishes. I’ve also been active in several music ministries, and have had opportunities to train music leaders in both Canada and China.
One of the most important things I’ve learned as a staff member is the importance of prayer in evangelization. I used to think that simply being a cool, relatable Catholic was enough to make a difference in other peoples’ lives. I’ve also learned so much about discipleship. I thought that it was enough just to tell someone about Jesus, but I see now the great responsibility to go even further by building that person into a missionary themselves.
ONGOING PRAYER REQUESTS
Please pray for the Dalhousie and St. Mary’s campuses, specifically that there would be many men who respond to the invitation to be missionary.