John Boskill

Team Lead, National Leadership
john.boskill@cco.ca
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Elaine and I were both born and raised in Saskatchewan. We met in university in Saskatoon, and were married in 1985. During that time we have been blessed with 6 children, and now, the grandchildren are on the way (four so far).

In Grade 12, I attended an Easter “Vocation Retreat”. On Good Friday, I was asked to be part of an improv play centering on the Crucifixion. My role was Peter looking at Jesus on the cross, but from a distance. As I spoke, the words became my own, and I cried. Jesus had suffered a horrible death – for me. Yet, I kept denying Him in my life. I realized his unending love for me personally, despite my sins. This was the first time I realized how important our personal relationship with Christ was, rather than just trying to live out the “rules” of our faith.

We have been involved (and/or volunteering) with CCO in Saskatoon, in various ways since 2002, and joined staff in 2013. We moved our family (2 children still at home) to Ontario, in 2012, to begin working at CCO headquarters.

I am the Office Manager at our National Office in Ottawa, and have helped with various other roles in Human Resources, Stewardship and Development, and coaching staff who are support raising.

Each year I am touched by people coming to know the Lord more deeply. I see this especially at Rise Up where 500+ students attend confession after a time of Adoration. Priests often remark how heartfelt the students receive the Sacrament then. As one priest put it “many prodigal children came home tonight.”

Students are challenged to be “leaders in the renewal of the world,” “living the fullness of the Catholic faith.” It is beautiful to see students rise to the challenge inviting others to faith studies, and mentoring them to be leaders as well.

I am continually amazed at the quality and dedication of the people inside the organization. They have a deep love for Christ and those around them. They have an urgent desire to assist other people in deepening their relationship with Jesus. This has been a constant encouragement for me in my faith journey, and a challenge to live a faith-filled life.

A particular highlight for me has been people’s generosity. Missionaries appreciate all donations, no matter what size. However, it is very inspiring when people give sacrificially, trusting God at work in their lives. What has touched me even more is the prayer support. In one case, the daughter of a friend who had passed away told me how her dad had offered up his suffering specifically for my work as a CCO missionary. Another prayer partner has prayed a rosary every day for us since he heard that I joined staff. It is both humbling and a great source of encouragement.

A scripture verse that has been very meaningful for me throughout the years is Romans 8:28 “All things work toward good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.”

As I mentioned, Rise Up always has an impact on me. Yet also, the stories of students who go on mission is another aspect of CCO’s work that touches my heart. Their lives seem to be changed profoundly when they proclaim their faith boldly.

Working with staff, coaching them as they build their support teams, has been particularly rewarding. Having a strong team to surround them in prayer and encourage them, as well as to help provide for their financial needs, is so important in order for them to be effective on campus or in the office.

On a personal note, the first faith study I was involved with included both my dad, and some friends my age. It was especially touching to share this experience, growing in our faith together. The person who led the study for us was a missionary in Saskatoon at the time, and now works in our National Office as well.

Finally, as Office Manager, working to support the other functions in the office has been both challenging and rewarding. It is work that has to be done for the mission to continue. For patrons of our work, it causes me to think of people like St. Joseph, St. Andre Bessette, and St. Martin de Porres (and even some of the lesser know of the Canadian Martyrs), those who worked in the “background” – doorman, caretakers, etc..

I have seen the “intentionality” of staff in their work, and it has caused me to become more intentional and disciplined in what I do. I have become more conscious of inviting people to a deeper faith and relationship with God.

ONGOING PRAYER REQUESTS

– For all the students involved with CCO, that they may be open to a deeper relationship with Christ, and God, working in their lives.

– For the leaders of our Church and our civic governments, that they may be faithful and continually being led by the Holy Spirit, and for their needs and holy intentions.

– For our families and all those we love and encounter, that each may fully live out their vocation, career, and ministry in a way that God most desires for their lives.

– That all missionaries, especially within CCO, will encounter individuals who are willing to engage with the ministry and be generous with their encouragement, prayer, and financial support.

We are full-time lay missionaries dedicated to the proclamation of the Gospel.
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