As you may know, there is an Opus Dei centre in Calgary, where several activities are taking place. The fact that Edmonton does not have a centre yet – hopefully sooner than later! – is not an impediment to have activities for boys, young men, men and families.
Some of these activities are listed below, with a brief description of the activity and contact information in case you are interested in attending:
Young Professionals and University Students
This group of young professional men and university students meet monthly. It is interesting and refreshing to interact on a very informal and friendly basis with a group of individuals with a variety of interests and backgrounds, all seeking to make a positive difference in this world. It is a place where we encourage continued personal development, formation and support for all to reach their very best.
In addition to the monthly meeting, one of the numeraries and Fr. John have been travelling from Calgary to Edmonton on the first weekend of each month. During their few days in Edmonton, they organize a meditation for high school students and another one for university students and young professionals; both of which are well attended.
Fr. John also travels to Edmonton on the third weekend of each month; occasionally he gives a Recollection for university and young professional men.
A Study Circle is frequently run for young professional men, which has been well attended for a couple of years now.
Usually, once a year there is a retreat; the last one was held in the Gull Lake Area in February of 2020 with some 20 guys from Calgary and Edmonton in attendance. We hope to have a retreat for university and young professional men in early summer once COVID restrictions allow.
Feel free to ask any questions you may have, or if you wish to be part of either of these groups, you are most welcome to join us – drop Fabio a note at email@example.com
The Edmonton Family Catechism
Started last October 2020 was a personal initiative of individuals who share common interests in the doctrinal formation of families in line with the Catholic Church’s teaching and doctrine.
Initiated by Dr. Jason West, professor and the current president of Newman Theological College, and a group of volunteers, the idea of forming a family catechism program in Edmonton was inspired by a similar program in Calgary that started a few years ago.
The program consists of classes for the whole family, parents and kids of all ages. There are separate classes for the parents given by Dr. West, and kids classes divided into different grade levels each led by a couple of volunteers responsible for their instructions.
There were nine families who signed up and 30 kids with ages ranging from 3 to 17 years old. The parents’ curriculum is based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the kid’s instructions were developed by the catechist-volunteers adapted to the appropriate age level of the kid’s group. The kids’ activities consist of catechetical instructions, interactive games, discussions, video viewing, and break time. The program has become an opportunity for the kids to make new friends. There are volunteers to look after the younger kids who are not attending the classes yet.
The classes run from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m on Saturdays once a month, from October to May except December, and are held at Newman Theological College.
The timing of starting the catechism was challenging because of the existing pandemic quarantine. The first session in October was held in-person in Newman and was positively welcomed by the parents, kids and volunteers alike. However, after the first session, the succeeding classes for the parents went online because of the lock-down. The kids’ program was put on-hold until the classes can resume in-person.
The hope is to invite more families to take part in the Family Catechism program and to spread the word around that there is a continuing formation available to families to further deepen their faith through doctrine. New participants can join in the classes at any stage. We continue to accept inquiries and applications through firstname.lastname@example.org . There is a $100 fee per family regardless of the number of kids. However, the fee may be waived depending on the circumstance of the participating family.
Volunteers are always welcomed!
Father and Sons Club
It is hard to raise kids in the faith these days with so many attacks on the family. With society putting so much emphasis on work and self, many fathers find it difficult to spend time with their sons on a regular basis to help build them into strong men of virtue. The current pandemic has given us more time together but it is still hard to make a regular choice to spend that quality fun time. With the boys club starting up again soon we are hoping to lay a solid foundation for our young men to build on, as they themselves look for faithful support during their struggles of becoming Godly men. This is why we started the boys club.
The boys club is a father and son group that utilizes the sacraments for formation. Sometimes we might get in a game of old fashioned pond hockey, or go fishing, or after Halloween (carefully!!) smash up some pumpkins into smithereens, of just sit back and enjoy amazing jerky and sandwiches.
It is a good place for fathers to bring their sons to just let “boys be boys” respectfully; and also to get together with other faithful minded men to share resources to assist in their vocation as fathers.
We haven’t met in a group since February 2020 but I still see constant growth in my boys since we started. I do feel the boys club has taught them to be accountable to others as God intended. We hope to start meeting again this spring to continue our efforts to help give our sons a place that they can feel comfortable being themselves while they grow in faith.
If there are any fathers with sons ages 12 and up we would love to welcome them into our group.
The intentions of the boys club are primarily for the boys. It is an opportunity to go to Mass and confessions monthly and for them to find trustworthy friends and support in other father/son relationships; to have other men they can look up to and of course to have some fun time with their fathers.
Also, if there are any fathers or boys 12 or older that you think would enjoy some manly time with their fathers and other like-minded boys, please feel free to pass it on and spread the news. If you are interested in joining us or have any questions, feel free to contact Kelly Ortmeier by phone at (780) 996-2928.