(Marriage) - Aleks and Adrienne

Here is what we have discovered: marriage isn’t about ourselves. We live to know, love, and serve God — and in the context of marriage — our spouse. How do we live this out? By keeping Christ at the centre of our lives, recognizing that our life is a gift to be given, and knowing that the road to Heaven is one paved with suffering and ultimately joy. In this talk, we share some real-life examples and practical suggestions from our experiences in single, dating, engaged, and married life.

We are two people running to Heaven and lifting the other up when they fall. We are not perfect, but with the grace of God, we are striving toward sainthood. From Him, to us, to you — have hope! Marriage is a beautiful sacrament, filled with opportunities to grow in sanctity and love for the Lord. Verso l’Alto!

Bio: Adrienne and Aleks are a joy-filled, newlywed couple striving for Heaven and parents to a little one in heaven. They enjoy making music, baking (and eating) cookies and bread, and doing DIY home projects. Two years ago, they served as Music Team Leads at GT. Presently, Aleks works in the heavy equipment industry and Adrienne works as a teacher. They are passionate about sharing the beauty of marriage and how God is calling each and every one of us to enter more deeply into His Heart.

Kerygmatic Invitation - Byron Chan

Byron Chan comes from Ottawa where he studied Psychology and Neuroscience at Carleton University. He graduated in 2018 and felt the Lord calling him to pursue a career with Catholic Christian Outreach. He now works as a Campus Missionary at Ryerson University in Toronto where he is blessed to be able to proclaim the truth of the Gospel to the students there. Byron has been to 7 GTs and has graciously served on several working teams in the past. He has also been a part of the organizing committee for GT18 - "Upon this Rock.

Byron’s workshop will focus on the kerygma or the fundamental message of the Christian gospel. He will dive into what it means to enter into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This kerygma can be broken down into four main points

  1. God is love and made us for relationship with Him
  2. That relationship has been broken through our sin
  3. Jesus came to earth, and died for us to restore that relationship
  4. We are personally offered this gift of salvation

Corporal Works of Mercy 
- Deacon Paul Ma

Everyone knows the seven works of corporal mercy, according to Catholic tradition, address the physical needs of the poor. These include feeding the hungry, visiting the imprisoned, burying the dead, clothing the naked, caring for the sick, giving shelter to travelers, and offering a drink to the thirsty.

However, is it possible that physical needs can be separated from spiritual needs? Or, can an act of charity address physical needs alone? This workshop will unpack the fundamentals underlining the works of corporal mercy. A better understanding of the fundamentals equips you to do genuine works of mercy, no matter seven or seven times seven.

Bio: Paul was born and raised in mainland China and did not know God. By God's grace, he encountered Jesus the Lord on a February night in the year 2000. He became a believer and was baptized in Shanghai. He came to Toronto and started to teach RCIA in 2002. The Lord called him into Deaconate; after four years of formation at St. Augustine Seminary, he was ordained Permanente Deacon in the Toronto Archdiocese in 2014 and assigned to serve Savior of the World Chinese Catholic Church. In the past pandemic year, Paul and the Fountain of Love and Life team produced 50 RCIA video classes in Mandarin and launched the website ChineseRCIA.org.  Paul has a bachelor's degree in engineering, a master's degree in business, and is doing his doctoral study on preaching at Aquinas Institution of Theology. Paul and his wife Maria raise three children, and they live in Toronto.

The Effects of the Pandemic on the Wellbeing of Students and on those who Minister to Them  - Fr. Peter Turrone

Fr. Peter Turrone is a priest of the Archdiocese of Toronto. He is the current pastor of the Newman Centre Catholic Mission at the University of Toronto, St. George Campus. He is a neuroscientist by training. After completing his theological studies in Rome, Fr Peter worked as a missionary in the Gobi Desert, Mongolia for 3 years where he served the poor and marginalized.

His talk is on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health and how our faith can help us through it.

Responding as a Catholic to the Residential School Situation: A Primer - Fr. Raphael Ma

Fear.  Anger.  Defensiveness.  Confusion.  Discouragement.  Doubt.

How do we as Catholics respond to all that's been going on in the media about the Church's role in the Canadian Residential School system and its relationship with the Indigenous peoples of Canada?  Join Fr. Raph as he takes us on a little journey through his own experience of coming to grips with these things, and three basic things to keep in mind as we seek out the role that God wants each of us to play in the Church's efforts to reconcile our relationship with the Indigenous peoples of Canada.

Bio: Fr. Raphael has been a priest for 2 years now, and just began his role in vocations ministry for the Congregation of the Resurrection this past summer.  He doesn't really know what he's doing (not sure if he ever did - that didn't seem to matter to God), but you're welcome to watch and laugh as he learns how!  (Follow him on Instagram: @frraph.cr)