Catholic initiative has national IMPACT!
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IMPACT! Canada began eight years ago when Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO), a university-based movement, sent students on a city-focused summer mission project.

This summer, more than 60 students from across Canada came to Vancouver for IMPACT! 2007. During the weekdays, they worked at part-time or full-time jobs; evenings and weekends were reserved for training, faith studies, retreats and outreach events.

It was CCO’s hope that participants would  become better equipped to discern their call to ministry. Each participant was also involved in a local parish, assisting with evangelization – especially among youth.

‘Apostles to the Nations’ was the theme for IMPACT! 2007, based on Acts 1:8.  The theme, organizer Eric Chow explained, also “reflects the multicultural diversity in Vancouver, and the opportunity that we have to proclaim the gospel to many nationalities.”

Cornerstone was one of the main weekly IMPACT! events hosted at St. Mary’s in Vancouver. Every Wednesday, university-aged men and women gathered for skits, testimonies, prayer, teaching and worship. This summer, Cornerstone became the hub of  activity for many college-aged Catholics in Vancouver.

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At the final Cornerstone August 8, testimonies demonstrated that IMPACT! had pushed young people out of their comfort zones and into new levels of faith. Several spoke of how their understanding, and motives for evangelization, had been refined. The consensus was that evangelistic efforts must be motivated by love for non-believers.

Vancouverite Jennifer Leung, who was baptized and confirmed in the Catholic church last Easter, said Cornerstone “revealed to me the joy of living a Christ-centered life . . . and the Bible studies and fellowship revealed Christian community at its finest.”

The IMPACT!ers returned home August 15. Many, no doubt, will stay focused on the CCO Campus Prayer, which states:

“Father in heaven . . . establish your sovereignty on the university campuses of the world. Draw young men and women into relationship with your son, Jesus, and direct their ways . . . Call them to a deeper service and love for your holy Catholic Church.”

Contact: www.cco.ca.           – Christina Groot

September 2007