Building Reconciling Communities a Life-Giving Event for our Diocese and Visitors

June 21-23, 2007 found close to 100 people from across our archdiocese and visitors from the dioceses of Alexandria-Cornwall, Pembroke, Kingston, Montreal, Toronto, Moosonee, as well as 2 guests from Virginia, U.S. gathered for the Building Reconciling Communities Institute hosted by the archdiocese in partnership with the Centre for Ministry Formation at St. Paul University. Warmly welcomed by Archbishop Marcel Gervais, just days from his retirement, Sr. Jeaninne Vermette of St. Paul University, and co-ordinator of adult faith development and leadership formation, Mrs. Carol Kuzmochka, participants embarked on a rich and challenging journey over three days that explored the Churchs reconciling life and ministry from many perspectives. Grounded in Scripture and tradition, and delving into the Churchs various Rites of Penance, the team from the North American Forum encouraged participants to know what is in our Rites so as to allow those rites to help us celebrate and embrace Gods great mercy, and also to live that mercy and forgiveness fully in our personal relationships, our communal lives and in relation to all of creation.

The event was marked by rich liturgical celebrations whereby the personal and communal needs to reflect, lament, repent, and be forgiven together were powerfully celebrated in the Liturgy of the Word, and in the Eucharist which is the ordinary place of reconciliation. Teaching was inspired and challenging, inviting all to name ways that reconciliation needs to be encouraged, broadened and deepened. Meaningful reflection and brainstorming about concrete follow-up in the participants respective communities ended the Institute, along with a spirited prayer of recollection of our baptismal call and the reconciling people it commissions us to be.

In follow-up gatherings to examine the experience and ponder the evaluations received from participants, members of the Adult Faith Development Advisory Committee and the Planning Committee from the Building Reconciling Communities Institute have deemed the event a great success! Members are now engaged in planning ways to help the diocese to continue to move forward in concrete ways in this important area of reconciliation. The input of all is welcome via: Carol Kuzmochka, (613)738-5025 (x251), [email protected]

Rich liturgical celebrations marked the institute

Participants gather with others from their parish
to discuss concrete steps ahead

Small groups reflect on the need for reconciliation
on many levels and in many forms

Inspired prayer concludes the institute

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