Oakville Catholic Youth Organization

 

In 2001, a committee was formed to coordinate the hosting of World Youth Day pilgrims at St. Thomas Aquinas High School. This committee was composed of adult and youth members of the parishes of St. Dominic, St. James, St. Andrew, Mary Mother of God and St. Joseph. As we worked together, we realized that the fellowship we had built was incredibly life-giving and once World Youth Day was over, we wanted to continue to build on the fellowship, teamwork and spirit that had grown so much during preparations for WYD, specifically with a focus on youth (because World Youth Day was youth-focussed). Thus was born the idea of the Oakville Catholic Youth Organization.

A small group of youth and adults from these above parishes began to meet to discuss the youth movement in Oakville and, with the money that was left over from our WYD hosting fundraising efforts, we sent out invitations to all the other Oakville parishes to become involved in the OCYO and to have access to these funds. There was very little response at the time, but the small group of us continued to meet, with more and more involvement from St. Michael parish
as well.

At the time of our meetings in late 2002 and early 2003, only certain parishes had individual youth groups, and because we had seen the wonderful effects of the fellowship at a large gathering such as WYD on the faith of youth, the goal
of the OCYO was to give all youth from all parishes in Oakville a chance to meet other youth in a faith-filled atmosphere, whether they were part of a youth group or not. So the OCYO was to facilitate the organization of larger events that would bring the youth of all Oakville parishes (and beyond, if possible)
together, which would supplement youth activities in individual parishes. In fact, the OCYO meetings helped youth ministers from various parishes share information and events, and youth from various parishes started to become involved in individual youth group activities, including attending youth rallies together. All of this helped build the youth ministry movement in Oakville.So in the spring of 2003, we decided to hold the 2nd Annual Good Friday Way of the Cross, and it was even more of a success than in 2002. This affirmed that the OCYO was important to the growth of youth ministry in Oakville (and keeping the spark ignited by WYD alive), and as the summer
approached, we began organizing the first Oakville Summer Youth Rally (many of us had been to larger youth rallies and wanted to bring this to Oakville youth who hadn't had a chance to be exposed to this type of inspiring event). These two events have become signature annual events for the OCYO (as well as NET Retreats in 2004 and 2008).

It is our hope that with more people involved, the OCYO can become more of an official body. Our original vision was to have youth fill the various positions, with each position having an adult mentor. Youth who did not want to have an official position would simply become members of the OCYO. Eventually, each OCYO position would have a second, younger youth shadowing the youth in that position to ensure continuity and an adult mentor at the helm so that important decisions would follow the goals of the OCYO, while still allowing the youth to have the major voice (since it is youth who are
ultimately being served). If you, or anyone you know, are interested in being a part of the OCYO, please email us at OakvilleCYO@gmail.com.

Spread the word, be a part of this great organization and come enjoy the events! Please visit our website for up-to-date information of events
(www.OakvilleCYO.org).

Thank you for taking the time to read our history. We look forward to meeting you at one of our youth events.

GOD BLESS!

Oakville Catholic Youth Organization
c/o St. Matthew Catholic Parish
1150 Monks Passage
Oakville, ON L6M 1M2
OakvilleCYO@gmail.com
www.OakvilleCYO.org

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