REGINA — ”It’s all about leadership,” said Regina Catholic School Division director of Education Rob Currie when he addressed the most recent Youth Leadership Course graduates May 12 at Holy Trinity Church. He told graduates that they will become leaders in their schools and bring their faith to their schools.
This is the 15th year for the program that began to teach mostly Grade 6 students about liturgy and the mass.
“Six students are chosen from 10 schools and this year we had a full complement of 60 students,” said Miles Meyers, Religious Education co-ordinator for the Regina Catholic School Division. “The program had been growing every year and last year we had to limit the number of students as the classes were getting too large,” said Meyers. The program is limited to Grade 6 students because the school then has them for two more years. However, graduates of the program use what they learned in the program when they move to high school and many work with their high school chaplain in organizing liturgies throughout the school year.
The graduating mass has always been held at Holy Trinity Church and Meyers made a point of thanking Rev. Ron Andree who has celebrated the mass with the students since he became pastor at the church. This year, Rev. John Weckend concelebrated the mass with Andree. A few graduates attend schools in St. Ceclia’s “catchment” area and Weckend as pastor of St. Cecilia frequently visits those schools.
Andree in his homily, which he delivered walking back and forth in front of the graduates, engaged them in the readings of the day that spoke about Pentecost and the Holy Spirit. After Christ left them and ascended to heaven, they were scared and afraid to go out. “But Christ told them not to leave Jerusalem because they would soon receive the Holy Spirit and create a fire in them” to teach God’s word.
He then questioned how did the faith get from Jerusalem over 2,000 years ago to Regina. “I believe because my parents believed and my grandparents believed, all the way back to the apostles. It was the Holy Spirit.” Briefly going back to the altar, he showed how the Holy Spirit is called at mass to transform the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ.
People were told to shut their mouths, keep quiet and not talk about their faith in those days, and it’s still happening today, said Andree. “People are still dying for their faith,” he said. “You can kill the body, but you can’t take away eternal life.”