Thursday, April 17, 2014

Back in the Saddle...

...riding in the field.

Here we are on Holy Thursday, about to enter the Triduum - that most Holy of celebrations for us Catholics. It seems a good time to reflect and report on the past four months since I came back to my job permanent position as the central ontario animator just before Christmas.

It feels like I am back in the saddle. I so missed being in the field - the churches, the schools, and yes, even the meetings! There are so many Development and Peace members and supporters here that I so enjoy working with and that make my life so rich as we work together for international solidarity.  Below is a small album of life back in the saddle.

by the numbers...

As animators we have a reporting form for all our activities in the field. It allows us to track our work over time. By the numbers, life back in the saddle looks as follows: 31 separate field activities, predominantly in the Toronto diocese, reaching 3465 people. The vast majority of these are youth. I am blessed to be regularly invited to schools to share the work of Development and Peace.

...and the memories.

There are so many highlights to share these past months that they cannot fit a single blogpost. all I can do is list instead of reflect. It was special to me that my first trip back into the field was to my son and daughter's own school - St. Cecilia - to talk about the Philippines after they raised over $1000. Later I visited St. James for the same reason. There the children learned and performed the Philippines' national anthem as part of their efforts! (See video here)

Memories - the always excellent iLite conferences under the leadership of Mike Consul, the annual Voices that Challenge conference led by Greg Rogers, ShareLent workshops in Peterborough and Kingston,the new Toronto Youth Council's first event - a screening of Defensora, the screening a New Leaf at Trent university, conferences at UTSC, my annual trip out to the amazing Denise Colterman-Fox's DOC school, spending Ash Wednesday talking about Syria at my old high school St. Mary, THINKfast presentations, and of course - the epic "Dodging for Justice" dodgeball game where admission was 10 signed action cards - all these and more have made these first months back in the saddle rich and colourful.

I am in the middle of my holy week fast for D&P (its not too late to donate!) As I write here, I realize I am fasting not only for the impoverished and the hungry around the world - this fast is also for the wonderful people here in Canada that I work with and their belief that as Canadians we can be part of the solution to the problems we face as one human family.

As the TCDSB youth leaders sing and dance at the end of our dodgeball game, "In the streets our heads are liftin', as we lose our inhibition. Celebration it's around us, every nation, all around us."

It is good to be back.