07 November 2022
07 Nov 2022

Following the example of the saints

A series of initiatives were held in the Dehonian parish of Toronto, Canada, inspired by Blessed Carlo Acutis, a young Italian man beatified by Pope Francis in 2020. An unexpected multitude of people and young people attended the event.

by  Maurice Légaré, scj

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I would like to share with you an amazing event that took place at St. Helen’s Parish in Toronto between Oct. 3 to Oct. 8, 2022. We welcomed Fr. Fábio Vieira from the Diocese of Corumbá, Brazil, who came to share with our parishioners the inspiring example of Blessed Carlo Acutis, an Italian millennial who died of leukemia at the age of 15, and was beatified by Pope Francis in 2020.

Fr. Fábio had been chosen to accompany the beatification process in Rome, carrying the documentation of the miracle which happened in Brazil and was accepted by the Vatican as a sign of Carlo Acutis’ intercession. He also had the gracious opportunity of living for a year with Carlo Acutis’ family in Assisi, where he learned precious memories of this holy young man from those who were very close to him. As you can imagine, he had a lot to tell us. He also brought a first class relic which was displayed during the entire mission week. Many people from all over Toronto came to St. Helen’s to hear Fr. Fabio and venerate the relic. The programme included Holy Mass, Eucharistic Adoration and Confessions, as well as rich talks, both in Portuguese and English.

The highest point took place on Saturday, October 8, with a whole-day retreat attended by over 400 people. At the end of the day, an altar with the relic was blessed, and it will remain at St. Helen’s Church for all those who will come to visit and pray. Before returning to Brazil, Fr. Fabio also took the time to visit and present the relic at Our Lady of the Rosary and St. Thomas More parishes. We were quite impressed by the amount of people, especially the youth, who showed up attracked by Blessed Carlo Acutis.

We hope that this event will bear fruits of strengthening the Youth and Young Adults ministries in our parish communities. We pray that it raise in their hearts the desire to offer their lives to God, and that some may be called to religious life and priesthood.

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