Author Archives: UTCCC

About UTCCC

Established in 2001, we are a community of enthusiastic and committed Chinese Catholics students in the Greater Toronto Area who strive to live out our Faith together amidst our busy university lives.

From BroLo to DLo: Br. Edmund Lo’s Ordination to the Diaconate

Our occasional member Br. Edmund Lo, S.J. has finally moved on to the Diaconate! Although not many UTCCC members went to the Ordination Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in downtown Toronto on the morning of Saturday, May 20th, we saw many familiar faces present. There were members of other CCCs, people from FLL, and many regulars from the Newman Centre. Surely, it felt like a taste of heaven – old friends and new gathered together to worship the same God through the Church.

Although the Mass was awkwardly preceded by an absolutely-inappropriate acknowledgment of the Native peoples that formerly inhabited the area, the Liturgy was solemnly performed, the choir was magnificent (with many pieces of sublime Gregorian chant performed), and I was reminded yet again of the undisrupted continuity of the Church throughout time and space when we prayed the Litany of the Saints. The bishop approved the candidates for ordination on the advice of his helpers and the candidates accepted their solemn duties to lead God’s people, giving up their lives, energy, and dedication (their all) up in service of God. So beautiful…

Congratulations on your Ordination to the Diaconate, DLo, and we hope to see FroLo soon when you enter the Priesthood next year.

God bless,
Lyndon

(Photo credits: Lyndon and DLo’s FB wall)

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

High Park Cherry Blossoms 2017

If you had to guess what the national flower of Japan is, how surprised would you be if I told you that it was NOT the Cherry Blossom? Why that country did not make this pretty little pink tree the national flower is beyond me, but frolicking through the trees today in downtown High Park gave us all a little taste of Japan, both its beautiful nature and population density. Many of the trees were in full bloom, and the park was at full capacity. Wandering together as a group, we shot a lot of photos and videos, many of which were taken by our in-house (semi) professional photographer Derek.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

High Park is a beautiful park, full of small trails, with some “waterfront” scenery near a pond. Although the cherry blossoms are its highlight, walking several of the other trails whilst gawking at nature takes up more time that one would think. Animal wildlife is not scarce either. Plenty of birds, fish, and children are visible to the patient sightseer. Having rained the previous day, most of us were careful navigating the trails and walking on logs, with Jeremy as our only casualty. We stayed till sunset, taking in the pink fluffy trees and clouds, before retiring for dinner at a Thai restaurant that looked like a real sketchy (but cheap) place in the Google maps image, but when we arrived had actually been renovated into a real fancy (but expensive) location. We concluded that the food was great and generally worth the price, and that Google needed to update their maps.

Overall, it was quite a feat despite our last minute planning. The cherry blossoms only bloom for about one week every year, and this year, the blooms happened early. Here’s a little tip to those who wish to walk High Park during cherry blossom season, go deeper into the park before you start taking pictures. The first few cherry blossoms are literally photo-op’ed to death, as people pull low hanging branches into their shots and break off small cherry blossom stubs to put into their hair. As you can imagine, this general molestation of these trees results in cherry blossoms that look bare from the ground to about arms length. As you go into the middle of the park, the trees are generally less harassed, as most families have already gotten their photos and the kids usually lack the stamina to make it that far into the park, resulting in fuller, happier cherry blossoms. Oh, and the national flower of Japan? It’s the Chrysanthemum.

– Bryan Yeung

Categories: 2016-17 Session | Leave a comment

Kevin Guo’s Baptism (Easter Vigil)

wp-1493305290424.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The following reflection was written by Kevin Guo, our occasional member and newly-received brother in Christ:

After 8 months of RCIA classes, I finally received my baptism and became a true Catholic. It was the moment I have been long waiting for and I knew it was the right choice for me.

I was born and raised in China, a place where freedom of religion is prohibited.Through state propaganda and censorship, religion is often persecuted and ridiculed and thus Christianity has never entered our lives. I was an atheist for 21 years and taught to only believe in myself and always do the right thing. However as time went by, I realized how inadequate our own abilities were and how there were so many unknowns unexplainable by science. I also found that the line between right and wrong was often blurry in the society. I became numb, selfish, and confused. I found myself struggling myself between what’s right and societal norm. I began to buy into the idea that since everyone was doing it then it must be right. At the time when I was most confused, I met Megan, my girlfriend who led me into the faith after I saw how Catholic Church turned her life around. For that I am forever grateful.

GT16 was the first time I was intimately involved with Catholicism. Although I didn’t fully understand the faith but I knew I desired to receive the Eucharist. I started to attend weekly mass and RCIA session when I came back and 8 months later I received my first communion.

The Easter Vigil mass began outside the church where the holy bond fire was lit. The entire church was dark except for the light from our candles. One of my favourite moments happened after the 7 readings. All the lights in the church suddenly went on as we began to sing “glory glory to god in the highest”. It was a moment of incredible joy and I truly felt the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. All the elects received the anointing with the chrism oil after the laying on of hands. We were then baptized using the holy water, in the name of the father, the son and the Holy Spirit. Father Peter jokingly said to me: since you are my favourite, I’m just going to dunk you. Haha father, good one! After the confirmation, the moment I had been waiting for finally came. I received the body and the blood of Christ and was now in communion with God. Nothing magical happened as I had imaged before but I was just overwhelmed by emotions, joy and gratefulness. I was grateful that my parents brought me into this world and to Canada; grateful that I met Megan who loved me introduced me to Christ; grateful for Fr. Peter and the entire RCIA team; grateful for all my friends in my life and those who attended my baptism; and for so much more. I felt God’s love for me.

After I came home, I was sitting on my bed and didn’t want to do anything. It was a bittersweet moment for me. It was bitter as the RCIA sessions had ended but it was also sweet as I could finally call myself a true Catholic.

wp-1493305290418.

Congratulations, Kevin 😀 welcome to God’s warm embrace.

Categories: 2016-17 Session | Leave a comment

Oi Yin’s Baptism (Easter Vigil)

Today, Saturday April 15th, some members of UTCCC (namely Lyndon, Daniel, Judy, Oi Yin, and Matthew) attended the Easter Vigil Mass together at St. Thomas Aquinas Church and to welcome the reception of our member Oi Yin into the Catholic Church. Oi Yin had been attending RCIA classes at the Newman Centre for 8 months and she has finally been united with us in the one Body of Christ.

I’ve been to a few Easter Vigil Masses before, but this time was something special. First, the Easter Vigil liturgy began with the lighting of the Easter candle symbolizing the light of Christ and the spreading of that light to the candles held by individual parishioners. Then, singing hymns, we processed into the church itself. As we were there to celebrate Oi Yin’s Baptism, we were allowed to sit behind her as “friends of the elect”. Then began the singing of the beautiful Exsultet, which was sung before the Liturgy of the Word and reminded all believers of the miraculous role of Christ’s Resurrection in the salvation of their souls:

This is the night
that even now throughout the world,
sets Christian believers apart from worldly vices
and from the gloom of sin,
leading them to grace
and joining them to his holy ones.

The Liturgy of the Word dove into Salvation history, starting with the Creation story of Genesis, of how God created all things good, then proceeded to retell the promise of God to Abraham, the testing of Abraham’s faith through the binding of Isaac, the safe passage of Moses through the Red Sea, the prophetic writings of Isaiah foretelling the coming of the Saviour, the Messiah. It was beautiful – I was immersed in the feeling that the Chosen People of God had wandered in darkness of faith for thousands of years under the protective care of God in the hope that He would deliver them and their people from sin and death through the long-awaited Messiah.

The people of God sinned time and again throughout the Old Testament, but through the writings of the Scriptures, it was clear how much they desired to set their relationship right with God again. In the darkness of the world, their light was God. The bright flames of the candles flickered bravely amongst the surrounding shadows, and the melodious strands of the choir’s chorale evoked the loving action of God in the midst of the world’s emptiness. In the Liturgy of the Word, I felt myself transported to a world where all things revolved around God and the story of His Divine love for all humanity which stretched back all the way to the formation of the world.

In a way, it reminded me of the traditional Chinese wedding ceremony which I had read before (apparently it was prevalent after the Song Dynasty). Apparently, the final stage of the ceremony (called 拜堂 or sometimes known as 拜天地) finalizes the incorporation of the bride into the bridegroom’s family by venerating the deities and the bridegroom’s ancestors. After the bride enters the home of the bridegroom, the master of ceremonies proclaims loudly: 「一拜天地,二拜高堂,夫妻交拜,齊入洞房。」This means “One bow to Heaven and Earth, one bow to the ancestors, husband and wife mutually bow, then together enter the bridal chamber”. As the time approached for the elect to be baptized, I was struck with the peculiar impression that the entire family of the Church was gathered together to witness the incorporation of her new members. During the chanting of the Litany of the Saints, we were asking for the intercessions of our ancestors in faith who had already passed into their reward to bless and approve of the immanent acceptance of eight new members into the heavenly family.

The Baptism itself would be the moment God Himself blessed and approved of the elect. When the time came for Oi Yin to be baptized, I ran out of the pews to capture the moment (you wouldn’t want to miss that, would you?). Fr. Peter Turrone took a shell-shaped scoop, and at precisely 11:48pm, repeated the ancient Trinitarian formula first commanded from the lips of Jesus (Matthew 28:19) two millenia ago:

20170415_234852

“Oi Yin Magdalene Lai, I baptize you in the name of the Father…” (performs first infusion)

20170415_234855

“…and of the Son…” (performs second infusion)

20170415_234858

“…and of the Holy Spirit.” (performs third infusion)

Then, Oi Yin received Confirmation (I didn’t get any pictures of that) and her first Communion:

20170416_002849

“The Body of Christ.”

And just like that, we received eight new members into the Church that night at the Newman Centre chapel. In willfully choosing to receive the gift of faith originally kindled by the work of God, they have chosen to dedicate their lives to following the one Lord that they have come to love, Jesus Christ. I pray that the light of faith first lit on this night might continue burning all their lives, and that one day, by the grace of God, we might rejoice together in God’s kingdom.

Holy Mary, mother of God, and most powerful intercessor for us poor sinners, pray for us.
St. Joseph, patron of UTCCC, loving foster father of Jesus, and most chaste spouse of Mary, pray for us.

St. Therese of Lisieux, little flower of Jesus, who showed us God’s love for the little ones, pray for us.
St. Teresa of Calcutta, who fought doubt with faith and perseverance in charity, pray for us.
St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), who showed us how to love the one True God, pray for us.
St. Faustina Kowalska, who revealed the Divine Mercy of God for all His children, pray for us.
St. Ignatius of Loyola, who exemplified our vocation to God, pray for us.
St. Josemaria Escriva, who exemplified our vocation to community, pray for us.
St. Thomas Aquinas, who exemplified our vocation to studies, pray for us.
Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati, who exemplified our vocation to health, pray for us.

St. Magdalene of Canossa, patron of Oi Yin, guide her as she takes her first steps in her life-long journey of faith.

Amen!

(Written by: Lyndon Chan, Partial Picture Credit: Newman Centre)

 

 

Categories: 2016-17 Session, Cell Meeting Reflections, '16-17 | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

UTCCC Year-End Cell!

lastcellmeeting

Woooooooow. After a good year of swampy school and God Our Father’s blessing, UTCCC has finally reached its last cell meeting of the year. As corny as it sounds, but I must say, we have come a long way.

_MG_0644

In case you guys didn’t know, committee was staying up late the night before, planning for the feast (vegetarian, since we were still in the middle of Lent) to make it fruitful both in spirit and in the tummy. Thanks to our talented guitarist, Bryan Yeung, UTCCC was finally able to pull off something we have rarely done before: singspiration. And thanks to our lovely songbird, Katie Zou, singspiration was tied into our opening prayer oh so beautifully.

Songlist of the day:

  1. 10 000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)
  2. Be Thou My Vision (Audrey Assad)
  3. I shall not want (Andrey Assad)
  4. Shout to the Lord

I was honestly slightly disappointed that Prince of Peace was not part of this songlist, but I guess that song is too joyful for the season of abstinence and reflection. We’ll save it for later 🙂

20170331_182506

_MG_0641

Unfortunately (or fortunately), we don’t have any photos of our gluttonous faces when we were all munching down the food like a pack of wild animals. No, I’m just joking, we were as gentle as a flock of sheep with cinnamon rolls. You decide which part of this is true.

As UTCCC has always promised to provide our fellow members a nice getaway from school, we had mountains of board games ready. One of them was a pseudo-shooting game with foam guns (heck, what is the name of that game again?). The story went that (or at least I think I remembered it this way) a group of bandits were trying to distribute some loot (renowned paintings, gems and money, where did we go? Le Louvre? Versailles?) they just stole collectively. No sweetie like a decent citizen, everyone was planning to shoot someone else down, just for the sake of shooting a certain someone down, or for the sake of omitting the certain someone’s chance of collecting loot, so they can gain more value! As a group, everyone got different identities (did not equal special powers, really, cos it’s just a character card). With 5 cards of bullets (3 empty + 2 legit) distributed, you first set the game to play by picking another player on your mind to shoot for the round, with an empty bullet or a legit one. In 3, 2, 1, everyone shot the person they wanted to shoot. The first round, everyone had their guns pointing at me, thanks guys. What have I done to you all? Normally, if there wasn’t that many ppl shooting me, I would have stayed and bet that people were just shooting empty bullets, hoping that I would not lose my turn to pick my share of loot… But since everyone hated me on the first round, I had no choice but to back out to avoid getting a bandaid (players will be dead by the time they gain 3 bandaids). Subsequently, I had to watch my enemies snatching away my loot, taken by those unharmed and alive. The GodFather got to pick first, and choose next player/direction to pick. I would get back to you guys next rounds, I promise.

The table across us was playing another game, resulting in tons of laughter, but I was not sure what they were playing. Hehe.

Well, that’s the gist of what happened in our final cell meeting! Fun as always. Except there was an announcement that involved a little bit of sadness: our beloved, loyal, hardworking committee, Lyndon and Jeremy, have decided to retire from their commitments as the head of UTCCC, in order to pursue future plans God has planned for them. You see those two holding our banner, the one in the middle, Lyndon, and the one on your left, Jeremy? They have been in many photos of UTCCC gatherings, as they have always been the spirits of UTCCC.

Sure, new committee will take up the enthusiasm, but I’m afraid it will not be the same without those two.

Oh psh. What am I saying? Once a UTCCC-er, always a UTCCC-er. It’s a lifelong commitment, just as we are called to bear our Lord’s cross and love in our hearts for our lives. Those two will still be around, right? Their voices, their faces, their scent, and their wisdom preached to us will remain ever so resonant and vivid. Good luck to you both, Jerms and Lyndon 🙂 Thank you for all you’ve done. And please remember that whenever you are in need of a sanctuary on planet Earth, UTCCC will always be there for you.

A little side note, the high-definition photos are brought to you by Derek Yeung. He is the one standing up on the far left of the photo below 🙂 Find him if you’d like to get into professional filming and photography, or you just want a nice portrait, I’m sure he won’t mind.

_MG_0636

And above all, thank you for being a part of our last cell meeting of the year 2016-17. Thank you, Derek, Quentin, Jerms, Lyndon, Reynold, Louis, Matthew, Nicholas, Katie N, Victoria, Vanessa, Katie Z, Bryan, Jacinda, Kevin, and Cheryl 🙂

And a big thank you to all members of UTCCC. If committee is the spirit, then you guys are the bodies of UTCCC. What would we do as a community without any members? Your participation has kept us going 🙂 thank you.

We will be back.

Categories: 2016-17 Session, Cell Meeting Reflections, '16-17 | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Winter Cell #9 Vocation to Health

Hi there, good people!

WE DON’T HAVE ANY PICTURES. 😦

Today, March 24th, was our discussion of our vocation to health as university students. Being hardworking students, I can imagine some of us bearing this at the very back of our heads, because we want to give every last bit of efforts to our studies, or because we enjoy procrastinating, I don’t know. We all have our reasons, but one thing is certain: this is the only body we’ve got, the only Temple of God we will get.

Our associated saint today is Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati. The one thing stands out the most to me at least, is the fact that he’s willing to give away his possessions to the poor and indigents. He’s willing to give away his food and clothing, and he would run back to his house being scolded or interrogated by his parents. It leaves me wondering, what if it was cold that day he gave away his clothing?

Reading this somehow reminds me of St. Mother Theresa as well of the instances when she gave up her life of stability inside the coven, and just ventured forth to leave with the poor with the same living conditions. With that thought, I began to wonder again, will I be willing to give up my health, or just general stability, to serve those in need? I guess I haven’t heard from God at this point of my life.

Relating back to our vocation to health today, Bl. Pier Giorgio lived a rather balanced life of sports, academic life and social life. I quickly justified the fact that I have not been able to live a balanced life (heavily academic) like him, because I am still struggling to secure my place in the society with academic knowledge and money wealth, unlike Bl. Pier Giorgio who was born rich. But I guess, when you have a heart to serve the others, there is no excuse.

Today’s activity was mainly a session of creativity and lunacy, if you will. The starting point was dividing the concept of health/well-being into four different aspects: 1. bodily well-being, 2. mental well-being, 3. spiritual well-being, 4. social well-being. Divided into groups of four, each group was assigned one aspect of well-being, and proceeded to diverging solutions to manage their designated ‘well-being’ via two creative exercise called ‘Brainwriting’ and ‘Forced Connections.’ They began with challenge statements such as: how might I manage my bodily well-being? The backbone of these exercises was that there were NO wrong answers.

 

  • How might I manage my bodily well-being? (sleeping, food, exercise)
  • How might I manage my mental well-being? (self-esteem, emotions, overall perceptions of life)
  • How might I manage my spiritual well-being? (mindfulness of God in your life, efforts you make to integrate Catholic teachings into your life)
  • How might I manage my social well-being? (the type of people you spend time with, maintaining positive relationships with people around you)

 

For the first round, each member of the group diverged solutions to manage the designated ‘well-being’ in their own perspectives. For one of our groups who were assigned bodily well-being, some members came up with creative solutions (not necessarily realistic or feasible, but super creative) such as shouting, and running a marathon while shouting, etc. One member from the group who was assigned social well-being suggested that she would keep a diary recording the personality and appearance traits of all the people she met, in order to analyze later of the kind of people she would choose to spend more time with.

The second round was the part when we thought outside the box. With the same instructions, instead of thinking as ourselves, each group was assigned a new persona to think in their shoes, their worldviews, and their personalities.

One of the highlights of the night:

 

How would Donald Trump manage his bodily well-being? He would build ‘the wall’ himself.

 

And towards the end of our meeting, thanks to the help of Derek J we were able to take some family portraits of our UTCCC family. I don’t know about you guys but, I feel so blessed to be part of three families, 1. my biological family, 2. my choir family, 3. UTCCC.

In the glimmer of everyone’s eyes, I think I see God’s Light. It’s so warm, and so welcoming that we feel comfortable to be connected to one another.

But anyhow, God Our Father, please help us remember that Good Friday is fast-approaching (it might be time we become more solemn and less cheerful), and that without You, Jesus our Big Brother, and the Holy Spirit, we would never be bound together in this family.

 

17622311_1624679844228110_1290396594_o

 

Amen.

Categories: Cell Meeting Reflections, '16-17, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Winter Cell #8: Vocation to Studies, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Patrick’s Day

Today, March 17th, UTCCC explored together the Vocation to Studies and the Life and Work of the Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican friar who lived in 13th-century Italy. First, we updated each other on the current states of our Lenten observances (some were going well, others not so well). Then, we were introduced to some colourful tales of the saint’s life through some skits. We learned how St. Thomas Aquinas was locked up by his family for wanting to join the Dominican Order instead of the Benedictine Order, and how his family unsuccessfully tried to destroy his resolve by tempting him with a prostitute. We learned of how St. Thomas Aquinas was nicknamed “The Dumb Ox” for his silent manner and shocking his fellow students when he showed greater intellect than his nickname suggested. We learned of how St. Thomas Aquinas did not hold himself higher than others even while he was famous; he humbly helped out at a dinner held in his own honour without complaining. And when he received a mysterious vision from God one day, he could not bring himself to complete his magnum opus, the Summa Theologica, because it seemed “so much straw after the things that have been revealed to me”.

Afterwards, Lyndon gave a talk on the Catholic Intellectual Tradition and its nature as an inter-generational conversation throughout two millenia. He also touched on its connection to the search for Truth, and its foundation in Jesus Christ, who is, as Scripture tells us, “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (Jn 14:6). Among the issues we discussed were: If the Catholic Church preaches religious truth, can it ever contradict scientific truth? How come the theology of the Catholic Church seems to have changed throughout the years? Is there any “wiggle-room” in the teachings of the Church? Does the teaching of Christ ever change? If the origins of the university are Catholic, then what was their original purpose? How were they different from other schools? Do we still see that mission in today’s universities? How has your university experience been so far? Would your ten-year-old self be proud of how you are doing in your studies now?

Afterwards, we joined the NCSC (Newman Catholic Students Club) for their St. Patrick’s Day Party, for today was the saint’s feast day. We enjoyed the bounteous food, music, partying, and socializing there, and it was nice to know that some people were giving due honour to St. Patrick on his own feast day (the NCSC prayed Vespers before the party). Afterwards, some of our members (Brian, Kevin, and Vanessa) went on a little post-cell meeting field trip of their own back home and had some more St. Patrick’s Day fun.

On a more serious note, as final examinations creep on us (who are studying in university or college), let us keep in mind that one of our foremost vocations as students is the Vocation to Studies. God has called us at this particular moment in time to gain knowledge and the critical thinking skills that we need to live our later lives in service to Him (be it as academics, working men/women, or as clergy). Hence, it is not sufficient to put just enough effort to pass our courses and get “a very expensive sheet of paper” at the end of four years (or however long your program is). We ought to cultivate the knowledge we have received, internalize it, and use it to bring greater glory to God among men.

St. Thomas Aquinas, patron of students, and of the Newman Centre chapel, pray for all the members of UTCCC as they make their final preparations for examinations this year; petition our Lord to give them clear minds and studious hearts in this time of trial.

St. Patrick, patron of Ireland: legend has it that you preached the Holy Trinity to the Irish people by demonstrating the unity of the shamrock through three leaves; pray for UTCCC, therefore, that our members might come to a fuller understanding of the Divine Personhood of God and how it reaches out to them in their everyday lives.

St. Joseph, patron of workers and of families, pray on behalf of all the members of UTCCC, that they might apply themselves diligently to the work that God has given them and that they might find peace and solace in the company of our community.

Amen.

God bless you all,
UTCCC

Categories: 2016-17 Session, Cell Meeting Reflections, '16-17, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NCSC Cultural Night

663c7118-b098-4811-9dc7-20c30d9fb2f6

Crazy group…

44419490-48a0-4498-a5ea-7d808e27bbcf

In the middle, Lyndon is wearing a light-grey-and-black Zhiju (直裾), which is a type of Hanfu (漢服) that dates back to roughly 200 BC, while Derek at the far right is wearing a dark-blue-and-gold Tangzhuang (唐裝), which comes from roughly 1600 AD during the Qing Dynasty

On Thursday, March 16, UTCCC attended the Newman Catholic Students Club’s (NCSC) Cultural Night, which was held to celebrate the different cultures and ethnicities present in the Newman Centre community. Unfortunately, the Korean Catholics (KoCa) couldn’t make it, but we saw a lot of interesting groups there that night, including the Filipino Students’ Association of Toronto (FSAT) and the University of Toronto Polish Students’ Association (PSA). Each group was encouraged to dress in their traditional clothing, bring some ethnic dishes, and give a cultural performance.

UTCCC decided to showcase a variety of traditional Chinese clothing, including a Hanfu (漢服) in the Zhiju (直裾) style which dates back to the Han Dynasty (about 200 BC) and the more familiar-looking Tangzhuang (唐裝) which dates back to the Qing Dynasty (about 1600 AD), derived from the clothing of the Manchu rulers of China. We brought some Chinese food with us from Chinatown and gave a singing performance of two classic Cantonese Mass hymns: 仁慈的聖父 (Merciful Father) and 獻上 (Offering). Both hymns feature the Eucharistic Celebration as their central theme, and 仁慈的聖父 quotes both from the Offertory of the Mass and uses the traditional Chinese pentatonic scale for its tune.

Click here to see videos of our performance at the Cultural Night.

The other performances were absolutely spectacular:

  1. Here is a video of Richard (from Ernescliff College) singing a Chinese folk song celebrating a bounteous harvest
  2. And here is a video of the Filipino Students’ Association performing a traditional dance with bamboo poles

Thanks be to God for creating so many wonderful cultures in the one Church!

13a55b65-4837-4440-bbff-679068fdf28a

UTCCC’s Cultural Presentation

20170316_204213

Dinner with NCSC people

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

UTCCC X KoCa Joint Cell Meeting

koac+utccc poster2

Wow. For the first time and forever, it’s a collab between UTCCC and KoCa, the Korean Catholics of the University of Toronto!

That was a packed cell meeting, with 1 icebreaker and 2 games.

An icebreaker is self-explanatory. With a ball with numbers written on it, you throw the ball, and whichever number your thumb landed on. You’d have to answer the question of the corresponding number.

We did speed dating to get to know each other better too (but sadly, since I was in the game, nor could I stand on top of a table, I couldn’t take any pictures. But let me just remind everyone of the legendary question:

  • Would you rather have poop-flavoured ice cream, or ice cream-flavoured poop?

ALRIGHT! Time for some intense laughter, committee had a meeting before hand to come up with some drama skits prompt. These prompts clearly illustrated some similarities and differences of our practices between Koreans and Chinese. Namely, both Chinese and Koreans seem to rush off after church for refreshment, except Chinese go for 點心 (dim sum,) while Koreans go for 소주 (soju) and 맥주 (beer), a.k.a. drinking.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Oh yes… The acting skits…We all learned A LOT about each other’s practices of faith, as well as each other’s levels of humour.

20170310_201315

There goes Jerms and Lyndon giving a brief presentation on UTCCC. KoCa also gave us a really good run through of what KoCa does, but I couldn’t take any good pictures (sorry guises…)

Here are a few bullet points (compare and contrast, if you will) about UTCCC and KoCa:

  • UTCCC is 16 years old, while KoCa is 2 years old
  • UTCCC is connected to many Chinese parishes all over South Ontario, while KoCa is only connected to Korean parishes in the GTA
  • Many UTCCC members come from new Catholic families, KoCa members come from older Catholic families
  • UTCCC largely speaks English (and a little but of Cantonese), while KoCa speaks English AND Korean

On top of being a session of cultural exchange, this cell meeting is quite memorable in the sense that two groups of youth were gathered as one big bunch of wild children of God Our Father. Sometimes, there could be a general misunderstanding, that teens and young adults are busy fitting into the society that they became vulnerable, and easily tempted by the world’s secularism and materialism. But seeing many of our brothers and sisters gathering here today, there is definitely a place for God in everyone’s heart, like a warm light that keeps us harmonious and gives us hope for the future. I find it beautiful that there are so many friends from different cultures on our journey to our faith, that many of us of the similar age group shares the same love for One God, One Father.

As St. Thomas Aquinas said, “friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures, and without friends even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious.”

Thank you O Lord, for giving us this opportunity, and please continue to look after us, so that we are stuck together as one big family, preaching Your Good News.

Amen.

20170310_21053720170310_210519

Categories: 2016-17 Session, Cell Meeting Reflections, '16-17 | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Winter Cell #7: Lent

Today, UTCCC held its meeting for Lent (the first Friday after Ash Wednesday). Our leaders gave some quick explanations of what the Three Pillars of Lent (Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving). Prayer is any activity that involves directly improving our relationship with God, through opening up our hearts to accept His plan for us. Fasting is any activity that involves improving our relationship with ourselves, through disciplining our appetites. And almsgiving is any activity that involves improving our relationship with fellow human beings, through giving up good things that we have every right to, but willfully forgo in order to benefit others. These three Pillars allow us to become better human beings and better followers of Christ in improving the three relationships that He calls us to work on every day. After all, Christ commands us to “Love God and love your neighbour”, and we can only do so if we have a proper relationship with ourselves.

For our activity, we had all the members commit to specific sacrifices pertaining to these Three Pillars for the duration of Lent. Lent is a solemn period of honest self-examination, so we only wrote down those sacrifices that we would be able to commit to, and not merely frivolous promises.

Afterwards, we walked to Noodle Bowl together and had a delicious vegetarian dinner together.

Photo credits: Carol Cheung (thanks for the awesome photos!)

20170303_184007

What is Almsgiving, Jeremy?

20170303_184025

Fr. Purcell committing to Prayer for Lent

20170303_184443

20170303_184228

“Lent is serious, only commit to the things you can stick to”

20170303_18434720170303_18450120170303_18555820170303_18563520170303_18572120170303_18573520170303_19000020170303_19082720170303_190851

20170303_191114

*chok* *chok*

20170303_192506

The totality of UTCCC’s public Lenten promises!

20170303_193108

Henry Chau from GT17 Committee giving a promo talk about GT

20170303_19331420170303_193425

20170303_213601

First Lenten dinner of the year together

May God bless you all in your Lenten journey, that you might grow into a more proper relationship with Him, with neighbour, and with yourself!

UTCCC

Categories: Cell Meeting Reflections, '16-17 | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.