Breaking Open the Works of the Saints

Breaking Open the Works of the Saints

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One of the things which most drew me to the summer internship here at Newman College was the opportunity to develop my skills in ministry and experience many different outreach and formation programs. Throughout orientation week, my excitement increased as we learned about the various projects we would be taking on this summer. The first of which kicked off on May 16th, as we hosted our first-ever book study—which our internship team planned, organized and led.

Preparing for the event was a bit of a whirlwind, as our first study happened in only the second week of the internship. Luckily for us, our director Catherine had already begun to lay the groundwork with Dr. Topping. By the time we were involved, they had already selected the books, and we could jump straight into preparing. I had expected it to take weeks of orientation and office work before we could really begin any of our events, so immediately getting to work on the part of the internship I was most looking forward to was a pleasant surprise.

We divided ourselves into three pairs, each team leading a study for one of the three books selected: Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux, On the Incarnation by St. Athanasius, and Familiaris Consortio by Pope St. John Paul II. I was assigned to lead On the Incarnation, which I was quite happy about. I had read it once before in a school setting, but that had felt quite rushed and did not allow for the depth of discussion or the lengthy exploration which, I felt, the book merited. “For, indeed, everything about is marvelous, and wherever a man turns his gaze he sees the Godhead of the Word and is smitten with awe.” – St. Athanasius, On the Incarnation.

Heading into our first study, many of us felt the slight nerves that come with hosting any event: would anyone even come? Were the discussion questions good enough? Would people leave feeling as though they had learned something? We had 14 participants between our three groups, which allowed for comfortable discussion group sizes. In our leaders’ meeting after the event had finished, all of us were pleased with the depth of discussion that our groups achieved, and we were excited to continue diving into these books with our respective groups.

Now that we have completed our four weeks of the book study and preparing for more events over the summer, I am grateful all over again for the experiences and opportunities I am getting during the internship this summer—this first taste of planning and ministry has made me look forward even more to the full summer ahead.


Article written by: Casey Lefebvre, BXVI Intern and 2nd year Bachelor of Arts student at Newman Theological College

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