Grapevine Fall 2019

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THE 2019 EDITION 3 YUAN from left: Bishop Scott McCaig, CC John Stevens Joan Gregorich Fr. Raymond de Souza Dr. Marcel D’Eon Michael MacKinnon

Student journeys to Christ with CCO community.

4 MINISTRY HIGHLIGHTS 6 MARY, DAWSON Students experience life at HQ.

8 ANDREW & ALISHA Campus, Mission, Parish, Alumni: I was elected CCO Board chair this summer. I consider the extra time and work

All the pieces in one place.

a privilege. How could I not, when so many dedicated supporters make sacrifices for our work? To give time, energy and resources to CCO’s growing work of evangelization is itself the Lord’s blessing. Thank you for joining us in mission!

10 ELIZABETH Calgarians gather around the Gospel with the new Discovery.

Fr. Raymond J. de Souza,





In one word each:

General contributions





the excitement of CCO’s

Conference contributions





24 newest staff members.

Mission contributions





Sale of literature & materials





Total revenue








Program expenditures





Management & admin. expenses










Total expenses





*Numbers rounded to the nearest thousand. To the members of Catholic Christian Outreach Inc.: The total revenue and total expenses shown here for the year ended April 30, 2019 are based on the organizations audited financial statements. The Organization’s financial statements were audited by the Ottawa Office of Welch LLP. Copies of the audited statements are available upon request at



16 FR. JOHN Campus chaplain multiplies efforts with CCO Connect.

18 FROM THE FOUNDERS The Grapevine is Catholic Christian Outreach’s annual publication. It is also available online. For more information, contact Graphic spreads designed by Rachel Matero, FAITH Catholic Publishing and Communications.

When I met the CCO club during my first year at the University of Calgary, I had no faith background, no church experience— no reason to think that, before graduation, I would become Catholic. CCO is woven throughout my journey of learning more about the faith and getting to know Jesus. It was a CCO missionary who proclaimed the Gospel to me for the very first time, and CCO events allowed me to grow in my faith while also experiencing real fellowship. From the day I was introduced to the community of faithful young adults gathered by CCO, this new group of friends supported me, embraced me, loved me. They modeled Christ-centred lives. Taking the leap to be baptized wasn’t easy, but the support from my chaplain, my godparents, and the whole community was truly amazing. Through God’s grace, these people helped me to continue moving forward even when things were hard. In countless ways, at so many moments, God drew me one step closer to Himself through individual





community. I’m so grateful for each of them.



CAMPUS REACH 16 13 Campuses with CCO staff (from Victoria, BC to St. John’s, NL)

CCO Connect Campuses (learn more on page 16)


EVANGELIZATION COACHING TO 22 3 1 Parishes throughout Canada and the U.S.

MISSIONS 7 103 165 Missions in 2019

Mission Participants

Total days spent on mission

CCO’s first medical mission is happening in 2020. If you’re a nurse or doctor and are interested, please go to



Diocesan Directors of Evangelization

Episcopal Vicar

FAITH STUDIES 2,684 3,319 17,959 STUDENTS completed a weekly faith study on a campus that has CCO missionaries

HOURS during which students met in weekly faith studies

FAITH STUDIES distributed through the CCO Store

RISE UP CALGARY WAS CCO’S LARGEST WESTERN CONFERENCE. 850 participants (including university students, young adults, CCO staff and special guests)





Canadian universities and colleges

U.S. states

plus Australia, Japan, Peru, U.K.



student’s CCO experience can include campus involvement, faith studies, Rise Up, missions and more. These programs each have the potential to form a student’s heart for holiness and mission.


Recently, some students added HQ Staff Member


to their experiences as our various national departments welcomed co-op and summer students. So, how does HQ fit into it all? Here’s the view from two bright CCO student leaders.

How was HQ similar to campus? Dawson: There’s a huge emphasis on mission. Being surrounded by the heart of the movement and


immersed in the culture of mission for those four months gave me a deeper desire to live out the mission. Mary: And the holy goofiness that we have on campus is just as present in the office. I’m not

Mount Royal University Finance

Rise Up Ottawa (2017), Rise Up Calgary (2018)

NYC mission (2019)

I’ve been soaking in CCO’s core values and tenets all summer.

sure what I expected… but the office was hilarious. A couple of my coworkers had a running prank where they went back and forth hiding a granola bar for each other to find. The funniest was when one of them went as far as to mail it to the other’s house!

Heading back into the school year, I was so ready to go. I just feel equipped. And excited. Honestly, I wish every CCO I had my conversion; at both Rise Ups I’ve attended, I’ve

How did you experience mission through your HQ role?

had powerful encounters of the Lord. Campus, mission and

Dawson: Everywhere, starting with the conversa-

my time at HQ brought about my missionary conversion.

tions within the Comms team throughout the day.

I realized how necessary evangelization is and how the

The talk is very intentional. We’re always asking,

most important thing is for souls to know Jesus.

“How do we share the Gospel?”

student could work at the office. Rise Up Ottawa was where



Mary: My





everything they do… even invoices. I thought, Guys why do you care about this?! But it matters to them, because the details matter to the mission.

What was one thing that surprised you about HQ? Mary: Because everything on campus flows so easily,


you don’t always think about everything that goes on behind the scenes. I gained a huge appreciation for the level of work and strategy that goes into CCO.

What was one thing that didn't surprise you about HQ? Dawson: Everything was CCO. On campus, you hear about the core values and the tenets all the time. And at HQ, people are living them out. Being there and seeing it all come together, I just thought, Oh, this makes so much sense.

What did you learn? Dawson: Professionally, I learned about so many opportunities to use Information Design (my

Mount Royal University Information Design

Rise Up Ottawa (2017), Rise Up Calgary (2018)

Mexico missions (2018, 2019)

I kept asking myself, What would it be like to be a CCO missionary? And the co-op really gave me that experience— I didn’t feel like I was missing out on any part of the “full” missionary experience. It was a huge affirmation for me: what CCO is about is what I’m about, and what I want to be about. The mission is real and urgent… and it’s also a huge joy. I realize now that as a student, I have the equal opportunity to be as effective as a full-time missionary. I don’t have to wait.

academic program) in a ministry setting. I realized a professional career could be a ministry career. That was big! Mary: This summer also emphasized that relationships are everything. Being in a team, especially when you’re united in mission, is so rewarding.

When it came to working at HQ, what came easily? Mary: Being filled in your faith. That was the best thing. It’s more than easy; it’s almost impossible NOT to grow in your faith while working at the office.

What was challenging? Mary: Being away from family and home. Now, though, it feels like I have a second family in Ottawa. Really, it’s not that big a deal to move in order to work at CCO headquarters. You think you’re making a sacrifice? You’re not. It’s the hundredfold!



"WE ARE IN FOR THE RENEWAL OF THE WORLD." Those were the parting words from Andrew and Alisha Montes after recalling the ongoing renewal in their community in St. John’s, NL. They’ve had quite the view. First, they were thrilled to greet CCO campus missionaries, who joined ministry efforts at Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) in 2015. Since then, the Monteses have hoped for another type of

How did the CCO mission enter the story? We’d always wanted a CCO mission to come to St. John’s. At this time, there was a lot of momentum and it seemed like the right time to bring a mission to the cathedral. So I decided to write a letter to Jackie [O’Donnell, CCO’s Director of Missions & Events] to suggest sending a mission team to St. John’s. In God’s Providence, it all worked out and a mission was booked. We started telling people at the parish all about the mission. Since the CCO missionaries from campus had been very actively involved at the parish, the whole idea of a mission (including the Discovery faith study) was really natural. The mission team landed, and all the mission participants were phenomenal. Parishioners had never seen such passionate Catholic young people. It shocked people. Our parish was alive! The main focus of the mission was to train our local leaders in CCO evangelization techniques like accompaniment, spiritual conversations, and prophetic listening.

team: a CCO mission. And this summer, their own parish

How did things change after the mission?

happily welcomed eight student mission participants

We really didn’t want all of this to fall apart as the

from across Canada.

mission team left. What tends to happen is that when a

Campus, missions, parish, alumni. Four of CCO’s areas of

leader leaves, a ministry collapses.

focus, meant to reinforce each other; distinct programs

That doesn’t happen in CCO. We asked ourselves, What

within an integrated ministry.

does CCO have? They have the multiplication model. We

Here, a glimpse of how Alisha and Andrew—alongside

saw the need to form leaders and multiply them, so we

fellow mission-minded parishioners—saw these pieces fit

set up an accompaniment pipeline and asked the CCO

together at the Basilica Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.

Team Leader at MUN to lead it. It’s a chance for us to be accompanied, and for us to accompany others.

How did this group of parishioners form? For us, we felt a real call to parish evangelization, so

Do you see alumni getting involved?

we were discerning how to respond. And at the parish,

There’s just such a great symbiotic relationship

it wasn’t only us—we met a lot of like-minded people

between parish evangelization and CCO campus.

with the same vision.

The dream is that CCO alumni come into the basilica

The team really felt a sense of collective mission, which really united us. That’s one thing that has always struck


parish as activated evangelists who become part of the parish community.

me about CCO missionaries: they’re all inspired by the

For us, it has happened naturally. Students who are in

mission and have a great sense of community. We’ve

their last years on campus are getting involved, moving

found that if you can create that nucleus of inspired

really beautifully from the university into parish life.

people at the parish level, it’s really powerful.

It makes so much sense as the next step.





ELIZABETH When the first boxes of the newly-redesigned Discovery arrived from the printer in June, we shipped them directly to St. Albert the Great Parish in Calgary, Alberta. There, a group of parishioners had been exploring ways to raise missionary disciples in their community. They chose the faith studies to guide their evangelization and accompaniment efforts. Elizabeth Sanesh, along with her husband Desmond, is part of that team. Here, she shares about the remarkable experience of the last five months. 10



What was your initial reaction to the news that faith studies were coming to your parish?

What surprised you about the experience of leading Discovery?

We were ecstatic when we heard about our own parish

The people in our group ended up being people of deep faith. And

launching missionary work. We didn’t have a lot of

so, in a way, I remember Desmond and I being a little bit nervous

direct experience with the faith studies, but we knew

about leading Discovery and how it was going to come across—

through friends that they were solid.

that it would be either irrelevant or redundant or too simple.

We’d been searching, wanting to do something like this.

What people got out of it, in its simple beauty, was profound.

Just kind of praying and waiting to see what would

What we got out of it was profound. It makes us laugh at our-

come up, and then boom. It was an answer to prayer.

selves now. The Gospel is new—ever new. You can’t exhaust it.

I was just amazed at how the Gospel is never, ever old.

We thought, We so want to do this.

What were your hopes for the studies?

In Discovery, was there a particular section that stood out to your group?

We were hoping to use CCO’s model of evangelizing

Everybody really dove into the barriers. It doesn’t matter where

one person at a time, being able to share the gospel in a

you are in your faith journey; we all have things that hold us

clear and simple way and to share the whole concept of

back at times from giving God our complete “yes.”

a personal relationship with Jesus.

People were super honest and raw and open. I didn’t expect

We were already convinced that this model works, so

it; often, people are more reserved. Sometimes, people haven’t

we were really hopeful that a lot of people would be

even recognized their barriers.

willing to give the faith studies a chance. We knew that if they did, it would be life-changing.

But people were aware of their barriers and were willing to share them. We saw their desire to go beyond them, to say “yes.” It was really powerful.

For people considering a faith study, what do you think is the biggest barrier? People’s busy, busy lives.

What is it like to accompany people through the faith studies?

Carving out the time to commit to a study is a big ask…

It’s absolutely our passion and our love. Accompaniment is

but it’s so, so worth it. We pray that if people are being

how we want to evangelize and to serve and to be on mission—

called, God will really show them how it’s possible. It’s

through prayer, and through the gift of that time and presence.

worth the sacrifice; because it is a sacrifice.

And yet, I have to say: it’s not easy. God has to lead, to open that window; otherwise it feels like it’s not possible. It totally is. A little can go a long way, if it’s led by the Holy Spirit. A phone call that’s five minutes can bear so much fruit. It’s about praying for your people, and trusting that God will use you in whatever way he wants.

What's next? We’re hungry for more. We’re so excited to keep going. We had a great group for Discovery. Because of life, of course, not everybody is able to come again for Source. My heart aches because I want everybody to be able to experience it. And for more people to join! We have to trust that God will bring the right people to our faith study; to trust His providence and his plan.







PAULA grateful I’m honoured and grateful to be around such pioneers, and to be able to do what the Lord has called me to do.

JEN privileged Being here is such a gift for me. I feel privileged that God has used CCO to show me His Church, and now I can do that for someone else.

PATRICK joy The joy of the gospel; of a life with Christ; of being free in a relationship with God.



MARIEL energizing

MARIANA overwhelming

Contributing with a purpose invigorates me.

There’s so much joy and passion for the mission among the missionaries— I’m just ready to go!





I’ve always wanted to work for CCO, and being able to be part of it is just... joy!

Our job as missionaries is to bring about hope; it’s the fruit of our relationship with Christ.





I’m able to be who I am; I’m able to claim my identity even more.

There’s joy and freedom in following God’s call for my life.

MOLLY right It just feels like what I’ve always been meant to do.

EMILY wild You’re living a life that’s so radical, but feels natural.

SANDRA joyful You get to witness conversions firsthand, seeing the Lord’s goodness.

ASHLEY life It feels so freeing to be able to share what has brought me such joy. This is how it’s supposed to be.





I’m so happy that I’m finally here; I feel like it’s been a long time coming. Being here is literally an answered prayer.

In terms of what CCO has done for me, being here bears witness to what is being done for so many others.





There are specific students on my campus who I can’t wait to meet.

There are way easier paths to take; to take the next step is courageous.

ANDREW exciting I don’t know exactly what will happen, but I know it will be great.

MATTHEW unreal It was one person who made the difference for me, and now I get the chance to be that person for someone else.

JAZZMIN overwhelming It’s such an honour to be doing this. It’s overwhelming—in a really good way!

GREG hope

NIC wild It’s an adventure; it’s kind of radical.

ALEXANDRA blessed I feel blessed that the Lord chose me to aid the mission in this way.

The hope of spending a life with Christ now; heaven can start today, and it does when you put Christ at the centre of your life.

MIRIAM adventurous Stepping into the unknown—with some fear, but trust that God will do amazing things before my eyes.



FR. JOHN CCO Connect is a unique program that allows CCO missionaries

Fr. John Perdue’s first year as chaplain at Trent University, he found himself in a situation that is relatable to many evangelists—he wanted to reach more people and grow his evangelization efforts, yet he was already balancing many other responsibilities. He didn’t have more time, or the resources to hire another person. He needed a way to multiply his efforts and broaden the Catholic presence on campus.


to remotely accompany student leaders.

Through Connect, students on any campus can become equipped as missionary disciples and reach out in their local communities. It’s flexible, adapting to diverse mission environments.

For anybody. No CCO experience required! Fr. John had never seen a CCO missionary team in action, and the first two Trent students who became involved with CCO Connect? Neither of them had any previous CCO experience.

Anywhere. Nearby or not, we’re with you. We’re always grateful to accompany people in person, face to face. But if that’s not possible: we get creative. A dedicated CCO missionary meets regularly by video calls with student leaders, accompanying them throughout the year.

And he wasn’t the only one. Other missionary disciples contacted CCO. They wanted to expand their evangelization efforts, specifically through CCO’s methods and materials. CCO wanted to respond to these requests— and respond much more quickly than was

CCO Connect has a distinctly international side, with past and current partners in such places as Honduras and the UK.

For when you're ready to reach out, right now. We get it: the mission is urgent. Trent wanted to get things going, and CCO Connect was able to respond

possible by sending missionary teams to each


of these campuses.

• Within two weeks, Trent began outreach.

So we created CCO Connect. It’s designed to help anybody, anywhere learn from our campus outreach methods and start implementing them right away. When Fr. John found out more about Connect at Rise Up Vancouver 2016, he was eager to try it. Really eager: Trent partnered with CCO Connect in January 2017.

• Within a month, faith study groups were meeting. • Within a year, faith study participant numbers nearly doubled.

For missionary disciples seeking a multiplication model. We want to help you raise leaders who raise leaders. Trent’s CCO Connect team started with just two faith study leaders. These students, though, had some key qualities: they were willing and ready to learn, and they embraced CCO’s mentorship. As one student leader said early on: “This makes a lot of sense. I’m going to do it.” Their enthusiasm aligned very well with the support offered by CCO


Trent’s chaplaincy and CCO Connect were the

Connect: within a year, Trent’s two leaders had multiplied into four more

right fit, at the right time.

study leaders.




When Fr. John Perdue contacted CCO to ask about Connect, the first responses he heard were… more questions. Ian, a CCO missionary, asked Fr. John all about his vision and goals for the chaplaincy. There are many ways in which CCO Connect can support local evangelization efforts, many directions a CCO Connect collaboration can take. To find out which of CCO’s strengths best fit the chaplaincy’s needs, Ian spent time getting to know more about these needs through Fr. John Perdue. It’s how we greet any prospective Connect partner. We ask where you are, and where you’re headed. We meet you in mission. Are you ready to connect?



ave you ever wondered why we mark our Foundation Day on October 18? On that day, in 1988, a small group of students met to talk about faith, guided by what would become Discovery, the first of our series of faith studies. Since the start, faith studies have been a central part of our apostolate.


For 18 months, a team of three CCO mis-

We pray that Our Lord will use these

sionaries has collaborated on this proj-

studies to draw you ever closer to

ect, bringing about sweeping graphic

Himself, and equip you to share His

changes and incorporating wonderful

love with others. We entrust you and

feedback from pilot test groups.

this faith study series to the interces-

This team carefully examined every detail—every word, font, colour, analogy, and even the margin width—of each study. As always, the studies have undergone a full theological review and have received the imprimatur from Archbishop Prendergast S.J. We’re very thankful for his support

Thanks be to God, He has used the CCO faith study series to draw many people to Himself in many different contexts, countries and languages.

We’re eager and deeply grateful to share the new books with you this fall. And thanks to an overwhelming surge

Our desire to make things ever better

of interest from our Spanish-speaking

catalyzed an update in Spring 2018. As

friends, we are pleased to offer the

groups go through the studies, many

whole series in Spanish as well.

disciples generously tell us about their experiences; we keep track of that feedback in anticipation of the next round of improvements. While we were updating the content, we also wanted to update the design and layout… we wanted to make the studies more beautiful! Functionally, we saw how graphic elements could make the study easier to lead and easier to follow.


throughout this process.


sion of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Star of the New Evangelization and of the Americas.

The most profound change has been made to our fourth study, which is CCO FA I T H ST U DY SE R IE S L E A DER GUID E



Reflect on your relationship with God. What are some areas of your life where you struggle

now entitled Trust. It pivots the for-

to trust God? What is holding you back from

mer Obedience study to start from a

trusting God in these areas?

foundation of trust in the Lord, from which we can have the confidence to follow and obey God’s calling for our


Read Matthew 19:27-30. What awaits us if we are willing to entrust ourselves to Jesus?

lives. For a glimpse of this brand new study, here is a brief reflection on trust as the key to freedom in the Lord.


PRAYER OF ENTRUSTMENT To express our abandonment to God and our total trust in Him. Lord Jesus, you have promised the kingdom to those who approach you with childlike abandonment. You have promised your unlimited generosity to those who place their trust in you. Lord Jesus, I entrust my whole life to you today. I give you my heart; conform it to yours. I give you my will; may I desire only your will. I give you my joys; help me recognize they are your gift. I give you my struggles; show me how you are perfecting me. I will go anywhere you want me to go. I will do anything you want me to do. I will say anything you want me to say. Jesus, I trust in you. Amen.




CCO Staff 2015/16

Catholic Christian Outreach Canada Catholic Christian Outreach is a university student

movement dedicated to evangelization. We challenge young

/ccocampus @ccocampus

Catholic Christian Outreach a with university student @ccocampus adults to live in the fullness of the Catholic is faith, an emphasis on becoming leaders in the of the world. movement dedicated torenewal evangelization. We challenge @ccocampus young adults to live in the fullness of the Catholic faith, with an emphasis on becoming leaders in the renewal of the world. /ccocampus


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