2013 Ordinandi Dinner
March 5, 2013 - attended by 2,140 individuals
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 was another milestone date in the history of the Ordinandi Dinner. This annual celebration, now in its 23rd year, is recognized not only in the Archdiocese of Toronto but throughout world as an incredible gathering of Catholic faithful in Toronto in support of the "culture of vocations" that Cardinal Thomas Collins emphasizes as one of the 5 pillars of the new Archdiocesan Pastoral Plan.
Under the leadership of the Toronto Central Serra Club, the five Toronto area Serra clubs collaborate to make this truly a successful and memorable event. The Ordinandi Dinner was traditionally known for the wonderful stories told by the Ordinandi of their discernment and vocation journey. The stories inspired the faithful and, as we have learned, over the years lit the flame for several vocations. This year was no different as the 1,710 assembled guests heard from the two 2013 St. Augustine's Seminary Ordinandi.
The organizing committee has been encouraged by the success of the high school program initiated a few years ago which introduced catholic high school students from across the Archdiocese to the large gathering of Catholics and to the vocation stories of the Ordinandi. The highlight of the youth program was the pre-dinner "meet and greet" session during which the high school students were able to meet the Ordinandi in a smaller setting and ask questions of them.
The youth program was expanded this year to a day event held on the same day and in the same venue as the Dinner. 420 high school students, from 43 schools, spanning 6 Catholic school boards and two Catholic independent schools, participated in a lively, music filled morning program focussed on vocations and personal fulfillment. The students heard first-hand about the struggles of discernment and the commitment to a life of religious service from two religious order nuns as well as the two Ordinandi. The students then heard from His Excellency Wayne Kirkpatrick, Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto. The morning session was very well received by the students, their chaplains and supervisors, the Archdiocese and the Office of Catholic Youth. This will undoubtedly become a significant component on the quest to strengthening the culture of vocations in our archdiocese.
All in all, the Ordinandi Luncheon and the Ordinandi Dinner events brought together on one cold day in March about 2,140 Catholic faithful, some young and some not so young, but all showing support and encouragement for vocations to religious life.
Awesome! Simply awesome!