Photo Gallery

Jr. ACRY Travels to Canada (8/5/14)

From August 5-8, 2014 ,members of the National Junior ACRY traveled to Saint John the Compassionate Mission in the inner city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The purpose of the visit was to present the Mission with the proceeds of the 2014 Lenten Project and experience life at the mission.

The following reflection on the trip was written by Alexa Fitzgerald:

This summer I had the opportunity to volunteer my time at St. John the Compassionate Mission in Toronto, Canada, with 4 other members of the Jr. ACRY and our national spiritual advisor. I decided to go and experience how the mission is run because being there is different then hearing how great it was from friends who have went in the past. I also wanted to give my time to people who needed it rather then wasting it at home on a computer.

I arrived on Tuesday in time for vespers and Wednesday was our first full day. On Wednesday, I quickly learned that when you volunteer at the mission, you don't volunteer for one specific task, but you do whatever needs to be done. I went from cleaning appliances and the Baptismal fount (aka the Stanley Cup) to serving food to calling BINGO. Realize that I haven't used the words homeless, food bank, or soup kitchen because the mission is a community for everyone. A community is where people serve with other people, but that is also known as being compassionate thus the mission is named St. John the Compassionate.

On Wednesday, Fr. Deacon Pawel spoke with our group about the chapel and he told us that St. John Chrysostom teaches us that there are two tables in the church. There is one for the poor in spirit and one for the rich in spirit. The two tables at St. John the Compassionate are the altar table in the chapel and the second is represented by the icon of the Holy trinity also known as the Hospitality of Sarah and Abraham on the wall before you enter into the chapel. It was pleasing for me to see that when we do prayers before each meal that our faith is able to bring loving people from the one table together to serve the people who need a little boost at the other table.

The last thing I saw when leaving the mission to come home was the icon of Christ feeding the 5,000 with the 5 loaves and two fish, but it was not a normal icon. The icon depicted people who have attended the mission as the ones who were being feed. This taught me that if Christ could do it with such little food, but still have so much food. Then giving time out of your day to just talk to someone can go a long way because communication was a key role in the success in the mission. I would like to leave you with the words of Mother Teresa who sums up my experience with only a few words, “Faith in action is love, and love in action is service.”


Arriving at the boarder
Sharing some of the blessed fruit after Great Vespers for the Feast of our Lord's Transfiguration
Divine Liturgy for the for the Feast of our Lord's Transfiguration. Fr. Deacon Pawel proclaims the Gospel.
Junior members with Fr. Roberto after the Liturgy
Members enjoy a presentation about what The Mission
Joe takes his hand at the semantron
Cleaning the mission's baptismal font
Cleaning the baptismal font. Fr. Roberto comes to inspect their work.
Fr. Deacon Pawel talks to the group about life in the mission
Preparing for 6th Hour in the mission's chapel
Unloading food from a truck dropping off donations
Unloading food from a truck dropping off donations
Unloading food from a truck dropping off donations
Fr. Deacon Pawel talks to the group about the iconography of the mission
Fr. Deacon Pawel talks to the group about the iconography of the mission
Fr. Deacon Pawel talks to the group about the iconography of the mission
Fr. Deacon Pawel talks to the group about the iconography of the mission
Taking out the recycling
Helping to serve the Noon meal
Helping to serve the Noon meal
Helping to serve the Noon meal
Paraklesis on Wednesday evening
Paraklesis on Wednesday evening
The group gets to spend some time with Fr. Roberto learning about the mission and its work to serve the poor.
The group gets to spend some time with Fr. Roberto learning about the mission and its work to serve the poor.
Joseph, Jr ACRY Vice President, presents the check from the 2014 Lenten Project for the Mission to Fr. Roberto
Our crew clean some items for the mission and bakery
Helping with bingo game
There is always some chore to be done... and our crew willingly lends a hand.
There is always some chore to be done... and our crew willingly lends a hand.
The Mission says thank you to two volunteers who are preparing to depart after their time spend at the mission
The Mission says thank you to two volunteers who are preparing to depart after their time spend at the mission
A lighter moment back at the Lived Theology School housing.
Our group visits the Eaton Centre in downtown Toronto
A visit to downtown Toronto
Watching one of the local street performers
A contrast to the focus on life offered at The Mission to the one offered by the world
Getting some pizza on the way back to the Lived Theology School housing
Anointing at the conclusion of the service Friday morning
Service of the procession of the True Cross
Service of the procession of the True Cross
Service of the procession of the True Cross
Service of the procession of the True Cross
Service of the procession of the True Cross
Service of the procession of the True Cross
Service of the procession of the True Cross
Service of the procession of the True Cross
Service of the procession of the True Cross
Service of the procession of the True Cross
Service of the procession of the True Cross
A relic of the True Life-giving Cross
A relic of the True Life-giving Cross
A final group photo after the service and before departing to prepare for home
A brief stop at The Falls
Our group at Niagara Falls, Canada side
Time for a brief hike
Back in the States