40 Russel Street East, Lindsay, Ontario

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Dear Members of St. Mary’s Parish,

It is a great and wonderful joy to be named the new youth minister for this parish. I look forward to the coming week and months to meeting and getting to know all of you.

Before we do, perhaps a few words about myself and where I come from and how I got here.

I was born and raised in Pickering, ON; a city famous mainly for its nuclear power plant and the fact you have to drive through it on the way to Toronto. I was by no means raised in a religious household. My mom took the summers off from mass and my dad was not even baptized until six months before his passing. No matter who we are or where we come from, God always finds a way to connect and as I grew older I found myself becoming closer to God, with the help of some great spiritual mentors.

Eventually I felt that God was calling me to become a priest. After completing a degree in History and Sociology at Trent University, I enrolled in theology courses at St. Augustine Seminary with the ultimate plan of entering Holy Orders.

But, as they say, the source of all God’s laughter is plans.

Fairly soon I met a girl and fell in love. After much prayer and reflection, I decided to leave the path to the priesthood and search out other avenues to participate in the only plan that matters, namely, God’s.

I have since gone to teacher’s college at Queen’s and finishing up a Master’s degree in theology at the University of Toronto.

I truly believe it is providence that has brought me here to Lindsay, to work for Father Tom, a spiritual mentor for over ten years, and to continue Brad’s great work, a friend and colleague for eight years.

Going forward, as excited and full of energy as I am, I know that I cannot do it alone. One person does not a youth ministry make. It takes an entire parish, youth and adults alike. I truly believe that together we can make youth ministry at St. Mary’s something to be proud of.

I look forward to meeting all of you. If you see me around the Church or on the street, please do not hesitate to introduce yourselves, say hello and even have a chat.

In Christ,

Brian James