Carrying the cross
Stephen is a long-time resident of Mary Centre, a ShareLife-funded agency that delivers integrated support services for developmentally challenged people and their families.
Deeply rooted in his Catholic faith, Stephen attends St. Boniface Church in Scarborough every Sunday with his volunteer Jean and a fellow resident. St. Boniface is a special place for him, as this is where he received First Communion. Stephen truly enjoys each Mass. Every Sunday provides him the opportunity to pray, listen to hymns, and attentively follow Fr. Mark’s homily.
After dutifully observing the responsibilities of an altar server, Stephen became interested in carrying the cross during the opening procession. Before the previous pastor Fr. Lee departed from St. Boniface, he granted Stephen the opportunity to fulfill his dream during Sunday Mass.
He looks forward to every Sunday
Afterwards, Stephen told Mary Centre staff and Jean that he was interested in continuing this role. Mary Centre’s Faith Outreach Coordinator, in collaboration with Jean and Fr. Mark, helped Stephen achieve his goal of carrying the cross on a more frequent basis.
When Stephen was informed he would be responsible for carrying the cross one Sunday per month, he exclaimed he how happy he was to have this opportunity again. With Jean’s assistance, Stephen attended two training sessions, where he practiced walking down the aisle with the cross, bowing and kneeling at the altar, and placing the cross in its receptacle.
Stephen is very proud of himself for achieving his goal and looks forward to each week when it is his responsibility to carry the cross. He hopes to increase his role to two Sundays per month in the near future.