Tag Archives: God

Why I Love St. Paul Parish

Here is the text of my address to the congregation attending the 5pm Mass at St. Paul’s on Saturday, May 25.  Parishioners are giving quick testimonies at all the Masses this weekend as part of our stewardship initiative.

Hi everyone, my name is Clayton Imoo and I currently serve as the Director of the Parish Religious Education Program here at St. Paul Parish.  My lovely wife Gail is a grade 2 teacher at St. Paul School and she was the one who introduced me to Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church when I met her back in 1989.  Together we have Sean Isaiah who is in grade 6, Jacob Isaac in grade 4, and Kayla Marie who is in kindergarten.  My full-time job for the past 10 years has been as the Director of the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Archdiocese of Vancouver, and prior to that I was the parish youth ministry coordinator here.

I received the Sacraments of Initiation at this very church 20 years ago at the Easter Vigil and since then I’ve been blessed to encounter and experience the amazing love of God time and time again at this parish.  I love this parish because it is a main conduit to share God’s love for me with others: through what I do, through what I say, and most importantly, through who I am.  Put simply: St. Paul Parish is a huge part of my life.

Continue reading Why I Love St. Paul Parish

Why We Do What We Do

I received a CD in the mail this week – the first release from a very talented young lady named Renee Geronimo.  I have known Renee for over 10 years now through youth ministry and while we never super-close friends, I have followed her (in a non-stalkerish way) over the past few years on Facebook as she furthered her music career.  Thus, I was absolutely thrilled when she messaged me in mid-April offering to send me a copy of her new CD called “lilies and sparrows”.

Upon receiving the CD, I immediately popped it into my computer and listened to it on repeat throughout my work day. It is a wonderful collection of songs, each one with its own unique style and feel.  There’s a bit for everyone: some pop, some folk, some soul and some worship.  And over-arching the entire CD is the theme of God’s love and power – you can really sense Renee’s love for God and devotion to her faith.  Have a listen to the entire CD here.

Continue reading Why We Do What We Do

How In Sync are You?

While vacationing in Las Vegas, we went to see “MUS.I.C” featuring the first winners of America’s Best Dance Crew, the Jabbawockeez.  Unsurprisingly, it was an amazing show and my entire family absolutely loved it.

Within minutes of sitting down (for the sake of the dance crew and the entire audience, I made sure I purchased tickets in the “Absolutely No Chance of Being Called on Stage” section) we were mesmerized by the “audiovisual story of inspiration brought to life through the harmonization of sound and movement.”

A couple of things really stood out to me during the show.  The first one was their trademark white masks.  They wear the expression-less masks so the audience focuses on their dance moves and not on their individual faces.  As well, you then focus on them as an entire unit as opposed to individuals.  Sounds a lot like something I wrote a few weeks ago in my blog “Get Over Yourself.”

The second thing is related to the first: the synchronicity the dancers displayed all evening.  I’m no dance expert (as 99.5% of my family and friends will attest to) but I did appreciate how tight and exact the routines were.

Which got me thinking:  how “in sync” are you in your youth ministry?

1.  In sync with God.  This should be obvious but it certainly shouldn’t be understated.  We simply cannot give what we don’t have; thus the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.  Are we constantly working on our prayer lives and our knowledge of the faith?  The more we know God the more we will love Him.  And the more that young people will see God living in us and through us.

2.  In sync with your team.  As I alluded to above, the strongest youth ministries are those with the strongest teams and not necessarily the strongest individuals.  It takes a variety of individuals to minster to and with the many young people in the parish and it takes a multitude of people to be able to respond and relate to the many needs of youth.

3.  In sync with your church community.  We speak constantly about the importance of involving young people in the greater live of the church community.  But often youth ministry is put into its own “silo”.  It might be because we have a “youth-focused” Mass or service where the majority of young people congregate.  It’s our job as youth ministers to make sure that youth are visible and involved in all facets of parish life and not just in youth-related activities.

Just a few things to think about.   Now excuse me as I go look for my old mix tapes.  I feel a good Running Man coming on.

Knowing Your Father

Father’s Day is always a bittersweet day for me, and this past one was no exception.  While I celebrate the blessing of my three kids, I also spend some time reflecting on my late father Larry who passed away on October 11, 2004 when he suffered a heart attack on the 17th fairway at Burnaby Mountain Golf Course.  Not a bad way to go out all things considered…at least he was doing something he loved! :p

It goes without saying that I love Dad very much and I miss him dearly.  Every day, I feel his imprint on me whether it’s how I parent, how I don’t take myself too seriously, or how I think I’m a decent athlete.

In a conversation I had with my dear friend Megan over dinner last night, I lamented that I wish that my daughter Kayla, born in December 2007, had a chance to meet my Dad.  As she is the first Imoo girl in 75 years, there’s no doubt that he would have doted over her and likely spoiled her.  My son Jacob, born in September 2003, was barely a year-old when Dad died so at least they got to spend some time together.  And my eldest Sean, born August 2001, was the lucky one as he spent quality time with Dad playing golf, hockey, and basketball among others.

Continue reading Knowing Your Father