Friends of Wellspring Newsletter

Due to COVID-19, we have had to cancel all summer activities at Ernescliff College sponsored by Wellspring, including camps.
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We hope that you and your family are doing well as we pass through this time of pandemic. We look forward to resuming our wonderful programming as soon as possible.

Looking ahead to September, it looks like many universities, among them the University of Toronto, will have to offer many of their classes online. This might lead to a temporary decline in enrolment, which would significantly decrease the number of students who will come to live at Ernescliff for the upcoming academic year. On the positive side, technology has allowed the team at Ernescliff to stay in touch with former residents, university students who came around, early career professionals and high school students. Obviously it’s not the same as meeting in person, but everyone is happy to continue to be in touch with their friends.

This September marks the fifth anniversary of Wilson Heights, the men’s centre in the north end of Toronto. To mark this anniversary, we would like to share with you an excerpt from the meeting Joe Atkinson, one of Wilson Heights’ residents, had with St. Josemaria Escriva, the Founder of Opus Dei, and also known as the Father, in December 1966. The excerpt below describes the gift of a metal donkey (pictured above) that Joe received from St. Josemaria.

The Father gave me several pictures of Our Lady for the Region of Canada, including one of the statue of Our Lady in Pamplona which had been blessed by Pope Saint Paul VI. Then somehow the subject of the donkey came up. The donkey was one of his favourite spiritual symbols. (1) He said very strongly, “Ut iumentum, semper ut iumentum!” (Like a donkey, always like a donkey!) He then told Fr. Javier to phone for a donkey for me. Fr. Javier went to the corner of the room where there was a phone, and within minutes someone brought the donkey. The Father made it stand up in his hand, saying “Un borrico, un borrico” (a donkey, a donkey) and laughing as he did so, and then he gave it to me. It was stamped out of sheet metal and is about 2 mm thick and 8 cm tall and painted black. It is soldered to a metal base 5.5 cm long and 1.5 cm wide, has a piece of red and green felt glued on its back, and is on my desk in front of me as I write this. I point out here that, a few years earlier, not long after I had joined Opus Dei, in one of my letters to the Father I had asked him if there was any particular devotional aspiration which could be used in connection with a donkey. Not too long afterward, I had received the answer from him, via the Director of the Centre: “Ut iumentum!”, and now I had heard it again, this time directly from the Father.

Joe Atkinson

To read more, please click here.

As part of its commitment to provide spiritual resources during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cedarcrest Conference Centre, located north of Toronto, has started its own YouTube channel, streaming meditations from the priests of Opus Dei in the Toronto area. To subscribe to the channel, please click here.

We would also ask you to share the resources we have presented here with as many people as possible. To encourage your friends to subscribe to the Friends of Wellspring newsletter, they can sign up through the form at the bottom of our home page.

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