Young Professionals

From the very first days of his life as the founder of Opus Dei, St Josemaria lived not only with students but also with young professionals.
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To name just three, Isidoro Zorzano worked in the railways, Alvaro del Portillo worked as an engineer before he was ordained to the priesthood, and Tomas Alvira was a teacher. In under a decade we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Opus Dei. While some circumstances have changed, the spiritual journey of a young professional in Toronto in 2020 still follows the path of ordinary life. We at Ernescliff are inspired by St Josemaria’s friendship with and accompaniment of young professionals, and we follow his example by welcoming men in their 20s and 30s to join us for fellowship each Tuesday evening. There are so many great things great things happening in our little group. And we are always open to welcoming new members, to share the joy and peace that comes from a life overflowing with love.

The young professionals who come to Enescliff are just beginning to contribute to the common good through their work. Even those who aren’t employed full time have the full-time job of finding a job! They are also searching for the special human love that leads to marriage. And they are encountering the divine love of God, who called each one of us into being and accompanies us providentially at every stage of life and in every situation we face.

Being a young professional is an opportunity to turn our dreams into reality, lest we linger in a waiting room, haunted by unopened doors, only to find out too late that they are locked in midlife. A young professional is transitioning from being a student to entering the workforce. They are becoming financially independent, and their parents are starting to lean on them for strength and support. They are looking for closer friends in a globalized city where people come and go. They might be planning their next date with a young lady, rebounding from a breakup, deciding to call off an engagement, or navigating a quarter-life crisis. St. Josemaria had all of this in mind when he spoke of the ordinary circumstances of life.

Ernescliff’s young professional group is for men with big hearts. They have a few rounds under their belt and the drops of sweat and blood to prove it. It’s not a place to continue formation without moving toward mission. It’s for men who want to give, and need some training and accompaniment to do so. Besides the religious and spiritual formation freely available at Ernescliff, many of the young professionals we attract are drawn closer to each other in bonds of friendship and solidarity. In a frenetic city like Toronto with its culture of individualistic consumerism, they are looking for people who know them by name and are eager to listen to what’s going on in their lives. The activities at Ernescliff (sports, hikes, evenings of conversation, speakers, volunteering) appeal to anyone of good will, regardless of religious convictions.

Let’s listen to a young professional in his own words:

The Young Professional group at Ernescliff proved invaluable for my personal formation. It’s quite difficult in a big city to meet people who share both the faith and professional ambition, and coming together allowed us to share our experiences and support each other. The events at Ernescliff provided us not only an opportunity to meet each other and discuss spiritual topics, but to grow in understanding how we can be upstanding citizens and members of the Church going forward. Talks from guest speakers on practical topics helped me personally to understand better the kinds of commitments one has as a Catholic in the household and in the workplace. While these are things I had read about in an abstract sense, learning them from someone’s direct experience helped solidify my understanding, and discussing them with a male community helped reinforce the desire to follow through.

A Young Professional

An exciting initiative that many young professionals are participating in is the Personal Projects course, organized by Family Enrichment Toronto in partnership with the International Federation for Family Development. While not officially connected with Ernescliff, the course has been a constant topic in conversation for many months, and is sure to produce abundant fruit in the years to come.

Lastly, a bit about our monthly speakers: Speakers share their professional and life experiences. Some even offer to have monthly chats with a young professional through Ernescliff’s Mentorship Program. Many speakers were invited by the mature adult men that come to Ernescliff. They reached out to old friends, former colleagues, bosses, or family acquaintances. Our meetings are held on Tuesdays from 7 to 8 p.m., and we are always looking for future speakers. To suggest one – or to volunteer yourself! – please contact Peter Rebello at pjarebello@yahoo.com.

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