Saturday, March 27, 2010

Christopher Leadership Course, Thompson, March 11-14, 2010

The Christopher Leadership Course is a course on effective speaking that not only develops leadership skills but also helps people overcome shyness and grow in self confidence. The Christopher Motto is: "It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness." The course was introduced into Canada from the USA in 1953 and has spread across the country. It was brought to Beauval area in 1975 by Archbishop Sylvain Lavoie with the help of two teachers at the time, Garry Vermette and Paul Boudreau. Ed and Angie Mihalicz took the first class offered in Beauval and have been instructing it ever since. Serena Kraychuk, who is missing from the picture of graduands below, is seated here in the front row, far left.

Originally a ten week course, it has been adapted to run Thursday and Friday evening, all day Saturday and Sunday afternoon. it closes with a graduation banquet Sunday evening. The course covers topics such as reading skills, introducing and thanking guest speakers, presenting and receiving awards, organizing talks, impromptu speaking and putting speech magic into talks. Each session involves a fun Warm Up and closes with a spiritual talk. Each participant is encouraged to develop a Christopher Service Project in which they will utilize their leadership skills. Here we see the class in action as a participant, Getty Landego, carries out her speaking assignment.

The course is usually taught by a team of five trained instructors. The team pictured here that came together for this course is Sr. Andrea Dumont csj, JOdi Vienneau, Troy Paul, Ed Mihalicz from Beauval, Fr. Eugene Whyte OMI who helped out as organizer at the back, and Archbishop Sylvain Lavoie (missing from the picture) who helped out on Friday and Saturday before leaving for a commitment in Eastern Canada.

Every lesson starts with a Warm Up that helps participants loosen up, gain confidence, develop gestures and practice voice projection. They are also a lot of fun. Here Sr. Andrea Dumont csj puts a lot of enthusiasm into demonstrating the Warm Up for Lesson 9 and teaching how it is done.

Each instructor takes turns teaching parts of the course. Here Jodi Viennwau explains how to construct and deliver a 4 Step Action talk.

The proud graduands, new Christophers all, are pictured here after their graduation banquet held on Sunday with the instructors. They are, from left to right standing: Jodi Vienneau; James Hickey; Sr. Andrea Dumont csj; Troy Paul; Betty Landego; Ed McTavish; Imran Barlas; Fr. Eugene Whyte OMI and Ed Mihalicz.
Seated from L to R are: Liza Dew; Wanda Niholas; Tammy Human; Rossina Astorga; Ruby Penoliar and Bernadette de Cesco, who was the Christopher Pin winner. Missing from this picture is Serena Kraychuk.

2010 is the 35th anniversary of the Christopher movement in our archdiocese. Hopefully, an instructors’ seminar will be held in the archdiocese this fall to help mark that anniversary and to perhaps train some of these new Christophers to help carry on the Christopher flame.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Reading this report brought back fine memories of my experience as a class member and instructor here in Kamloops.

Congratulations on keeping the flame alive!a