The inner historian inside of me has sparked my next round of thoughts on UNITY. Spending the last little while thinking about the year 1996, specifically that period between April and May when so much happened here in our archeparchy: UNITY 1996, of course, sandwiched in with the deaths of both Fr. Yarapolk Radkevych and Archbishop Maxime Hermaniuk, I realized that it was 15 years ago that all took place.

I was certainly not aware of UNITY 1996; I still had my childhood notions of becoming pope, and I have begun to think that we have truly entered the second wave of young adults to be touched by UNITY.

I have realized this in talking with some of the veterans of UNITY 1996: Tamara, our director, all of the priests: Fr. Soo, Fr. Darren, Fr. Mark, Fr. Mike (I’m not even sure if they were all priests then). And what I have gotten in talking to these people is that there was a spirit (the Holy Spirit of course) that rolled with UNITY 1996, if they call it the “Spirit of ‘76” for the American Revolution, I think it is more than apt that we call it the “Spirit of ‘96” for UNITY. I also believe that if UNITY 2012 is going to be successful we are going to need to catch some of that “Spirit of ‘96”.

Because UNITY 1996 was truly an “into the wild” experience; there was no precedent, there were no expectations to live up to, it was the first of its kind. I am going to come back to the American Revolution again, because the parallels are remarkable. The veterans of UNITY 1996 are much like the founding fathers of theUnited States of America, they set the table for great things to come. But I will note that there was an interluding period of close to 15 years (funny how that came up again) before the U.S.A. had the structures in place to head on its path to what it is today; in a sense, they were trying to find there way in the wilderness.

So I see us today at that point of being ready to take off, having spent a decade and a half growing, transforming and refining what UNITY is. The upcoming generation of youth, like myself, scarcely remember 1996, nevermind UNITY 1996. There is even a good chance they would not have heard about UNITY 2004, 2006 or 2009 (I personally found out about UNITY in 2007), so I do not think it is a stretch to say that people do not really know what we are about. But, much like the Founding Fathers, we know what we are about.

Every generation must pass the torch to the next, always hoping to have the flame going a little brighter when it is passed. So let us infuse some of that “Spirit of ‘96” into UNITY 2012 and send forth the next generation; my generation, your generation, OUR generation: “into the wild.”




Andrew’s Thoughts for Thursday

(an opinion piece put out every Thursday, time permitting)

July 28 – Acronym of UNITY

August 4 – Bridging the Gap

August 11 – Choices


August 17 – Towards the Tangible

Andrew’s On the Road(show)

(Recaps and thoughts after every parish tour)

Introduction – Tuesday July 26, 2011: UNITY!?!?