Warm welcome to our new intern Virginia-Ann Mervar, Lieutenant/SEELM Chaplain for the Canadian Armed Forces.
Getting to know Virginia.
Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Sorrows,
My name is Virginia-Ann Mervar (I answer to both Virginia and Virginia-Ann) and I will be joining the Our Lady of Sorrows Staff and community for the next 18 months as an internship for the Canadian Armed Forces. In 2013, I began my undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto in the Concurrent Teacher Education Program, thus working towards a Bachelor of Arts in Christianity and Culture with minors in English and Philosophy, while concurrently receiving a Bachelor of Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. When I was in the final year of my undergraduate degree, I began to feel a strong call felt to discern military chaplaincy.
I began my application and recruitment to the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) while completing my teaching degree and beginning studies at Regis College at the University of Toronto hoping to become a Lay Pastoral Associate in the CAF through the military’s SEELM education program for chaplains.
In August, 2020, I was sworn into the CAF as Lieutenant and into the SEELM chaplaincy program, and spent the next year completing the Masters of Divinity that is required for all chaplains. Receiving the Master of Divinity was the first phase of my chaplaincy training, and the second phase of my training includes a 2-year pastoral internship to be formed in ministry of my faith tradition. I completed 6 months of my internship at St. Basil’s Parish in Toronto, and I am delighted to complete the remainder of my internship time with the Our Lady of Sorrows community. I look forward to serving the vibrant OLS community and am grateful that this community will help equip me to serve those who serve our country!