(If you’re wondering who Mike Landry is, click here…)
Beyond my day-to-day work as a school division chaplain, I am privileged to accept invitations to speak in churches and schools across Western Canada (and as far away as Florida!) After more than two decades spent in ministry, it’s difficult to name all of the themes I’m comfortable speaking about. While I’ve listed some of my favourite topics below, I usually prepare each talk for the specific group that has invited me to serve. This means that if you already have a theme chosen, that works too!
If you want to check on my availability or have any other questions before reading on, please click here to get the conversation started. My calendar of recent & upcoming events is also available by clicking here.
How Might I Serve you?
- Single or multiple talks ranging from 30-90 minutes in length, depending on the event, setting, and your specific needs.
- Youth retreats, conferences, and rallies: half day, full day, overnight, and weekends. I can speak, sing, led games, reflections, and prayer as needed. (Contact me if you’d like a sample retreat outline.)
- Parish missions (speaking and music)
- Presentations for those preparing to receive the Sacraments (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation, and Marriage).
- Youth Ministry Training: Sessions on how to kick start, support, or enrich ministry to young people in parish, school, and camp settings.
As mentioned before, I prepare each talk for the specific group that has invited me. Many of these topics can be presented in one way to youth and in another way to adults, and in some cases it is easy to expand these topics over multiple sessions:
- The Beginning, the End, and our Life in Between: drawing from St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, a look at what the creation accounts teach us about God’s plan for human existence, what we mean when we say “I believe in the resurrection of the body,” and what it means to live in a fallen yet redeemed world.
- Be Not Afraid: Fear is one of our greatest enemies – and ruins many things in our lives. Perhaps this is why one a recurring theme in scripture – spoken by prophets, angels, and God Himself – is a challenge for us to get beyond fear. Together, we’ll explore the ways that we let fear control us, and more importantly, how God’s perfect love can help us move past those fears.
- God & Star Wars: Star Wars movies are filled with religious references and images, as George Lucas borrowed heavily from a variety of religious traditions to tell us what happened “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.” As a result, many of the characters, images, and stories can be used to help us better understand our own faith. This presentation gives me a chance to do much more than geek out: it offers us a framework to understand the epic story of our faith, our temptation to fall to the dark side of sin, and the ways in which we are all strengthened by the Holy Spirit living in us.
- Living in the Word of God: Inspired by a pastoral letter from the Archbishop of Edmonton, I offer here a deeper examination of what the Bible is, what it has to say to us, and how we can all better learn to hear and follow His voice speaking to us in Scripture.
- Life in Third Place: In her book Sobornost, Catherine Doherty summarized the responsibilities of the Christian life in three simple words: I am third. This presentation /series does a deep dive into what it means to truly love God with one’s heart, soul, mind and strength as well as what it means to love neighbour as ourselves. Finally, we take an honest assessment of how we’re doing at loving God and neighbour, and will lay out a new (or renewed) plan for immersing ourselves in an authentically Christian life.
- Not all heroes wear capes… some wear sandals: There have always been superhero movies – good ones and bad ones alike – but recent years have offered us a steady diet of superhero movies, culminating in the recent release of Avengers: Endgame. This talk will dive into our societal obsession with hero stories, present examples of some of the great heroes from Christian history (in scripture and in the Church), and end with a challenge to answer God’s call that each of us become the heroes of the new evangelization.
- (On Pornography) A Person First! When Jesus encountered the woman caught in adultery (John 8), it seems that everyone had a ‘use’ for her: the man she had been with, the Pharisees who dragged her to Christ, and the bloodthirsty crowd ready to serve as judge, jury, and executioner. Jesus was the one person who saw more than that; He saw her as a person first. The challenge we face in a world that has embraced pornography is seeking ways to do the same – to learn to always regard others, and the gift of our sexuality, as the gift that each one is. (These presentations on pornography have been offered, both to adults and in an age appropriate manner to students in grade 6 through 12.)
What Can You Expect from me?
- I will reply to your inquiries promptly and professionally to ensure that we are able to know what to expect from one another.
- A dynamic, quality event or presentation that has been crafted to meet the specific needs of your particular group.
- Full contact ministry: when I am at your event, it is my goal to be as present as possible – during meals, free time, and games or sports, I intend to get as involved with the group I serve as I possibly can.
- Follow-up after your event to ensure that I have met your expectations, and a chance for you to let me know any ways that I might improve.
What are other people saying?
Mike serves with the approval of Archbishop Richard Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton. A reference letter confirming this can be found by clicking here.
Bishop Paul Terrio (Bishop of St. Paul, AB): I am presently the Catholic Bishop of St Paul in Alberta but from 2002- 2012 I was pastor of Holy Trinity Parish in Spruce Grove, Alberta. In that latter position I hired Mike Landry to serve as Youth Minister for the parish in 2006 and we worked together until 2012 at my episcopal appointment. I am happy to say the Mike not only ‘did the job’ but that he developed and expanded our Parish outreach to young people both within the parish schools and beyond them. Mike is a very dedicated and steady worker but above all he is an ardent witness to the Gospel especially in it’s call to our young people. It is therefore with confidence and joy that I recommend Mike Landry to your good attention.
Fr. Cristino Bouvette (Vicar for Vocations & Young Adults, Diocese of Calgary AB): Mike has an engaging style that captures the attention of students immediately. Our parish youth group was blessed to have him in to speak on the topic of masculinity and knowing how to seek help when we need it. He had our boys in stitches at one minute and very contemplative the next- a sign of a gifted communicator. His examples are relevant and relatable to young people and the application of his insights are concrete. I look forward to hearing from him again!
Peter van Kampen (youth ministry coordinator, St. Dominic’s School, Rocky Mountain House, AB): Mike is funny, dynamic, and engaging. I was pleasantly surprised to see how well the High School students responded to his interactive presentation! And he brings a talent for music, an authentic faith, and a message the strikes the appropriate balance of engaging humor and hard hitting truths. We will definitely be getting Mike into our schools again!
Glen Argan, (past editor, Western Catholic Reporter): “Mike has made a massive contribution to the Catholic Church in the Edmonton Archdiocese through his lengthy dedication to youth ministry and working with young people in Catholic schools. He is clearly motivated by a deep and abiding faith in Jesus Christ, which he conveys by his words, but especially through his actions. In my 30 years of working in the archdiocese, Mike stands head and shoulders above the crowd in his ability to help make faith happen in the hearts of others.”
Jon Courchene (Executive Director, Face to Face Ministries): Mike Landry has been speaking at FacetoFace Ministries events for the past 4 years. The youth look forward to his keynotes each year. Mike draws in his audience through current movies, music, etc, through his humor, and through his authenticity. He is not afraid to proclaim the truth and leave people challenged either. At one moment you are on the edge of your seat laughing, and the next you are inspired to take the next step in your walk with Christ. I recommend Mike wholeheartedly for any youth event.
Louisa Gietz (past Youth Ministry Coordinator, Holy Family Parish, Medicine Hat): “…you gave the kids someone to look up to as a very real person walking in faith they can identify with. I don’t know how you normally do retreats, but I think being involved as much as you could also was a great witness of really caring – the kids noticed. “
Laura Smith (Okanagan Catholic Family Camp): “…all I can say is you were great to work with. I felt that the pre-camp planning was smooth and easy. I also really enjoyed your talks at camp, as did many of the families that attended. This was clear from the positive feedback we received from the participants. I could tell the children / youth also really enjoyed how music / multi-media was tied into your presentations. You did a great job both times you attended our camp.”
Have any questions? Please click here to get the conversation started.