Meet our international students: Father Cryton Outschoom, Sri Lanka
“I feel at home at Saint Paul University.”
Father Cryton Outschoom
Fr. Cryton Outschoom arrived in Canada from Sri Lanka just a few days before the Fall 2014 semester started. The Catholic priest had to dive into a new world as soon as his classes started. “Saint Paul University has a very good reputation for the quality of its courses, especially in Canon Law. I am in Conflict Studies, and every day I am reminded that the University is a very friendly place,” he says. He admits that he didn’t find it very hard to adjust, although he has noticed many differences when it comes to interpersonal relationships. “Here, people are very professional, very reserved in their relationships with others. In Sri Lanka, people will approach a priest at any time, without an appointment, and start talking to you about their spiritual problems. It’s a big change,” he says. Rather than being wary of the snow, Fr. Outschoom is looking forward to living through his first winter in a northern country. “There’s no point in worrying too much about the weather… after all, it’s the people that count.”
Sri Lanka, which was torn apart by civil war for many years, is now on the path towards peace. Fr. Outschoom believes that his master’s studies in Conflict Resolution will prepare him even more to build bridges among the victims of war in a country that has seen a reduction in violence since 2009. “As a Catholic priest, it is my duty to ensure that each and every person plays an important part in the reconciliation process. I sincerely believe that the theories I am learning in my courses will be very useful in promoting dialogue among victims.” Unlike many students, He says that he is not studying in order to find a job, but to further his education. “I have already chosen my career. Coming to Canada is a gift that will allow me to be even better in my role as a spiritual guide.”
His dream? To help to heal the wounds caused by war in his country, he says without hesitation. “Many people have suffered because of the war, but there is a firm commitment to peace. I just want to do my part so that people who have experienced violence can find a certain peace within them once again,” Fr. Outschoom says enthusiastically.
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