INTERVIEW: Matheus Schultz
by julie.brown on May 8, 2016 - 8:53pm
The following is the transcript of an interview between the author, Julie Brown, and Matheus Schultz, a college student and member of Saint-Marc's Parish in Candiac. The interview was conducted on April 6th, 2016. The event discussed took place on April 3rd, 2016.
The article that these interviews were conducted for can be found here.
BROWN: Tell us a bit about the event that you orchestrated.
SCHULTZ: Our parish is sponsoring a refugee family that is coming to Canada; they are one mother, one father and two children, I think one is eleven and the other is eight. It has been three months that we haven’t had contact with them, but they are supposed to arrive this month. And it [the spaghetti dinner] was three months in preparation. We were five on the committee for preparing the thing – we were responsible for the animation, the music, the songs and all that. Yeah it was a great experience. [On a récolté 4790$.]
BROWN: What was the purpose of the event, like to raise money…
SCHULTZ: Yeah, so the parish had the goal of financially supporting the family for one year, and it takes a lot of money – I think they want to have like 30,000$. And we were doing that [the event] to raise the money.
BROWN: So what made you aware that this situation – refugee families coming from Syria to Canada – was a situation you could contribute to personally?
SCHULTZ: First, I wanted to volunteer this semester, and I was looking for somewhere where I could volunteer, and I contacted the Red Cross. I had the opportunity to help them with welcoming the refugees that were coming from the government. And I helped them for like one month, working with them, and I just got very of inside of that situation – the refugees and all that stuff – and then I heard that our parish, our community, was sponsoring this family, and I really wanted to help. And this is the better way that we found to do so.
BROWN: So, your role within the event was like, organizing the animation and stuff?
SCHULTZ: Yeah, I had to find all the bands, I had to do the playlist… There was a lot of stuff that I did that didn’t happen because I wasn’t counting that the time would pass so fast.
BROWN: Were you closely involved with the organization of the whole event?
SCHULTZ: Yes, yes. I was there when we made all of the decisions of how we would place the tables, how many people do we want to go there, when do we call people to come… I went to the masses doing the advertising of the thing, selling tickets and all that. I was really on the committee helping to decide everything, but my main goal – my main responsibility, was that.
BROWN: And how many people ended up coming?
SCHULTZ: I don’t know, we sold 300 tickets, 301 I think. We sold 300 tickets, the goal was 250, and we were scared when we had 300 because we didn’t have the space for all of them.
BROWN: Cool, cool, cool. Okay, a lot of the members of the youth – what’s the youth group called?
SCHULTZ: La relève.
BROWN: La relève. So a lot of the members of la Relève were involved with the event too. What do you think motivated these younger kids to be a part of it?
SCHULTZ: We’re kind of really a family, we consider ourselves a family. We have this song it’s called “Tu es ma famille”, that we sing all the time, we sang it at the end, I don’t think you were there, but like we were like 50 people like just singing this thing it was amazing. [SCHULTZ puts his arms up to his sides and sways side to side] And when someone from La Relève does something, everyone wants to go and do it together.
BROWN: That’s so cool.
SCHULTZ: So it wasn’t everybody that was on the preparation committee and all that, but we asked them to be volunteers and they wanted to.
BROWN: For sure, that’s nice. The project to sponsor the family it was a part of your church before you were involved with the Red Cross and stuff?
SCHULTZ: Yes, yes.
BROWN: So what do you think pushed your church to be involved with that? To want to put on this event, to say, “We want to help these people.”
SCHULTZ: This year, the Pope, he proclaimed this year the year of Mercy. So like every church is doing everything they can do demonstrate mercy towards people, towards those who need it. And because of the Syrian situation, the best way our parish found was to sponsor a family, as the government is already bringing a lot of people here, to Canada.
BROWN: It’s good because, [c’est de l’actualité.] What were people’s reactions to your decision to put on this event?
SCHULTZ: It was my sister’s idea; she was saying: “Ah, we could do a spaghetti thing,” and I was like, “No, it would be too hard.” And then we came to the [les coordinateurs de La Relève], and we asked them what they thought about it, and they said it would not be so easy and they were not so willing to do it before. But then me and my sister we were really arguing with them to do it, and we were very persuasive. And they decided to do it!
BROWN: Evidently, haha. So, was it hard for you guys to find volunteers – because it was a big group effort, was it hard to find volunteers within the church?
SCHULTZ: We are a lot in La Relève, and everyone was willing to help, so it made it a lot easier.
BROWN: Okay, so now this is less about your project and more about the theme in general. What is your opinion on the relationship between the church and the community? Like either around your church or more relevant to the world.
SCHULTZ: I really think that, when you have a belief, like a Christian belief, it’s really easier to live your faith and have your life inside your faith in a community. If you’re by yourself, it’s pretty hard to continue believing what you believe and following the Lord’s word and all that. And I believe that a lot of things that we did, as a church, we could not do if we were just a few people, if the community was small. We can do a lot more when we are big.
BROWN: Has your church or the youth group contributed to volunteer organizations in the past? Like, I know you specifically have done work with the Red Cross, have there been other initiatives similar to this?
SCHULTZ: It’s been three years I’ve been there [at this church], and for these three years we’re kind of cutting the budget on a lot of stuff, so I don’t think so.
BROWN: Why do you think it’s important for the church to be involved in volunteer work? Why was it really important to put on this event, and in general? […] Why is it important for the church to be merciful, to be giving of their time and their stuff for free?
SCHULTZ: As a Christian church, we’re always trying to follow Jesus’ example and what he did and what the Word says. Jesus, the most thing he did, was to have mercy with people. Mercy, not like to, to [pardonner le monde, mais aider le monde puis faire au monde ce qu’ils avaient besoin.] And he is always saying, every time – he said that, I don’t remember the passage – he said: “Every time you give water to someone who is thirsty, you give clothes to someone who has not, you will be doing it for me, to me.” And me, personally, I really think that it is really important to help people who need it; I was always doing that, since… the beginning of time. [Laughs]. Yeah, I think if a church does not help people who need it, it is not following [the doctrine, qui est la Bible, par tous ses enseignements que Jésus à donné en exemple.”]