|A congratulatory hug is exchanged after St. Martha's hug award was announced.|
There were no survivors.
Toronto, Canada - St. Martha's in Oshawa has received the distinction of being the 'hugging-est church' in the Archdiocese at the annual awards ceremony. The predominantly young, middle class, white parish was said to take the 'ministry of hospitality very seriously.'
"Sometimes the sign of peace can last fifteen minutes," said one parishioner. "It is really the heart of who we are as the people of God."
"We are a very youth- and spirit-centred church," said another.
"When the hugging goes on unusually long we sometimes cut out the Eucharist all together. We can't keep people longer than an hour, obviously."
The pastor of St. Martha's was glad for the accolade and expects that "that is why he was asked to go see the Cardinal first thing on Monday in his office."
Honourable mention for the hugging award was last year's winner, York University Catholic Chaplaincy, which gave up mass altogether for a time last year, putting in its place its famous two hour hug-a-thons .