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English teacher Christopher Farrell, S.J. pauses for a quiet moment before deadlifting 425 pounds. Farrell started a powerlifting club which meets every day after school.

Jacob Deighton

Jacob Deighton

English teacher Christopher Farrell, S.J. pauses for a quiet moment before deadlifting 425 pounds. Farrell started a powerlifting club which meets every day after school.

Power of prayer

January 5, 2017

He starts off with some silent reflection, as sweat drips from his body. Looking at the heavy weight on the bar, he tells himself, ‘You’ve got this’ over and over again. He plants his feet on the ground and takes three short breaths. As he plunges closer to the ground, he takes another breath. With all his might he explodes the weight up in the air.

He finishes the last rep, with one final exhale of relief and the crashing sound of metal hitting the rack.
That is the sound of success.

And that is why English teacher Christopher Farrell S.J. created the Powerlifting Club. The Jesuit wants others to feel this same way.

“I believe in the idea of healthy mind, healthy body, and healthy spirit. If one of those components is missing, then you are not living life to the fullest,” Farrell said. “The best way to serve God is by using the talents and gifts he has given to you.”

Farrell began weight lifting four years ago as a graduate student at Regis College at the University of Toronto.

“Studying philosophy at the graduate level is very challenging, primarily due to the fact that you’re always in your head,” Farrell said. “There is too much time to think.”

As Farrell continued his studies, he kept returning to the weight room. He found that both weight training and Jesuit principles guided his purpose.

“The Jesuits are all about the idea of ‘Magis’ meaning greater or more,” Farrell said. “For me, you could also translate it as ‘stronger’. It’s about asking oneself, how can I be constantly striving to grow stronger? Whether it is in the weight room, or intellectually, or spiritually. I think this gives glory to God.”

The club’s motto, imprinted on their club t-shirt, comes from Psalm 48: “the Lord is my strength and my shield.” Club Members meet every day of the week after school to lift, and the group is always looking to expand.

“Our body is a temple, and we’ve been entrusted with life by God,” Farrell said. “It is our responsibility to take care of our bodies so that we can serve others in the community for many years to come.”

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