Organ donation is a generous gesture that celebrates life and says to the recipient: “I’m glad you are alive,” said Christa Morse.

Facebook users in the U.S. and U.K. are now able to put their organ donor status on their Facebook wall, alongside their religious and political views. Soon that option will be coming to Canada and other countries. When that happens, Morse will gladly sign up.

Published in Youth Speak News

“I wish to register a complaint.”  This famous opening line of the Dead Parrot skit by Monty Python, I hereby appropriate to register a blanket complaint concerning cyberlouts.

Cyberlouts come in a variety of guises, including those who persist in using cellphones when I am trying to speak with them. Faced with such rudeness in private conversation, I can (and do) walk away. No big deal.

Published in Guest Columns

No doubt, some people will be offended by this column. Seems whatever is said about Catholicism offends someone these days. Even the most benign comment is challenged. Instead of listening to and discussing other points of view, there is a tendency to shout at those who see things differently.

Think I am exaggerating? Take a quick spin on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and elsewhere and you’ll easily find the shouting, name-calling and misunderstandings. (Just Google “Catholic faith arguments” or “contraception” or “women priests” as starting points and then simply click away.)

Published in Robert Brehl

VATICAN CITY - Amid the deluge of information and nonstop chatter in today's media, the church needs to help people find safe havens of silence, Pope Benedict XVI said.

Far from being the enemy of calm and quiet, social media and the Internet can lead people to virtual sanctuaries that offer silent reflection, thoughtful dialogue and true meaning in life, he said.

"Attention should be paid to the various types of websites, applications and social networks which can help people today to find time for reflection and authentic questioning, as well as making space for silence and occasions for prayer, meditation or sharing of the word of God," he said in his message for the 2012 celebration of World Communications Day.

Published in Vatican

TORONTO - For a generation wired to the Internet via smartphones and laptops, the Gospel can easily be forgotten in the information overload. To prevent this, the Catholic Chaplaincy at York University (CCY) started To the Top, a web series of Catholic videos for youth.

“Many young people are spending many hours in front of their computers,” said Joseph Zambon, 25, CCY pastoral assistant and cast member of To the Top. “We, the Church, need to break into these places and make sure that young people are hearing the Gospel message. Otherwise, they will be swept away into a secular culture.” 

Launched in fall, To the Top was founded by Dwayne Santos, 21, a concurrent education student at York, as a way to educate both Catholics and non-Catholics about the faith.

Published in Youth Speak News

As cliché as it may sound, the famous phrase “Ignorance is bliss” can be highly relevant to modern society. Many of us fail to recognize the surplus of blessings we have been given and focus more on what we lack.

If you have a Twitter account, the essence of our ignorance can be seen in the tweets of FirstWorldPains. The account satires the pains of developed countries by tweeting various complaints that many find relatable. Tweets like “It’s nice outside, but my Internet doesn’t reach far enough to the backyard for me to watch Netflix on my laptop” and “The chips I’m eating are too wide for my mouth” grace the newsfeed every other hour.

Published in YSN: Speaking Out
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