VATICAN CITY - A religious procession, a brainstorm session and a few glasses of wine led a group of residents gathered in a shantytown on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina, to come up with a plan to interview Pope Francis.

Published in Vatican

LONDON, Ont. - Despite the winter winds howling outside, youth ministry specialist Dan Moynihan and his team are busy preparing to welcome hundreds of high school students to camp this summer.

Published in Youth Speak News

BRAMPTON, ONT. - Students who have an interest in a higher calling came together March 3 to explore their religious and priestly vocation curiosity. 

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

Fossil Free Faith has launched a new program recruiting youth to lead the conversation in their faith communities about divesting in fossil fuel companies.

Published in Faith

TORONTO - Everyone needs spiritual direction at some point in their life, said Sr. Mechtilde O’Mara.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

TORONTO - Covenant House is stepping up to give young women and girls caught in the grip of the sex trade a way out.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

MANILA, Philippines - Young people drew inspiration from an encounter with Pope Francis at the University of Santo Tomas.

Published in International

MANILA, Philippines - Father Matthieu Dauchez knows the children he works with are not the only poor people in the Philippines, but that has not stopped him from lobbying loudly and praying constantly that Pope Francis will stop by.

Published in International

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador - Eleven-year-old Jamin Diaz is finding that music and his participation in a symphony orchestra are giving him the chance to steer clear of violence that plagues his country.

Published in International

TORONTO - Hundreds of students lining up for reconciliation, kids playing Frisbee with the Sisters of Life, bishops sitting with teens rocking out to worship-and-praise music and thousands of young people on their knees adoring the Eucharist — scenes from Toronto’s first Steubenville youth conference. 

Published in Canada

While Pope Francis says Mass in Manger Square, Bethlehem there will be peace talks in the Middle East.

TORONTO - Salesian Father Michael Pace need not look far to see vocations in many forms. One of his younger sisters is a consecrated Missionary of Charity in San Francisco, his brother and two older sisters are each married with 20 children between them, and his other younger sister, Antoinette, has discerned a call to the single life and works as her parish’s lay pastoral associate.

Published in Youth Speak News

Camp registration season is here, and as youth and parents decide which camp is best for summer fun, camps are dealing with the challenge of how to offer a rewarding and unique experience.

Published in Youth Speak News

Catholic Christian Outreach will open up its annual Rise Up conference to more people this year by hosting events in two locations.

Published in Youth Speak News

MARKHAM, ONT. - A new youth study group aims to help young Catholics find answers to their questions about faith.

The Salesian Sisters are inviting Toronto-area youth age 15 to 35 to study the youth catechism from October to July. Sr. Corazon Beboso will be running the program at the Don Bosco Centre in Markham.

“The Catechism of the Catholic Church is more for adults, for bishops, for priests,” said Beboso, who calls it “very theological.” In contrast, the YouCat, or youth catechism, targets youth to deepen their faith.

Pope Benedict XVI presented the YouCat as a gift to World Youth Day 2011 pilgrims in Madrid, Spain.

“The YouCat study group is not a training program. It’s not a prayer group,” she said. “It is a young adult-led discussion sharing session wherein they come, they bring their questions, they bring whatever impact the world has on them... (and) they place it at the table for discussion depending on the topic that we have chosen.”

But Beboso promises prayer will be incorporated.

“There’s a bit of fun too because we have to make use of the things that are happening around, and then afterwards we pray, we stop and say what does the catechism say?” she said.

The study group is an offshoot of a discernment program that started last year. Called Duc in Altum (put out into the deep), the title is based on Luke 5:4-11, which refers to going farther to catch fish.

“So for us the fish that we want to catch with these young adults is know yourself, know your relationship with God, know your faith, know the Church and what the Church expects from you,” Beboso said.

After the discernment program, the participants wanted to know what was next.

“I said why don’t we make this study group as a response to the invitation of the Holy Father to make 2012-2013 the Year of Faith.” And so the YouCat study group was developed.

Beboso hopes the program will help participants figure out “how our quest for the truth is wrapped in the language of young people’s experiences today.”

Registration is $30 for the entire program. The price includes a copy of the YouCat and the balance is a participant’s contribution to the program. But those who come with their own print or e-book copies are asked to make a small donation. Currently, salesiansisterscanada.com lists 19 sessions at about two sessions a month, the first of which was held on Oct. 1.

Beboso believes youth are attracted to this type of group not only because they are looking for precise answers to the questions they have about the faith.

“They’re also attracted because there are other young people who are searching like them,” she said. “They don’t have the language... to express the faith. They know mentally because many of them are cradle Catholics... So they want to study together with others.”

Published in Youth Speak News