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Speaking Out: YSN encore brings more blessings

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  • August 28, 2019

My time at The Catholic Register truly ended up being the product of an act of God. 

In the spring of 2017, my mom forwarded me an ad from the Youth Speak News team who was recruiting for the upcoming year. I looked at the ad — which had been forwarded down from the Catholic Women’s League at our church — and thought about it, then forgot about it. I remember getting my application in either the day it was due or shortly after. Procrastination is one of my weaknesses and I assure you that wasn’t my last time handing in something late.

Fast forward to that summer, I was in Europe with my fiancé when the YSN editor at the time, Jean Ko Din, scheduled a Skype interview with me. I panicked as I tried to find a place with a reliable wi-fi connection and chatted with Jean about my experience and love of writing.

Here’s the kicker. My time as a youth was, sort of, coming to an end, and my experience of writing was limited. I was 23 years old at the time, finished university and newly engaged. 

I honestly thought I was too old for the Youth Speak News column. And even though I loved writing, I had only really written for school. I was nervous these factors would deter me from being the type of candidate they were looking for and so I finished my trip and went on with my summer.

To my surprise and joy, Jean added me to the YSN team for the 2017-18 year. I wrote articles about Catholicism in my Winnipeg community, and wrote columns about my feelings and opinions. 

I travelled to Toronto to meet my fellow writers and editor in the spring. The weekend greeted me with such adventure and knowledge. The retreat is designed to show the YSN writers different forms of Catholic media and to help us learn about media in general. 

I remember we learned how to record a podcast, visited The Catholic Register office to see how a newspaper is developed and toured the Salt + Light television station. There, we were fortunate enough to chat with then CEO Fr. Thomas Rosica about broadcasting. It happened to be the same day that Fr. Arturo Sosa — the Superior General of the Society of Jesus — was sitting down with Fr. Rosica for a TV interview. That’s a day I’ll never forget.

It brought me a sense of pride to be the only person on the retreat outside Ontario. When I got home, I felt a new sense of gratitude that the Lord had placed on my lap. I decided to re-apply for a second year and am so glad that I did. 

I never thought I would be given the opportunity to write in this way. I’ve been blessed to write about my friends in the Winnipeg Catholic community. I’ve written on pro-life issues and about reconciliation. I’m continually grateful that I decided to apply when my mom forwarded me the e-mail and am so thankful for everything that YSN has given me. 

The opportunity to see Catholicism outside the walls of your parish is a beautiful one. I thank you, the readers, who read our columns and articles and support us. Thank you for letting Catholic youth of all ages have a voice. If you are interested in writing for The Catholic Register YSN column or know someone who is, I can’t recommend it enough! 

(Lafantaisie, 25, is owner and photographer for Alice and Flore Photography in Winnipeg, Man.)

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