Speaking Out

Adults often call youth the “church of tomorrow,” but on the pro-life front youth are already very much the church of today as they influence others on campuses across Canada as only peers can.

Campus pro-life clubs are effective because every effort and event reaches the target demographic. Statistics show young adults are more likely to procure abortions than any other demographic.

Finding God in a wired universe

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I’m sure we’ve all been frustrated with a driver who’s on a cellphone, an unresponsive teen with their earphones on full blast or an inbox full of junk mail. The simple truth is that technology has become an inevitable part of our lives whether we like it or not.

However, it’s easy to get caught up in all the seemingly destructive side-effects of these technologies and forget that they can be used for faith and other worthy reasons.

Living the WWJD motto

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Student. Parent. Optimist. Cynic. Romantic. Nihilist. It seems in today’s world that how you label yourself presupposes how you ought to carry out your daily routines.

So, when asked how I brand myself, the answer for years now has been simple — I am a Christian Existentialist. The seemingly juxtaposed natures of the two schools of thought often leave people confused, with nothing more than a question mark. Here, I will reconcile my thoughts and provide some clarity to those who have heard them before.

Existentialism — for those needing a quick refresher of past philosophy classes — is a 20th-century school of thought that assumes people are entirely free and thus responsible for what they make of themselves. As my high school history teacher often put it, “it’s about taking a leap of choice.” This branch of philosophy does not specifically dictate what ought to cause you ultimately to choose that “leap”; therefore, it is up to you.

Being still and finding God

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For many years at my cottage, my friends and I would haul a bag of popcorn and a heap of blankets up a huge hill and then lay them down to watch the stars. At first, our conversations were typically childish, consisting of funny stories or statements on the latest fad.

As the night went on, it became so dark that we could hardly see our hands in front of our faces. The stars were all we could see and they became so big and bright to our eyes that it was as if we could touch them. It was while watching this speckled wonder that our conversations would go much deeper and become much more philosophical.

All Saints party replaces Halloween

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{mosimage}WINNIPEG - If you walked near Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish on Oct. 31, you likely heard the sound of children’s voices ringing with laughter as they celebrated one of their favourite evenings of the year — All Saint’s Eve.

On Halloween evening 17 years ago, Mary Richard and her husband, Louis, were handing out candies at their home when they opened the door to a child wearing a particularly gruesome costume.

Seeking virtues in the rosary

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I first learned about the rosary in my Grade 9 religion class. My religion teacher said the rosary was one of the most important parts of the Catholic faith and was strongly critical of anyone who tried to downplay its importance. He said the rosary was an excellent sign of one’s prayerfulness and devotion to God.

While I agree that it was certainly a sign of devotion, I felt he failed to share with us an important point: the rosary is a tool that Christians can use to live a virtuous life — by meditating on the mysteries of the rosary.

Celebrating God’s blessings on Thanksgiving Day

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Canadians have been celebrating the feast of Thanksgiving in their homes since the time of our forefathers, but so much has changed since then that we are often left wondering what it is we have to be thankful for.

The early Canadians celebrated a safe journey looking for the Northwest Passage, but what about us? There are no long trudging trips for us to make, and most of us don’t cultivate or hunt the food we eat. So what then do we have to be thankful for when everything we have is at our disposal and we live in a society that allows us to make a $40,000 income while sitting at home in our pyjamas?

Schools need to be evangelizers

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Growing up in Ontario, I spent 14 years in Catholic school. I was, and still am, grateful for the religious education I received: mandatory religion classes, school Mass and the freedom to wish people a “Merry Christmas” without reproof.

I was constantly exposed to arguments for publicly funded faith-based schools and agreed with the people around me who felt that exposure to these schools allowed for stronger faith among younger generations.

World Youth Day fruits showing in Newfoundland

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Some say young people are not interested in their faith in Newfoundland, but throughout the past several years I’ve seen many signs of hope.

Prior to World Youth Day in Toronto in the summer of 2002, it was rare to see gatherings for young Catholics in Newfoundland. As a teenager I could not find anywhere to share my faith with people my age. Besides church-mandated activities such as sacramental preparation, meetings for Catholics were mostly attended by older people, even if they were designed for youth.

A vessel of love

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I joined my youth group for Street Patrol, feeding the poor on the streets of Toronto, in the hopes of helping someone’s troubled life. I thought if I could affect or enlighten at least one life, I would be eternally grateful. But I feel like I got something even better.

At first, I was terrified of being shunned or being emotionally or physically harmed as some homeless people are known to be unpredictable.

Being pro-life in the Third World

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BACALOD, Philippines - Growing up as a Catholic, I was always taught to consider life precious in all of its stages of development. To be honest, I felt that I did until I arrived in the Philippines.

Through my volunteer work in the Philippines, I met children that have been put through significant trauma in their precious short lives. As a child raised in Canada, it’s hard to even fathom what they have been through. It was in an orphanage in Bacolod where I learned their stories.