Youth Speak News

 Take Back the NightSaskatoon - Almost 300 people marched through downtown Saskatoon Sept. 27 in support of ending violence against women.

The marchers were taking part in the annual Take Back the Night march. The theme of this year’s march was “Shattering the Silence” and encouraged participants to stand in solidarity with marginalized groups who faced greater risk of violence, including first nations peoples, the disabled and rural women.

Annual pro-life symposium set to take place in Toronto

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2008 National Campus Life Network’TORONTO - From Oct. 1 to 3, pro-life students from across the country will gather for the National Campus Life Network’s annual national symposium at St. Augustine’s Seminary in Toronto.

“For a lot of students, it’s a pivotal moment where they come to a new level of commitment when it comes to pro-life work,” said Rebecca Richmond, executive director of the National Campus Life Network, an organization that exists to educate, network and support pro-life students at post-secondary institutions across Canada.

“Then they’re inspired and motivated to go back to their campus and share what they learned with members of their club or to get a club started and impact their campus.”

Campus chaplaincy centres beneficial for young Catholics

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Ryerson catholic studentsTORONTO - While university and college students heading back to school often join campus groups and organizations to alleviate the pressures of academic life, there is one area that is often overlooked: campus chaplaincy centres.

“A lot of Catholic students may know we’re here but they have a job, they live in Markham, they’re busy with school and may be involved with something else at school — and that’s enough for them,” said Kim Gottfried Piché, director of chaplaincy services at the Ryerson Catholic Chaplaincy Centre.

A new year, a new YSN team

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TORONTO - As the school year slowly gathers steam, so does a new year of The Catholic Register’s Youth Speak News, with a brand new team of writers.

For the past 11 years, YSN has offered guidance to young Catholic writers from across the country who cover events and provide insight on important issues affecting Catholic youth, while sharing the ups and downs of being faithful and young in today’s world.

While they are building their clippings and experience, YSN helps them in their writing, interviewing techniques and photography.

Youth offered chance to discover their vocation

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Toronto SerraTORONTO - Justin Lam entered the work force after graduating from graphic communications management at Toronto’s Ryerson University a couple of years ago.

But despite his current job as a customer label estimator, Lam finds something is missing in his life.

“There’s this feeling of emptiness from time to time where you go to work, get off work, go home, take a shower, go to bed and do it all again the next day,” said Lam, a member of Chinese Martyrs parish in Markham, Ont.

Volunteering options in the city

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volunteerTORONTO - This fall, charities in Toronto have a message for Catholic youth: volunteer, your community needs you.

But youth also need their community. And whether they’re in high school fulfilling their required 40 hours of community service, in college or university looking for co-op placements or just looking to volunteer in their community, there are plenty of interesting organizations to choose from.

One such organization is the Daily Bread Food Bank.

Catholic apps connect youth to their faith

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Robert MezzavillaTORONTO - Robert Mezzavilla carries around a Bible with him wherever he goes — and it doesn’t weigh an ounce.

That’s because Mezzavilla, a third-year environmental studies student at Toronto’s York University, has a Catholic Bible application (or app) on his iPhone.

While he bought the app because it’s a huge space saver, he said it helps connect him to his faith.

Youth get creative to finance WYD trip

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World Youth DayTORONTO - With just under a year to go until World Youth Day 2011, parish youth groups are working hard to raise the funds needed to get to Madrid.

At St. Justin Martyr Church in Unionville, Ont., fundraising has come in the form of spaghetti, karaoke and rubber ducks.

Their first fundraiser for World Youth Day — a spaghetti and karaoke night — was held last February, said youth minister Andrew Santos. The event raised about $2,850 in profit, he said, which will go towards the 16 youth from his parish going to Madrid.

Building youth leaders

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Leadership and Peer SupportTORONTO - For a group of high school students in summer school this year, it’s not just about the credit.

The Leadership and Peer Support summer course, run out of Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton Secondary School since 2004, may seem like an unorthodox form of education.

But for these volunteers, it’s more about getting involved than getting ahead.

Ride raises awareness of child soldiers

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Child Soldier CycleFive young Canadians had 250,000 reasons to cycle across Eastern Canada this August; one for every child soldier in the world.

The Child Soldier Cycle was a month-long, 1,800-km trek from Ottawa to St. John’s, Nfld., and a call to raise awareness about the reality of child soldiers worldwide. The tour began Aug. 1 and ran through Aug. 29.

“The goal of the ride was to increase the demand for the media to report more on conflicts that involve children,” said Philip Schleihauf, 19, who rode the entire trip on a unicycle.

Active life, active faith

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Hike PrayerTORONTO - Nature is God’s greatest cathedral for those attending this year’s Hike & Prayer.

Run by Faith Connections, the young adult ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph, the annual Hike & Prayer event allows young people an opportunity to engage their faith while being active. The hike, themed “Celebrating Summer,” takes place Aug. 22 at Edwards Gardens in Toronto, and is open to young adults, ages 18-39.