Youth Speak News

Amanda CastellviSTONY POINT, N.Y. - Together with three other young Canadians, I travelled to Stony Point, N.Y., in late July to walk alongside fellow youth on the Gospel Roads.

Salesian Gospel Roads (GR), a week-long service retreat program, has been running throughout the United States for more than a decade. With 50 other youth from four different states and three other Canadians, Judy Sebastian, Andre Violante and John Rugosi, I participated in one of nine GR programs this summer, marking Gospel Roads’ first Canadian participation.

“My hope is that participants, beyond experiencing a beautiful week of serving with other youth and personal reflection, get a better understanding of their call to service,” said Victoria Velasco, director of the Stony Point Gospel Roads, which ran from July 25-31.

Youthful celebration of faith

OCY rallyMIDLAND, Ont. - This year’s Office of Catholic Youth Rally introduced a variety of new features, but it retained enough of its old flavour to make the experience what it’s always been for revellers.

John Dawson, program co-ordinator and music director for the July 23-25 rally, has been involved with the Office of Catholic Youth (OCY) for more than a decade. He said the youthful spirit is alive and well.

“The rally is really about celebrating the faith, connecting with other youth and commissioning them in the Lord,” said Dawson.

SummerDaze of fun, faith

Summer DazeTORONTO - The spirit of Don Bosco is alive at the Catholic day camp SummerDaze, where, through song and games, kids find just the right combination of faith and fun.

SummerDaze, which runs out of St. Benedict’s parish in northwest Toronto, was founded in 1989 by Salesian Brother Bernie Dube to serve youth in the summer. In its first year, it had fewer than 25 campers and five staff. It now hosts around 200 campers weekly with a staff of more than 50, most of them volunteers. It ran through the four weeks of July and was open to children aged seven-14.

“There’s always a spiritual lesson to be learned within the fun,” said Foster Kwon, camp director.

Three generations of faith in the media


In the early 1950s, Stephen Dunn spent his senior year of high school contemplating whether to become a priest or go into broadcasting.

Sixty years after deciding his vocation was to the media, his legacy spans three generations of Catholic television broadcasting in the Dunn family of Ancaster, Ont., near Hamilton.

Scriptural reasoning movement engages students in multi-faith dialogue

religious symbolsLONDON, Ont. - A movement dedicated to studying sacred texts to promote friendship between people of different faiths hosted its first Canadian conference at Huron University College in London June 27-30.

Scriptural reasoning is a practice where Christians, Jews and Muslims study each other’s sacred texts. The goal is to give people of different faiths a way to transcend their religious differences and foster trust and understanding. This is the third scriptural reasoning conference to be hosted in North America.  

OCY welcomes young adults with open arms to annual youth rally

Union Station GroupTORONTO - The archdiocese of Toronto’s Office of Catholic Youth is offering to fully subsidize the cost of attending its annual youth rally July 23-25 in Midland, Ont., for up to five youth from every parish in the archdiocese.

“If you have sent groups in the past we hope you will see this as a way of saying ‘thank you’ for your support.

“If you have never sent young people we hope you will take advantage of this promotion and give us the opportunity to connect with youth or young adults from your community,” the OCY said on its web site.

The archdiocesan weekend provides catechesis, prayer, Mass, live music, a movie and more, usually for teens and older youth ages 19-25. But for the first time, the OCY has also built in a special component for young adults ages 25-35.

Game On tackles gaming addictions with humour

Jonathan AndradeWhen Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton Catholic Secondary School student Jonathan Andrade took on a Grade 10 religion art class project last year, he didn’t expect to finish as a finalist in Toronto’s Hot Docs “Doc It!” showcase for documentary films by youth.

But to his surprise, he did, and last month, continued the editing process for his short film Game On in anticipation of his school’s own  ‘Just’ Docs Media Festival which takes place June 9.

“I hope they get some laughs, first of all,” Andrade said of the six-minute film. “And I hope it shows that (gaming) is a problem, even though our movie was very lighthearted.”

Faiths Act Fellows help spread the net

Tony Blair Faith FoundationSix Canadian youth of different faiths have helped the Tony Blair Faith Foundation to reach its $5-million , 500,000 malaria nets goal.

These six Faiths Act Fellows based in Toronto and Montreal were part of Canada’s inaugural Faiths Act Fellowship launched by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation and the Chicago-based Interfaith Youth Core. The interfaith initiative paired 30 young Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Sikhs and Humanists and was designed to show that when people of different religions work together to achieve the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, they can have a crucial role in reducing conflict and saving lives. The students spent the past 10 months building multi-faith relationships by encouraging different faith communities to work together to raise funds and awareness to tackle malaria and other global issues.

Youth writers gather for development, faith

Youth Speak News writersThe Catholic Register played host to its Youth Speak News correspondents in Toronto for a weekend of professional development, faith deepening and fun May 28-30.

Writers on this year’s team made their way to Toronto from as far away as St. John’s, Nfld., and Saskatoon, and from various cities across Eastern Ontario to deepen their knowledge of Catholic media in Canada.

Three dioceses, one goal

Catholic music artist Jesse ManibusanWinnipeg - The last time a Tri-Diocesan Youth Rally came to Winnipeg, the city was recovering from what is now called the “Flood of the Century.” There was another flood in Winnipeg on May 14, only it wasn’t with water — it was with 700 enthusiastic 10 and 11 year old who assembled to celebrate their faith.

“(The Tri-Diocesan Youth Rallies) have been a part of our history and we wanted to keep it going,” said Elisabeth Duggan, the director of youth ministry for the archdiocese of Winnipeg. Duggan was one of three hosts and organizers of the event, along with Pierre St. Amant and Tamara Lisowski, the directors of youth ministry for the archdiocese St. Boniface and the archeparchy of Winnipeg.

Christian-Jewish student group embraces Muslim peers

Centre for Jewish Catholic Muslim LearningLONDON, ONT. - A youth organization that has dedicated itself to promoting positive dialogue between Catholics and Jews is now doing the same with the Muslim community.

The Centre for Catholic Jewish Learning, an organization established to improve Catholic-Jewish relations at King’s University College in London, changed its name to the Centre for Jewish Catholic Muslim Learning (CJCML) this year.