Youth Speak News

{mosimage}BRAMPTON - Campuses, parishes and schools across Canada took part in a 25-hour education and fundraising fast to increase awareness about global issues and to raise funds for those causes.

The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace fast, commonly known as THINKfast, is a growing national initiative.

Canadian youth mission to the Philippines

{mosimage}In August, the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace will take its first combined French-English group of young adults to the Philippines.

The “Young Adult Solidarity Trip” aims to expose young adults to the reality of the global south and teach first-hand what Development and Peace does through its programs and partners.

Schoenstatt meets Winnipeg

{mosimage}WINNIPEG - On Oct. 18, 1914, in a small chapel sitting in a valley in Schönstatt, Germany, Fr. Joseph Kentenich called a meeting with a group of young men from a seminary nearby. During the meeting, 29-year-old Kentenich and the young men prayed together and offered what they called a “Covenant of Love” to the Blessed Virgin Mary. With that act began a community they hoped would bring spiritual renewal to the Catholic Church.

Fast forward 96 years.

Taizé continues to inspire

{mosimage}TORONTO - More than 300 people gathered at the midtown Holy Rosary Church March 5 for the archdiocese’s annual ecumenical Taizé event, led by Br. Emile of Taizé, France.

Christians of different traditions celebrated an evening with the music and prayer of Taizé, characterized by short and reflective songs that are repeated in a meditative manner, translated into several different languages.

You are witnesses to these things

{mosimage}Editor’s note: This is the third place entry for the Friars Student Writing Award contest sponsored by the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement and The Catholic Register. Thien-An Nguyen, 17, is a Grade 12 student at Loretto Abbey Catholic Secondary School in Toronto.

“You are witnesses to these things” (Luke 24: 48). While some manuscripts unfortunately omit “witness” from their texts, this seven-letter word contains an insight on what it means to be a Christian that St. Luke may not have even perceived. In fact, the term “witness” may be more appropriate now than ever in describing Christianity.

World Youth Alliance active and growing in Canada

{mosimage}TORONTO - The Canadian committee of the World Youth Alliance marked its recent inception by hosting speakers Feb. 27 on the topic of refugees, immigrants and multiculturalism in Canada.

The World Youth Alliance, based in New York City, is an international body of youth promoting human dignity at the United Nations and in communities around the globe. The conference was the third of its kind — similar conferences were held in 2008 and 2009 in Ottawa and New York City — but the first planned and executed by an organized Canadian committee.

Being a witness for Christ means loving others

{mosimage}Editor’s note: This is the second place entry for the Friars Student Writing Award contest sponsored by the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement and The Catholic Register. Katie Gillis, 18, is a Grade 12 student at Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School in Whitby, Ont.

“You are witnesses to these things” (Luke 24:48).

This Scripture passage is the guideline for what we, as Christians, are being called to do. God has been calling us to love one another since the start of time. One could argue this is our vocation which we are meant to fulfill throughout our lifetime. Whether young or old, all people of God are called to love one another as they want to be loved, and treat one another as they wish to be treated.

Witnesses joyfully spread the love of God's truth

{mosimage}Editor’s note: This is the winning entry for the Friars essay contest.

After Jesus rose from the dead and made Himself known to His disciples in Jerusalem, He gave them a mission that He invites us to partake in as well. We, too, need to tell the truth and we are called to do it joyfully.   

When Jesus appeared to His disciples He allowed them to hear His voice, see His body and touch His wounds. By engaging in this intimate verification of their Lord, the disciples realized that their beloved teacher was in their midst. With Jesus’ appearance, they not only became witnesses to the Resurrection, they became witnesses to the truth of Jesus’ entire life and ministry. All He has told them is true.  Jesus said, “You are witnesses to these things.” Jesus meant that the disciples had seen the truth. They were obliged, impelled to tell what they know. Jesus challenged them to do so. By calling the disciples to be witnesses, Jesus united them together in Himself.

Friars' Student Writing Award contest leads youth to Scriptures

{mosimage}Sarah Robinson of Port Dover, Ont., has taken first prize in the eighth annual Friars’ Student Writing Award contest for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

The Grade 11 student from Holy Trinity Catholic School was awarded an iPod touch for her essay that focused on the biblical passage “You are witnesses to these things.”

“For those who participated, it does send them back to the Scripture which is an important experience for the youth of today, and it’s one of the goals the archbishop has cited for Catholic education,” said Fr. Damian MacPherson, SA, director for ecumenical and interfaith affairs for the archdiocese of Toronto.”

Youth focus on euthanasia

{mosimage}With Bill C-384 slated for a second hour of debate once Parliament resumes, students are joining in the fight to prevent the passage of a bill that would legalize euthanasia in Canada.

Nathan Welch is one such student. Welch lives in London, Ont., and studies social work at the University of Western Ontario. He is a leader in his campus pro-life club.

Youthfest explores vocation call

{mosimage}During the mid-1800s, Italian priest Fr. John Bosco was determined to get youth to come into deeper communion with Jesus Christ.

Bosco put on elaborate shows and performed acrobatics like juggling and tightrope walking. After wowing them with his  feats, he would share the Gospel with youth, touching their hearts and changing their lives.