Youth Speak News

{mosimage}TORONTO - Twenty-five years ago, the Presentation Brothers became involved at Brebeuf College, introducing the all-boys high school to the most “Christ-like man it’s every seen.”

Brother Henry Spencer is a great influence on the school’s students and staff, said gifted and enrichment teacher Michael Da Costa of his former teacher and now co-worker. 

Redeemer Pacific College marks 10 years

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{mosimage}LANGLEY, B.C. - Ten years ago, Tom Hamel responded to the need for Catholic higher education in British Columbia by founding Redeemer Pacific College , where he is now president.

As the university celebrates its milestone anniversary this month, Hamel reflects on both the challenges and joys of founding and running a “ground-breaking” college.

It's no time to lose faith

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{mosimage}October has started out as a difficult month for Catholics in Antigonish and for those of us in New Brunswick too. The news of Bishop Raymond Lahey facing child pornography charges has been hard for all of us to accept. It is devastating to think that somebody in such a position of trust and respect would possess child pornography, especially when he had just been working to help victims of child abuse.

Watching the news and reading people’s comments online, it seems that many people have lost faith not only in Bishop Lahey, but in other priests, bishops and the Catholic Church itself.

Debating God's existence on campus

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{mosimage}OTTAWA - Campus for Christ, a worldwide Christian campus organization that has a group at Ottawa’s Carleton University, organized its second debate in four years to debate the question many have pondered over the years.

The recent debate “Does God Exist?” drew more than 100 students.

Campus for Christ paired up with the secular campus group Free Thought and the Centre of Inquiry in Toronto to bring in two speakers to face off. Representing Campus for Christ was Evangelical Rev. Joe Boot, while atheist professor Ronald De Souza took the Free Thought position.

Toronto student charity helps out '1 Step @ a Time'

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{mosimage}TORONTO - There is one Grade 11 physics class that Natalia Blicharska and Mariya Kolomiyets are certain they will never forget.

It was during this class in December 2008 that they had the brilliant idea to start their own charity. The charity’s name — 1 Step @ a Time — is reflective of their philosophy that they must first serve the needs of Torontonians before helping others globally.

Students honour the late Fr. Zorzi with walk

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Nine-hundred students at St. Michael’s College School walked to conquer cancer at their first event in honour of a beloved past school president.

The students raised $17,000 which they will donate to Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation on behalf of the late Fr. Daniel Zorzi, C.S.B., their school president who died of cancer at the age of 48 in January.

Kids understand message of We Day

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{mosimage}MARKHAM, Ont. - When Louise Kent sang to about 300 St. Monica Catholic Elementary School pupils that “the power of youth is the power of truth,” the kids were paying attention.

“We should help them (the poor),” said Grade 7 student Katherine Paulino at the end of Kent’s two-hour preview of We Day. “They say it all the time, but we should really help them.”

“You’re helping to start a group in Grade 7, a whole group helping the world. But it could be everyone,” said student Renée Lam.

“When I grow up, I want to help the poor,” said Ivana Anderson.

Altar servers' club marks 20 years at Chinese parish

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Before his teen years, Robert Chan, 25, began attending Mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the Chinese parish of downtown Toronto for the past 40 years, and soon found a social haven with other Chinese youth in the altar servers’ club.

Little did he know that more than a decade later he would join hundreds at the altar servers’ club 20th anniversary Sept. 26 to celebrate a success story.

“I am really thankful for having the opportunity to see how our altar servers’ club developed over the years,” he told The Catholic Register. “It’s been a blessing to see the kids grow and to see them be inspired by actions of the senior members of the club and follow in their footsteps.”

Aiming high so students reach spiritual potential

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{mosimage}TORONTO - In countries such as Canada, the Catholic Church may not be facing a crisis, but neither is it reaching its potential, says Richard Rymarz, a professor of theology at St. Joseph’s College at the University of Alberta.

Kim Gottfried, director of chaplaincy at Toronto’s Ryerson University, wants to change that.

Youth Speak News serving youth for 10 years

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This year marks the 10th anniversary of Youth Speak News (YSN), a program run by The Catholic Register to bring you news about Catholic youth across the country.

Every year, YSN has featured a team of talented young writers from coast to coast, who provide our readers insight into youth events and issues, while sharing the challenges and triumphs they encounter in each of their personal faith journeys. In return, YSN offers them guidance in their writing, information gathering, photography and interviewing techniques.

OCY launches leadership program

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{mosimage}TORONTO - The Office of Catholic Youth is launching a leadership program this year to strengthen young leaders in their schools, parishes and communities.

The nine-month leadership training program is open to 16- to 19-year-olds in the archdiocese of Toronto and aims to develop their skills and equip them to be active witnesses of the Gospel not only in youth ministry but in all aspects of life.