Youth Speak News

{mosimage}In the wake of last year’s International Eucharistic Congress, Quebec City will come alive again May 15-18 with a bilingual youth summit focusing on the Eucharist and evangelization.

Titled “Mission-Era: St. Paul Style,” the youth summit will gather its projected 400 participants, ages 18-35, in the old city once again to offer formation in missionary work through a dozen different workshops. These will be offered by Catholic youth movements, ministries and communities such as Catholic Christian Outreach, Famille Marie-Jeunesse, Net Ministries and Salt + Light Television. The plan is to continue hosting this event annually.

Communion and Liberation bucks national trend

{mosimage}RICHMOND HILL, Ont. - It’s not exactly a typical Saturday night out for teens. But Gabriella Silano and 20 classmates and friends meet at St. Mary Immaculate Church in Richmond Hill every week to talk about faith.

Silano helped found the second Communion and Liberation youth group in Canada last year, also known as Gioventù Studentesca. A group that started out with three friends has now blossomed into 35 members, mostly from St. Theresa of Lisieux High School.

Canadian youth join fight against malaria

{mosimage}Eight Canadian youth have become Faiths Act Fellows in a program launched by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation in April.

They will join 22 other youth worldwide in the fight against malaria. They will receive training, gain hands-on experience in Africa and return to promote interfaith involvement on the global issue of malaria.

The initiative partnered here with the Belinda Stronach Foundation and the Interfaith Youth Core (IYC) in Chicago that will help train and support the youth. In Canada, the fellows will be hosted by the Multifaith Centre at the University of Toronto , the Micah Challenge Canada in Ottawa and the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism in Montreal.

Parishes need to engage youth

{mosimage}SAINT JOHN, N.B. - The diocese of Saint John was the second stop in a series of three youth ministry workshops, led by Neil MacCarthy, head of communications for the archdiocese of Toronto, April 24-26.

On his Saint John stop, at St. Ann’s parish, MacCarthy spoke about youth ministry and how to involve young people in the life of the church. The group was small, but extremely enthusiastic.

Teens 'lift Jesus higher' in Toronto

{mosimage}TORONTO - Hundreds of Ontario youth congregated in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for fellowship and praise at Catholic Renewal Ministries’ Lift Jesus Higher Youth Rally April 18.

This annual event, held in conjunction with the adult rally, drew 1,500 youth to celebrate this year’s theme, Divine Mercy.

Fifteen-year-old Oriana Vanderfleet, from St. John of the Cross parish in Mississauga, said she attended the all-day rally because it would be an interesting experience.

Teens share values, morals, ethics

{mosimage}TORONTO - Senator O’Connor College High School in North York hosted its fifth annual Building Bridges — Bridging the Gap event April 14.

With a theme of “What would Jesus Do?” the aim was to ease Grade eight students in the transition to high school, explain to the 285 students attending what it means to be a healthy citizen and teach them how God made everyone unique and for a reason.

Bramption youth bring Way of the Cross to life


{mosimage}BRAMPTON, Ont. - The congregation sat in semi-darkness in St. Jerome’s parish, silently awaiting the start of the devotional performance of the “Way of the Cross” by the parish’s youth. It was not a play, but rather an extended prayer that the members of the youth group performed on Good Friday.

Every year for the past decade, the youth have spent the better part of four months rehearsing and preparing spiritually for their re-enactment of the passion of Jesus Christ.

The Passion was narrated by Cheryl Saldanha, who voiced Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Loran award recognizes Ellie Jin's character

{mosimage}THORNHILL, Ont. - Ellie Jin’s future prospects have become a little brighter now that she’s been honoured with the Loran Award.

Each year the Loran Award, the premier scholarship of The Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation , is offered to 30 students throughout Canada based not only on grades but on their character, service and leadership, academic and extra-curricular activities and a strongly developed sense of inner direction and self-government. Jin was among those chosen.

“I found it humbling and staggering at the same time,” said Jin, a Grade 12 student at St. Elizabeth Catholic High School in Thornhill. “I was so moved. I will always walk forward knowing that someone had believed in me and wanted to invest in me.”

Survey looks for Catholic volunteer youth ministers

{mosimage}A national online study of the roles and needs of youth ministers completed last year has been revived in the hopes of reaching a greater percentage of volunteer youth ministers.

The survey, available online at or in French at , was launched again to get a better idea of the needs of volunteers since nearly 90 per cent of respondents to the original survey were paid youth ministers. Volunteer youth ministers may not necessarily have the same training or access to training resources, said Fr. Daniel Renaud, a professor at Saint Paul University in Ottawa who teaches a theology course in youth ministry.

Canadian Catholic Students' Week celebrated

{mosimage}Fourteen campuses across Canada celebrated Catholic Students’ Week March 23-27, hosting a variety of events that touched on catechesis, liturgy and mission.

This was the second year for the event, an initiative of the Canadian Catholic Students Association (CCSA) in collaboration with the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace.

Taizé retreat draws 300 to Saint Paul University

{mosimage}OTTAWA - The world-renowned Taizé form of prayer was practised by nearly 300 young people at Saint Paul University in Ottawa March 13-15.

Led by Brother Emile, the first Canadian to join the Taizé community as a brother in France, the retreat joined people in music, prayer and special readings, allowing them to connect with themselves and those around them. Although Brother Emile has been sharing Taizé with Canadians in retreats for more than a decade, the full weekend retreat has alternately been held in Montreal and Toronto for the past two years. This March, Brother Emile was to make only short visits to Montreal, Toronto, Peterborough and London for evening retreats.