Youth Speak News

TORONTO - As she prepares to journey to South Africa this month, lay missionary Rachel Beggs says she is looking forward to caring for children with HIV/AIDS and teaching at a school run by the Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood in Marianhill, near Durban.

Beggs decided a year ago to volunteer overseas, an experience the 27-year-old piano teacher hopes  will help her find a job when she returns to Peterborough, Ont., at the end of August.

Scarboro Missions continues plans for youth component

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{mosimage}TORONTO - An attempt to connect youth with missionary work abroad has been put on hold as Scarboro Missions in Toronto re-evaluates its goals and financial abilities.

Scarboro Missions hired a youth liaison employee several months ago, but as Scarboro Missions identified a greater need for travel, the employee decided to pursue interests that would keep him closer to home.

Retreat teaches about faith and sex

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{mosimage}Summerside, P.E.I. - Twenty young men and women from across Prince Edward Island gathered at the Marguerite Bourgeoys Centre in Summerside for a youth retreat focusing on the messages of Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.

The Feb. 6-8 retreat was organized by Greg Herbert, Debbie Bulger and Monique Perry, all members of Right to Life, who used video sessions from a widespread program called “Theology of the Body for Teens.” The program discusses and simplifies the concepts from John Paul II’s original teachings to help participants understand that God created humans out of love and for love, for example, and that their bodies make this call to love visible just as sacraments make spiritual truths visible.

Scarborough youth diamonds in the rough

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{mosimage}TORONTO - It’s an upbeat part of the city with proud residents, but Scarborough’s lingering reputation as a bad place makes it a little too easy to overlook the booming number of active Catholic youth in the eastern part of Toronto.

While the local news stations are busy placing emphasis on the negativity that Scarborough’s past connotes, the priests and youth ministers there are hard at work, influencing the minds of the young people and transforming Scarborough youth groups into among the most active and flourishing ones in Toronto.

Singing with kids for kids

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{mosimage}BRAMPTON, Ont. - Gospel singer and songwriter Billy Grima sang powerful and uplifting songs of praise and reflection for the Kids for Kids concert on Feb. 7 at St. Anne’s Church here.

He sang accompanied by a choir of 20 children, also from St. Anne’s, who had been asked to participate by Grima and had been practising with him for a month. The concert was free, yet donations were accepted to raise money for Covenant House , an organization dedicated to helping runaway teenagers and street kids.

Christ's family must be His mosaic

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{mosimage}Editor’s note: this the last of four honourable mentions for the Friars Student Writing Award contest sponsored by the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement and The Catholic Register. Sarah Antony, 16, is a Grade 11 student at St. Joseph’s Morrow Park Catholic Secondary School in Toronto.

In the Scripture verse, “That they may be one in your hand,” God is calling all followers of Christ to unite in His name. The verse specifically refers to two sticks, one representing the tribe of Judah and the other representing Israel, to be one in God’s hands.

Unity requires prayer and sacrifice

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{mosimage}Editor’s note: this is one of four honorary mentions for the Friars Student Writing Award contest sponsored by the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement and The Catholic Register. Michael Kirley, 17, is a Grade 12 student at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School in Lindsay, Ont.

The words, “That they may be one in your hand” (Ezekiel 37:17), resound throughout the ages both as a timeless message of hope for, and a challenge to, the disciples of Jesus everywhere.

Xt3 brings Lenten comedy relief

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{mosimage}A social networking site will offer humour as part of its Lenten program beginning Feb. 25.

Members of Xt3.com will be able to access a daily calendar that will include “daily readings, podcasts and music to give inspiration — and some laughter — during the 40 days of Lent,” according to a press release from the site.

Mardi Gras time for OCY

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{mosimage}TORONTO - A Lenten/Mardi Gras retreat for teens will take place in Orillia, Ont., this year, as the archdiocese of Toronto’s Office of Catholic Youth strives to be more inclusive of its northern parishioners.

About 100 teens are expected to attend the Feb. 20-22 retreat which will feature a Mardi Gras dinner and dance on the Saturday night. They will experience catechesis sessions led by Toronto Auxiliary Bishop Peter Hundt at The Highwayman Inn & Conference Centre where the retreat takes place. They will be offered opportunities to deepen their faith in preparation for Lent with the help of a local music ministry team.

Goodness, discipline and knowledge

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{mosimage}Editor’s note: this is one of four honorary mentions for the Friars Student Writing Award contest sponsored by the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement and The Catholic Register. Patrick Colangelo, 16, is a Grade 11 student at St. Michael’s College School in Toronto.

Throughout the ages, Christians have been subjected to anguish, affliction and adversity at the hands of autocrats as a result of their faith and devotion in Christ. These martyrs of the faith are worthy of praise and recognition for their valour, pertinacity and fortitude during these despondent times.

Students learn leadership skills through humour

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Breakdancers, beatboxers and speakers took to the stage to entertain and motivate more than 460 elementary school students for the Intermediate Leaders in Training Event Jan. 30.

The event, held at Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton High School in Toronto, was the first leadership conference of its kind for Grade 7 and 8 students in the Toronto Catholic District School Board.

After students were led in a morning prayer, Bilaal Rajan, a 12-year-old motivational speaker and published Toronto author, encouraged students to follow their dream of making a difference.