Youth Speak News

{mosimage}TORONTO - The Catholic Children’s Aid Society awarded its latest 84 scholarships totalling more than $180,000 to students who were enrolled in a postsecondary program Aug. 27.

Over the past four years, the society has more than doubled the number of scholarships that it has given out to students formerly in its care.

But for many students, like Allison Kretschmer, 24, the opportunity to merely attend school, let alone receive a scholarship for it, once seemed like an unattainable dream.

The evolution of NET in Canada

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{mosimage}OTTAWA - Fourteen years have passed since James Mikulasik took his training with NET Ministries in the United States and founded NET Canada.

Since then, NET (National Evangelization Team) Ministries of Canada has grown into several full-time travelling teams — of which one is now bilingual — several parish teams, an offshoot ministry in Ireland and a music and youth ministry training program.

Let's talk about love

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{mosimage}The University of Guelph was alive with talk on love during the 10th annual CFC Singles for Christ (SFC) and Youth for Christ (YFC) combined national conference Aug. 15-17.

Pros and cons of life in youth ministry

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{mosimage}CALGARY - The position of youth minister, often vital to parish life, can be overlooked or undervalued. It requires long hours, evening and weekend work, dedication, patience and a love for children and adolescents alike.

Daunting as it sounds, many youth ministry co-ordinators in the Calgary diocese allow the pros to outweigh the cons.

Students dig deep for Wells of Hope

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{mosimage}Ted van der Zalm of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., is someone who knows very well the definition of giving. In 2004, he started Wells of Hope, a not-for-profit charity dedicated to helping people in Guatemala by drilling wells for fresh water and providing the necessities of survival.

“God doesn’t look at how much we’ve given, but how much we have left back,” van der Zalm said. “It’s a call not to give until it’s convenient, but until it hurts.”

Conducting the Masses for God

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{mosimage}TORONTO - With his back to the congregation, waving his arms to keep the choir synchronized, it’s difficult to tell that Matthew Otto is merely 22. More surprising is the fact he is also the director of music, overseeing musicians for all the Masses at the Newman Centre’s St. Thomas Aquinas Church.

WYD: a movement for justice and the common good

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SYDNEY, Australia - As I got up this morning, I realized that not only was I leaving tomorrow but I hadn't started packing. Earlier this week, I happened to tear a fairly big hole in my suitcase which had me debating whether or not to buy a new one. I thought I would be in trouble, but with the help of a luggage strap and duct tape, I should be fine for the flight.

Channelling the WYD spirit in Midland

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{mosimage}MIDLAND, Ont. - As 400 young pilgrims packed the historic Martyrs’ Shrine church, outside the thunder rolled, the rain poured and lightning zigzagged across the sky. Wind from two open doors ruffled the altar cloths providing the only relief in the hot and humid air.

It was close to midnight, July 17, and high school and university-aged pilgrims attending the Ontario Regional World Youth Day event were supposed to be watching footage of the Pope’s arrival in Sydney, Australia, via a large outdoor screen by the Shrine grounds’ main stage. Instead, they were praying the rosary, sharing stories and singing praises to God.

The trek to Randwick and Vigil

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For Saturday, July 19

SYDNEY, Australia - Many pilgrims at Randwick thought I was crazy for wearing just a t-shirt and pair of pants outside. But after realizing that temperatures weren't that balmy, I drew out a sweater and an extra pair of socks just before I called it a night after the vigil.

Papal messages at the Randwick Racecourse

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For Sunday, July 20

SYDNEY, Australia - Last night, World Youth Day pilgrims fell asleep under a halo. There was a perfect circle of light around the moon and in that circle, there were no clouds, so the sky was darker in the circle around the moon than outside of the circle of light.

The Call

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For Friday, July 18

SYDNEY, Australia - Ottawa pilgrim Melissa Delaney shared her personal testimony with us. She talked about how she would run away when she felt called by God. She had everything figured out for herself and she didn't want to give her life over to God. She wanted control and filled the void with relationships, drugs and alcohol and quickly became addicted.