Youth Speak News

{mosimage}TORONTO - Joshua Lowe has taken the first prize in the seventh annual Friars’ Student Writing Award contest for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. (See here for Joshua's essay )

The Grade 11 student at St. Augustine Catholic High School in Markham, Ont., was one of more than 70 high school students between the ages of 14 and 18 who competed by submitting a 500-word essay on ecumenism.

Entering the new year with Jesus

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Six hundred youth from across Canada ended the year by attending workshops, praying and reflecting on their faith at Catholic Christian Outreach ’s annual Rise Up Conference.

The Dec. 28-Jan. 1 conference, held this year at the Marriott Eaton Centre Hotel in downtown Toronto, built up to a New Year’s Eve party during which Salt + Light Television CEO Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., interviewed the niece of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassatti, Wanda Gawronska, live onstage.

Deacon starts campus Catholic chaplaincy

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{mosimage}OSHAWA, Ont. - Providing a ministry of presence to post-secondary students is something that Deacon Bill Letterio considers the greatest aspect of Christian witness — and also the newest.

Letterio single-handedly started up a chaplaincy from scratch at Durham College at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) this past fall.

Aiding AIDS orphans in Swaziland

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{mosimage}BEACONSFIELD, Que. - At first glance, Sara Brouillette, 18, does not seem any different from other CEGEP students in Quebec, expressing worried chatter about the overload of last-minute assignments and exams.

But as soon as she begins to speak about Swaziland, it is obvious there is more to this young woman than meets the eye.

Christmas gift ideas

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{mosimage}Christmas gifts don’t have to be expensive to be heartfelt and generous. With Christmas day upon us, there is still plenty of time to put together something memorable. To help you out, members of the Youth Speak News team have kindly shared some of their favourite gift and wrapping ideas that are   meaningful and different.

Redeemer pro-life club off to successful start

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{mosimage}ANCASTER, Ont. - They call themselves Humanae Heartbeat. With the support of the school and classmates at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, outside of Hamilton, students Allie Klassen and Jessica Dunn have re-established the school’s pro-life club, which had collapsed last year due to a lack of proper leadership.

There are already approximately 50 members in the club, many of whom attend meetings on a bi-weekly basis since the club began in September.

A pie in the eye for spectacular efforts

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{mosimage}Being taped to the wall or having pies thrown at you by your students aren’t exactly part of the job description of being a Catholic school principal.

But for Daphne Brumwell of Sacred Heart Catholic School in Timmins, Ont., the pie-throwing and wall-taping events were all for a good cause.

A passion for youth and chastity

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{mosimage}CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Life is full of decisions and questions about issues like faith, love, sex and human dignity. Dr. Coleen Kelly Mast saw the need for youth to have the answers to these important questions and she took up the challenge.

Mast, wife and mother of five, works as a call-in talk show host for a Catholic broadcasting station called Ave Maria radio. She has written two chastity education programs, available internationally, called Love &Life and Sex Respect, which include videos, books and training seminars. She has been a guest on Oprah, Mother Angelica Live, 60 Minutes and Geraldo, and leads conferences across North America — most recently a women’s conference on hope and the culture of death in Charlottetown.

Confirmation pilgrims take to Saint John streets

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{mosimage}SAINT JOHN, N.B. - Preparing for the sacrament of Confirmation doesn’t usually mean joining 600 other youth for a day of talks and a walking pilgrimage through city streets.

But in Saint John, that is exactly what students did, converging at St. Malachy’s High School from towns across the diocese.

Joining in solidarity for Attawapiskat

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TORONTO - The children of Attawapiskat, Ont., have no school and attend classes in portables where the doors sometimes freeze shut, students wear their winter jackets to class and mice run over their lunches. The dropouts in this small community near James Bay begin as early as Grade 4.

“But I want to also tell you about the determination in our community to build a better world,” grade-school student Shannen Koostachin told a crowd of about 450 students and teachers from Toronto Catholic schools Nov. 26.

Learning about Latin America firsthand

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{mosimage}OTTAWA  - Some call it an act of charity while others call it an act of compassion. But for Fr. David Shulist, S.J., Catholic chaplain at Carleton University in Ottawa, travelling to Latin America — to learn from the locals and help in whatever ways he and his students can — is an act of being human.

Shulist is the program director of the mission project Global Connections, an initiative run by Catholic chaplains in Canada to educate students about worldly conditions through trips to developing countries.