Youth Speak News

{mosimage}TORONTO - Two students from Blessed Mother Teresa High School in Scarborough got to follow in the footsteps of their school’s namesake this year as they joined nine other students in a trip to India.

The students visited missionary projects run by the Loretto Sisters and visited locations that had strong ties to Blessed Mother Teresa, who was a Loretto Sister before she founded the Missionaries of Charity. The first-time trip was made in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Lorettos.

Sherbrooke youth to host four-day faith event

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{mosimage}Famille Marie Jeunesse will welcome 300 youth to join them for its 20th Youth Council — a bilingual weekend of prayer, skits, teachings and more, taking place June 26-29.

Famille Marie-Jeunesse is a movement of lay and consecrated young people living in community in Sherbrooke, Que. The community follows a Marian and eucharistic spirituality and is one of five similar households around the world.

Teen Bible study focuses on Jean Vanier

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{mosimage}TORONTO - L’Arche Canada has published a youth Bible study to inspire teens and help them find their calling in life.

Exploring Your Future: A Youth Bible Study with Jean Vanier aims to help teens counter the bad influences that can throw them off the path to success.

“The youth of today are the adults of tomorrow,” said Jessica Vorstermans, an educational initiatives facilitator for L’Arche Canada, based in Toronto.

World Youth Alliance forms Canadian committee

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{mosimage}As the World Youth Alliance (WYA) celebrates the tenth anniversary of its founding in New York City, it also prepares to add another committee to its ranks — the first and only Canadian committee.

“This national committee will allow WYA to better respond to the issues the Canadians uniquely face as barriers to further development and allow WYA to be able to communicate more effectively with its members,” said Seanna Magee, a Catholic resident of Toronto who interned with WYA’s headquarters in 2005 and will be spearheading the new committee with the help of WYA’s North American director.

Peer support, a recipe for success

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{mosimage}TORONTO - At Neil McNeil High School the popular phrase of “youth empowering youth” is taken seriously.

Not only are senior students at the all-boys school motivated to lead by example as big brothers helping the junior students socially and emotionally, but they have also helped their peers shine academically through their peer support program which recently won their school’s leadership team a Premiers’ Award for Teaching Excellence.

The program was developed several years ago after the school partnered with the Search Institute, a non-profit action research organization in the United States. Search provides leadership, knowledge, resources and a framework of developmental assets as a way to assess the health and well-being of young people.

Teens encounter Christ on P.E.I.

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{mosimage}RUSTICO, P.E.I. - The floors shook at Belcourt Centre in Rustico as 47 youth from across the island jumped in unison to a song in the centre’s chapel. The teens, ages 16 and up, gathered May 15-17 for the bi-annual 2009 Teen Encounter retreat.

Teen Encounter is a unique, relationship-based retreat for Catholic youth, led by youth under the supervision of spiritual directors. It is all about “helping teens form healthy relationships with Jesus, themselves and others,” said Sr. Joan Chaisson, who with Fr. John Molina acted as spiritual advisors throughout the weekend.

Catholic scouts celebrate 10 years

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{mosimage}TORONTO - The Federation of North-American Explorers (FNE) in Toronto is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

European contacts who helped Canadians establish the Catholic faith-based youth movement were in Toronto this spring to share in the excitement.

“There is great potential here if we compare it with the Western countries,” said Giovanni Franchi, the Italian Federal President of the International Union of European Guides and Scouts (FSE) on which FNE bases its program.


Winnipeg students experience Toronto social justice

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TORONTO - The swine flu outbreak in Mexico gave four students from St. Paul’s College at the University of Manitoba a chance to discover social justice issues in Toronto.

“It was a real blessing,” said Lori Ryan, the national co-ordinator of Canadian Catholic Campus Ministry and Catholic Campus Students Association . “I felt that God strongly wanted us to do this. This trip speaks to the incredible work being done in Toronto.”


Serving St. Francis' Table for 20 years

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Fr. Bressani Catholic High School in Woodbridge has sent students on an after-school trek to help the poor in Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood every week for the past 20 years.

One of five Toronto-area schools that commit to helping St. Francis Table on a weekly basis, Fr. Bressani has the longest tenure.

Ottawa to host next Youth Summit

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{mosimage}QUEBEC CITY - The Youth Summit, a rally started in Quebec City in 2005 to prepare for the International Eucharistic Congress last year, will take place for the first time in Ottawa next year.

Cardinal Marc Ouellet was to make the announcement during the conclusion of this year’s rally May 18.

Catholic youth in Quebec had requested that the Youth Summit continue as an event to not only draw youth to the Eucharist but empower them in the various aspects of evangelization such as social justice outreach, faith outreach and prayer.

Toronto District students help tackle poverty

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Former Toronto Argonauts cornerback Adrion Smith teamed up with The Angel Foundation for Learning to tackle child poverty in its ninth annual 5-km walk on May 3.

Some 600 Toronto Catholic District School Board students, parents and teachers raised $25,000 through the walk, which started and finished at the Catholic Education Centre.

The Angel Foundation for Learning, established in 1987 by a group of Toronto trustees, tries to ensure underprivileged TCDSB students receive a successful education by providing them with essential needs such as eyeglasses, hearing aids, proper nutritional programs and emergency medical necessities.