Youth Speak News

For the past week or so, I’ve been living in an alternate reality — one common to many but foreign to me. I find myself writing now in a different room, a different house, a different city, a different province.

To expand my understanding of the world’s many cultures, I decided to start at home and learn French.  I have chosen to spend my summer in the small town of Chicoutimi, Que., in a French immersion program, where English is completely off limits. I am to speak (and write) only in French for the five weeks that I am here, while meeting new people, visiting new places and residing with a new family.

Christian-Jewish student group embraces Muslim peers

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Centre for Jewish Catholic Muslim LearningLONDON, ONT. - A youth organization that has dedicated itself to promoting positive dialogue between Catholics and Jews is now doing the same with the Muslim community.

The Centre for Catholic Jewish Learning, an organization established to improve Catholic-Jewish relations at King’s University College in London, changed its name to the Centre for Jewish Catholic Muslim Learning (CJCML) this year.

Battling indifference

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Recently, I heard a powerful message at school from a pro-life speaker named Nicole. She said that if a private pro-life stance was all it took to abolish abortion, then it could be achieved. Unfortunately, this is not enough, and so we are all called to be publicly pro-life.

I felt that in many ways I am already publicly pro-life. I defend the unborn when debates break out in class. I proudly attended a pro-life symposium held at another high school. However, Nicole’s message instilled in me a desire to raise more awareness of the gruesome reality of abortion.

Life is a musical and everyone's a star

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About a month ago, my little sister Anna found out that she got the leading role in the musical Annie. Her initial reaction? At first, Anna said nothing, then she screamed (with joy), and then she ran to every bedroom in the house — it was seven o’clock in the morning — and told everybody what happened.

Her reaction was really quite commonplace for a 10-year-old — natural, actually. But as ordinary as it may have seemed, Anna hit on a life-truth that day. I think Shakespeare alluded to it when he penned the famous line, “All the world’s a stage...”

OCY honours outstanding youth leaders

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Kelden FormosaMARKHAM, Ont. - Catholic youth leadership is alive and well in the archdiocese of Toronto.

The Office of Catholic Youth’s yearly banquet highlighted Catholic leadership, and gave a video look into the lives of six phenomenal young leaders from parishes throughout the archdiocese to the record crowd of 550.

Students prepare weekly for annual March for Life

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MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - Leading up to the annual March for Life in Ottawa, youth from across the country spend months busily preparing themselves for the event. And when they return home, the issue remains for many a priority.

pro-life club’s new awareness shirtsAt Our Lady of Mount Carmel Secondary School in Mississauga, a group of enthusiastic students was among the thousands of Catholic students who prepared for the annual pilgrimage, which took place May 13. Students who attend the March usually come back to share their experience and newfound knowledge with their peers. The school organized its first trip for the rally last year after history teacher Paul Medeiros inspired a class with a discussion comparing abortion to a modern Holocaust.

The gift of a retreat

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Last month, I got the greatest gift I never knew I needed: a break from my worries. As I went on my Grade 12 retreat, the reality set in that it would be my last high school-sponsored retreat before I head off to university. But it also ended up being one of the best.

When we arrived at Shadow Lake Outdoor Education Centre in Stouffville, Ont., we were met with a great view of the lake, a great sparkling blue gem surrounded by a thick, lush forest full of evergreen trees. The day consisted of fun activities that helped strengthen our spiritual relationships with Christ. It was relaxing and made me feel at ease, a place where we felt we could push busy thoughts out of mind.

St. Bon's an oasis of faith in St. John's, Nfld.

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St. Bonaventure’s CollegeST. JOHN’S, Nfld. - In a desert of secular schools, St. Bonaventure’s College is an oasis.

Started in 1856, one year after the consecration of the neighbouring Basilica of St. John the Baptist, the College has been an integral part of the fabric of St. John’s. In 1998, denominational education was ended in the province, and St. Bonaventure’s (St. Bon’s) was targeted for closure. However, the following year, without any government support, the school reopened as a private college. The 2009-2010 school year marks the 10th anniversary of this rebirth.

Malaria Day crosses religious divide

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Malaria DayTORONTO - Student advocates for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation mobilized their school communities to take action against malaria in cities around the world for World Malaria Day April 25.

The foundation, created by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, aims to promote respect and understanding about the world’s major religions and show how faith is a powerful force for good, using the eradication of malaria as a common goal. Students in Toronto were no exception.

Summit invites youth to be sent

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Ottawa Youth Summit 2010Canada’s capital will play host to its first Youth Summit this month, taking the torch from Quebec City which started hosting the youth gatherings in 2005.

The bilingual event in Ottawa May 21-24 promises to draw up to 500 young adults, ages 17-35, who will participate in activities and events centred around the theme “Sent!”

According to organizers, the theme is meant to bring participants to reflect on their personal role “as missionaries in today’s Church, particularly amidst other young adults.”

What youth lack in their relationship with God

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Dear youth: God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit exist. They are real, so is Mother Mary, and I have experienced their intercession in my life more times than I can count. The Bible is a living text, directly inspired by God, and I have been a witness to its truth. Wait, you don’t need me to tell you these things. You read publications like this one because you already know all this — because you are a believer.

As believers though, are we complete in our relationships with God simply because we know He exists? I can’t speak for the lot of us. However, based on experience, there are a few epiphanies I can share regarding what it is we — as youth — lack in our relationships with Him.