Youth Speak News

{mosimage}TORONTO - In countries such as Canada, the Catholic Church may not be facing a crisis, but neither is it reaching its potential, says Richard Rymarz, a professor of theology at St. Joseph’s College at the University of Alberta.

Kim Gottfried, director of chaplaincy at Toronto’s Ryerson University, wants to change that.

Youth Speak News serving youth for 10 years

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Youth Speak News (YSN), a program run by The Catholic Register to bring you news about Catholic youth across the country.

Every year, YSN has featured a team of talented young writers from coast to coast, who provide our readers insight into youth events and issues, while sharing the challenges and triumphs they encounter in each of their personal faith journeys. In return, YSN offers them guidance in their writing, information gathering, photography and interviewing techniques.

Being pro-life in the Third World

BACALOD, Philippines - Growing up as a Catholic, I was always taught to consider life precious in all of its stages of development. To be honest, I felt that I did until I arrived in the Philippines.

Through my volunteer work in the Philippines, I met children that have been put through significant trauma in their precious short lives. As a child raised in Canada, it’s hard to even fathom what they have been through. It was in an orphanage in Bacolod where I learned their stories.

OCY launches leadership program

{mosimage}TORONTO - The Office of Catholic Youth is launching a leadership program this year to strengthen young leaders in their schools, parishes and communities.

The nine-month leadership training program is open to 16- to 19-year-olds in the archdiocese of Toronto and aims to develop their skills and equip them to be active witnesses of the Gospel not only in youth ministry but in all aspects of life.

Fashion show gives models their dignity back

{mosimage}TORONTO - Fashion and modesty shared the runway at the Pure Exposure fashion show Aug. 20.

The show, created by summer interns at Campaign Life Coalition in Toronto, featured a team of nearly 30 young models at the Woodbine Banquet and Convention Hall, with pulsing music and a classy backdrop for the benefit of pregnant mothers in need.

Fostering prayer on campus

I once prayed the rosary while sitting in a tree. That might sound a little bizarre, but as a student on a secular campus I often found myself getting creative in the search for a place to simply be with God.

A Filipino-made solution

TAGUIG CITY, Philippines - Two years ago I discovered a cultural revolution was happening in the Philippines. What I didn’t realize at the time was that it would inspire the world and transform my life forever.

This month, I landed in the Philippines to begin six months of work with the Gawad Kalinga movement. I will be working with the people of the GK Villages to help develop tourism as a means of livelihood in their communities. I will also be meeting and living with many of the families and documenting their stories to share with others.

Conquering your life's crows

I often struggle to separate myself from situations where I know that I will be tempted to turn away from my Christian values, especially when I’m sure that my friends will think differently of me. I’ve also felt guilty when I’d either neglect time with God for my friends, or vice versa.  

This guilty mentality finally stopped when I attended a Christian youth camp where a minister from Southfield, Michigan, named David John (DJ) delivered a talk called “It’s YOUR life.”

WYD journey in Sydney only the beginning

It has been one year since those glorious Australian sun-filled days when the streets of Sydney overflowed with faithful pilgrims from around the world. Thousands of pilgrims, Canadians included, arrived with hearts full of joy for World Youth Day 2008, one of the largest events  Australia has ever hosted.

WYD08 has had a deep and special impact on me. For two years, I had the privilege of working on the preparations for WYD08 and this exposed me to the beauty of the Universal Church. During my time at WYD I also learned the great importance of evangelization within the media and when used positively, the tremendous impact that it has on people’s faith journey.

Journey to the Father still strong after 10 years

{mosimage}ST. RAPHAEL’S, Ont. - Towering ruins of an 18th-century church, large white tents and a procession of the cross led by bagpipes represent for many teens the setting for “a really awesome time.”

At the roots of the English-speaking church in the province, amidst the rolling hills of St. Raphael’s (pronounced locally as St. “Raffles”), 500 teens and almost as many volunteers gather every year for an extreme boost in their faith journey. They come to attend Journey to the Father, a Catholic teen conference hosted by the diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall that features talks, workshops, adoration, Mass, the rosary, music led by The Mustard Seeds from Hanover, Ont., a talent show and more.

Cultural differences open Canadian student's eyes in Ecuador

{mosimage}It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments, standing at the base of Chimborazo, a dormant volcano, its snow-capped peak rising high above the Andes Mountains — just one of many once-in-a-lifetime experiences I had in Ecuador.

The magnificent scenery was one perk of joining 25 students from across North America to spend two-and-a-half weeks building a school with Free the Children, a charitable organization devoted to freeing children from poverty and exploitation.