Youth Speak News

{mosimage}In the wake of last year’s International Eucharistic Congress, Quebec City will come alive again May 15-18 with a bilingual youth summit focusing on the Eucharist and evangelization.

Titled “Mission-Era: St. Paul Style,” the youth summit will gather its projected 400 participants, ages 18-35, in the old city once again to offer formation in missionary work through a dozen different workshops. These will be offered by Catholic youth movements, ministries and communities such as Catholic Christian Outreach, Famille Marie-Jeunesse, Net Ministries and Salt + Light Television. The plan is to continue hosting this event annually.

Communion and Liberation bucks national trend

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{mosimage}RICHMOND HILL, Ont. - It’s not exactly a typical Saturday night out for teens. But Gabriella Silano and 20 classmates and friends meet at St. Mary Immaculate Church in Richmond Hill every week to talk about faith.

Silano helped found the second Communion and Liberation youth group in Canada last year, also known as Gioventù Studentesca. A group that started out with three friends has now blossomed into 35 members, mostly from St. Theresa of Lisieux High School.


WYD 2002 ripples continue

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Since I first started participating in youth-related activities within my parish and diocese, just weeks prior to World Youth Day 2002, I have noticed a couple things. One is that twice as many youth are involved at my parish than when I was first starting. Secondly, everyone seems a little more keen on helping their community or openly sharing their faith with others.

Canadian youth join fight against malaria

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{mosimage}Eight Canadian youth have become Faiths Act Fellows in a program launched by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation in April.

They will join 22 other youth worldwide in the fight against malaria. They will receive training, gain hands-on experience in Africa and return to promote interfaith involvement on the global issue of malaria.

The initiative partnered here with the Belinda Stronach Foundation and the Interfaith Youth Core (IYC) in Chicago that will help train and support the youth. In Canada, the fellows will be hosted by the Multifaith Centre at the University of Toronto , the Micah Challenge Canada in Ottawa and the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism in Montreal.


Parishes need to engage youth

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{mosimage}SAINT JOHN, N.B. - The diocese of Saint John was the second stop in a series of three youth ministry workshops, led by Neil MacCarthy, head of communications for the archdiocese of Toronto, April 24-26.

On his Saint John stop, at St. Ann’s parish, MacCarthy spoke about youth ministry and how to involve young people in the life of the church. The group was small, but extremely enthusiastic.

Give Mom the gift of time

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{mosimage}Soon enough every son, daughter and father will be stressing out to find that last-minute Mother’s Day gift for the special woman in their life.

Most mothers will probably be expecting the cliché of Mother’s Day gifts: the bouquet of flowers. But let me give some advice for those gift-hunters. I suggest a gift that the mother in your life will cherish forever: time.

Teens 'lift Jesus higher' in Toronto

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Hundreds of Ontario youth congregated in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for fellowship and praise at Catholic Renewal Ministries’ Lift Jesus Higher Youth Rally April 18.

This annual event, held in conjunction with the adult rally, drew 1,500 youth to celebrate this year’s theme, Divine Mercy.

Fifteen-year-old Oriana Vanderfleet, from St. John of the Cross parish in Mississauga, said she attended the all-day rally because it would be an interesting experience.

Teens share values, morals, ethics

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Senator O’Connor College High School in North York hosted its fifth annual Building Bridges — Bridging the Gap event April 14.

With a theme of “What would Jesus Do?” the aim was to ease Grade eight students in the transition to high school, explain to the 285 students attending what it means to be a healthy citizen and teach them how God made everyone unique and for a reason.

Secure in His hands

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Faith is defined as a secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God’s will. I haven’t had to rely on pure faith very often. I have a secure and content life with very little uncertainty.

People talk about taking “leaps of faith,” but I cannot recall any instances when I’ve been required to do so. However, I will soon be entering the age where I am no longer living at home and am confronted with the adult world.

Bramption youth bring Way of the Cross to life

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{mosimage}BRAMPTON, Ont. - The congregation sat in semi-darkness in St. Jerome’s parish, silently awaiting the start of the devotional performance of the “Way of the Cross” by the parish’s youth. It was not a play, but rather an extended prayer that the members of the youth group performed on Good Friday.

Every year for the past decade, the youth have spent the better part of four months rehearsing and preparing spiritually for their re-enactment of the passion of Jesus Christ.

The Passion was narrated by Cheryl Saldanha, who voiced Mary, the mother of Jesus.

A religious sports fan’s internal conflict

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Toronto sports teams are recognized for their huge fan base. Whenever our teams are playing, we’re right there in the stands with them, supporting them through thick and thin. The people of Toronto support many teams, including the Leafs, Raptors, Blue Jays and Toronto FC.

But when does this passion for the game go too far? Is it right for someone to be more devoted to a sports team than their religion?