Youth Speak News

{mosimage}A social networking site will offer humour as part of its Lenten program beginning Feb. 25.

Members of Xt3.com will be able to access a daily calendar that will include “daily readings, podcasts and music to give inspiration — and some laughter — during the 40 days of Lent,” according to a press release from the site.

Movies, motives, mamma mia!

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In my first lecture on religion and film in January, the professor had us question our attitudes towards culture through the use of movies. He said that film is the best medium to find out about the problems that exist within our culture. I agree with him, but only to an extent.

I saw his point about movies as the means for finding out problems in our culture, but as the class continued he failed to point out if it is necessary to have a lot of these problems exposed.

Mardi Gras time for OCY

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{mosimage}TORONTO - A Lenten/Mardi Gras retreat for teens will take place in Orillia, Ont., this year, as the archdiocese of Toronto’s Office of Catholic Youth strives to be more inclusive of its northern parishioners.

About 100 teens are expected to attend the Feb. 20-22 retreat which will feature a Mardi Gras dinner and dance on the Saturday night. They will experience catechesis sessions led by Toronto Auxiliary Bishop Peter Hundt at The Highwayman Inn & Conference Centre where the retreat takes place. They will be offered opportunities to deepen their faith in preparation for Lent with the help of a local music ministry team.

Goodness, discipline and knowledge

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{mosimage}Editor’s note: this is one of four honorary mentions for the Friars Student Writing Award contest sponsored by the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement and The Catholic Register. Patrick Colangelo, 16, is a Grade 11 student at St. Michael’s College School in Toronto.

Throughout the ages, Christians have been subjected to anguish, affliction and adversity at the hands of autocrats as a result of their faith and devotion in Christ. These martyrs of the faith are worthy of praise and recognition for their valour, pertinacity and fortitude during these despondent times.

Students learn leadership skills through humour

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Breakdancers, beatboxers and speakers took to the stage to entertain and motivate more than 460 elementary school students for the Intermediate Leaders in Training Event Jan. 30.

The event, held at Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton High School in Toronto, was the first leadership conference of its kind for Grade 7 and 8 students in the Toronto Catholic District School Board.

After students were led in a morning prayer, Bilaal Rajan, a 12-year-old motivational speaker and published Toronto author, encouraged students to follow their dream of making a difference.

Friendship first, dating later

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“Sam, do you have a boyfriend yet?” I hear this question more times than you would think. Most people are surprised that I have never gone on a date in all of my 16 years. I find that most people are confused by this, both people my own age and adults.

In today’s society, usually the idea is that if you are single you should be searching for a relationship because you can’t possibly live happily without one. I know that not every person believes this, but it can be seen in our books, movies, television, music and daily lives. The belief is that we can’t be content as singles. But is that really true?

Pro-life students face trespassing charges

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{mosimage}The University of Calgary has charged pro-life students with trespassing on campus for a controversial display they set up in November.

Members of the student club Campus Pro-Life (CPL) had set up a Genocide Awareness Project display Nov. 26 and 27 despite threats from the university of suspension, expulsion or arrest. The display included graphic images of aborted fetuses.

Christians must live by example

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{mosimage}Editor’s note: this is one of four honorary mentions for the Friars Student Writing Award contest sponsored by the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement and The Catholic Register. Anthony Labriola, 17, is a Grade 12 student at Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School in Oshawa.

Throughout His ministry, Jesus shattered cultural precepts. He ate with the tax collectors and prostitutes, acting as physician to the spiritually ailing. His gift of salvation has not been reserved for a select group. Even those who persecuted Christ at Calvary were not excluded from His prayers or beyond the reach of His compassion.

Teopoli camp seeking counsellors

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{mosimage}GRAVENHURST, Ont. - The Teopoli Summer Experience, like a summer kids camp but with spiritual formation, is currently recruiting counsellors (teachers), lifeguards and health care professionals to make this 33-year-old tradition continue.

The camp offers swimming, canoeing, arts and crafts, sports, music, culture, drama, theology, daily Holy Mass and rosary.

Uniting witnesses on campus

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{mosimage}ANCASTER, Ont. - “Thank you, Lord, for giving us food!” A chorus of voices could be heard down the main hall of Mount Mary Retreat Centre , as students sang “superman grace” at lunch time.

Sixty university students from across Canada had arrived, filled with enthusiasm, for the “Come to the Living Stone” conference in Ancaster, Ont. Jan. 22-25. This bi-annual student leadership conference, hosted by the Canadian Catholic Student Association , enabled student leaders to share a weekend of workshops, keynote addresses by vocational directors and youth workers, prayer, music, friendship and other activities.

Caring about the family

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Family. There is nothing so precious in this world as your family. While this may sound cliché and overused, it is true.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a family is “a group of individuals under one roof and usually under one head.” However, the most appropriate definition I believe is “a group of people united by certain convictions or a common affiliation.” I think this comes closer to the family that I am a part of. Whether it is saying “Grace” together before meals, sharing a prayer during the hard times or simply celebrating the Eucharist together at Mass, it adds only to the layers of family I share in.