Youth Speak News

{mosimage}MARKHAM, Ont. - When Louise Kent sang to about 300 St. Monica Catholic Elementary School pupils that “the power of youth is the power of truth,” the kids were paying attention.

“We should help them (the poor),” said Grade 7 student Katherine Paulino at the end of Kent’s two-hour preview of We Day. “They say it all the time, but we should really help them.”

“You’re helping to start a group in Grade 7, a whole group helping the world. But it could be everyone,” said student Renée Lam.

“When I grow up, I want to help the poor,” said Ivana Anderson.

Altar servers' club marks 20 years at Chinese parish

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Before his teen years, Robert Chan, 25, began attending Mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the Chinese parish of downtown Toronto for the past 40 years, and soon found a social haven with other Chinese youth in the altar servers’ club.

Little did he know that more than a decade later he would join hundreds at the altar servers’ club 20th anniversary Sept. 26 to celebrate a success story.

“I am really thankful for having the opportunity to see how our altar servers’ club developed over the years,” he told The Catholic Register. “It’s been a blessing to see the kids grow and to see them be inspired by actions of the senior members of the club and follow in their footsteps.”

World Youth Day fruits showing in Newfoundland

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Some say young people are not interested in their faith in Newfoundland, but throughout the past several years I’ve seen many signs of hope.

Prior to World Youth Day in Toronto in the summer of 2002, it was rare to see gatherings for young Catholics in Newfoundland. As a teenager I could not find anywhere to share my faith with people my age. Besides church-mandated activities such as sacramental preparation, meetings for Catholics were mostly attended by older people, even if they were designed for youth.

A vessel of love

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I joined my youth group for Street Patrol, feeding the poor on the streets of Toronto, in the hopes of helping someone’s troubled life. I thought if I could affect or enlighten at least one life, I would be eternally grateful. But I feel like I got something even better.

At first, I was terrified of being shunned or being emotionally or physically harmed as some homeless people are known to be unpredictable.

Aiming high so students reach spiritual potential

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{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

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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

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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

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{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

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{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

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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

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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.