Youth Speak News

{mosimage}OSHAWA, Ont. - Providing a ministry of presence to post-secondary students is something that Deacon Bill Letterio considers the greatest aspect of Christian witness — and also the newest.

Letterio single-handedly started up a chaplaincy from scratch at Durham College at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) this past fall.

Aiding AIDS orphans in Swaziland

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{mosimage}BEACONSFIELD, Que. - At first glance, Sara Brouillette, 18, does not seem any different from other CEGEP students in Quebec, expressing worried chatter about the overload of last-minute assignments and exams.

But as soon as she begins to speak about Swaziland, it is obvious there is more to this young woman than meets the eye.

Christmas spirit in a rose

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While in Halifax for the holidays, I was given an unexpected lesson in gift-giving from a stranger.

I was having dinner at a downtown restaurant with my family when I encountered what I consider my dose of Christmas spirit for the season.

Christmas gift ideas

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{mosimage}Christmas gifts don’t have to be expensive to be heartfelt and generous. With Christmas day upon us, there is still plenty of time to put together something memorable. To help you out, members of the Youth Speak News team have kindly shared some of their favourite gift and wrapping ideas that are   meaningful and different.

Redeemer pro-life club off to successful start

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{mosimage}ANCASTER, Ont. - They call themselves Humanae Heartbeat. With the support of the school and classmates at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, outside of Hamilton, students Allie Klassen and Jessica Dunn have re-established the school’s pro-life club, which had collapsed last year due to a lack of proper leadership.

There are already approximately 50 members in the club, many of whom attend meetings on a bi-weekly basis since the club began in September.

Using the weapon of words

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I have always enjoyed meals when my entire family is present. The laughter is contagious and we all relish revisiting memories and experiences.

The topics I look forward to the most are more serious topics like politics or world issues. This is because my views and opinions would always build up and I would want to contribute. Yet because of my age, views were automatically labelled unimportant and then ignored by the older members of my family. Accepting defeat, I would then hide my frustration by concentrating on the meal before me.

A pie in the eye for spectacular efforts

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{mosimage}Being taped to the wall or having pies thrown at you by your students aren’t exactly part of the job description of being a Catholic school principal.

But for Daphne Brumwell of Sacred Heart Catholic School in Timmins, Ont., the pie-throwing and wall-taping events were all for a good cause.

A passion for youth and chastity

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{mosimage}CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Life is full of decisions and questions about issues like faith, love, sex and human dignity. Dr. Coleen Kelly Mast saw the need for youth to have the answers to these important questions and she took up the challenge.

Mast, wife and mother of five, works as a call-in talk show host for a Catholic broadcasting station called Ave Maria radio. She has written two chastity education programs, available internationally, called Love &Life and Sex Respect, which include videos, books and training seminars. She has been a guest on Oprah, Mother Angelica Live, 60 Minutes and Geraldo, and leads conferences across North America — most recently a women’s conference on hope and the culture of death in Charlottetown.

Confirmation pilgrims take to Saint John streets

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{mosimage}SAINT JOHN, N.B. - Preparing for the sacrament of Confirmation doesn’t usually mean joining 600 other youth for a day of talks and a walking pilgrimage through city streets.

But in Saint John, that is exactly what students did, converging at St. Malachy’s High School from towns across the diocese.

Finding Gross National Love

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“My brothers, what use is it for a man to say he has faith when he does nothing to show it? Can that faith save him? Suppose a brother or a sister is in rags with not enough food for the day, and one of you says, ‘Good luck to you, keep yourselves warm, and have plenty to eat,’ but does nothing to supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So with faith; if it does not lead to action, it is in itself a lifeless thing.” (James 2:14-17)

I thought this passage from the Bible was a good reminder of our call to action as Christians during these tough economic times as we approach the Christmas season.

Joining in solidarity for Attawapiskat

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TORONTO - The children of Attawapiskat, Ont., have no school and attend classes in portables where the doors sometimes freeze shut, students wear their winter jackets to class and mice run over their lunches. The dropouts in this small community near James Bay begin as early as Grade 4.

“But I want to also tell you about the determination in our community to build a better world,” grade-school student Shannen Koostachin told a crowd of about 450 students and teachers from Toronto Catholic schools Nov. 26.