Youth Speak News

{mosimage}TORONTO - Fr. Bressani Catholic High School in Woodbridge has sent students on an after-school trek to help the poor in Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood every week for the past 20 years.

One of five Toronto-area schools that commit to helping St. Francis Table on a weekly basis, Fr. Bressani has the longest tenure.

Ottawa to host next Youth Summit

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{mosimage}QUEBEC CITY - The Youth Summit, a rally started in Quebec City in 2005 to prepare for the International Eucharistic Congress last year, will take place for the first time in Ottawa next year.

Cardinal Marc Ouellet was to make the announcement during the conclusion of this year’s rally May 18.

Catholic youth in Quebec had requested that the Youth Summit continue as an event to not only draw youth to the Eucharist but empower them in the various aspects of evangelization such as social justice outreach, faith outreach and prayer.

Toronto District students help tackle poverty

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Former Toronto Argonauts cornerback Adrion Smith teamed up with The Angel Foundation for Learning to tackle child poverty in its ninth annual 5-km walk on May 3.

Some 600 Toronto Catholic District School Board students, parents and teachers raised $25,000 through the walk, which started and finished at the Catholic Education Centre.

The Angel Foundation for Learning, established in 1987 by a group of Toronto trustees, tries to ensure underprivileged TCDSB students receive a successful education by providing them with essential needs such as eyeglasses, hearing aids, proper nutritional programs and emergency medical necessities.


Re-evaluating time travel

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Long ago, a friend asked me if I would ever want the ability to time travel. At the time, I  eagerly responded “yes.” I could only envision the many great advantages, going back to erase all those embarrassing moments, take risks I was too scared to take and refuse other actions that did nothing to benefit my life. I could remove any harmful words that escaped my lips or offer advice that I didn’t have at the time.

It wasn’t until much later that I recalled my answer and re-evaluated my hasty decision. Although the thought of erasing past mistakes seemed appealing, I began to question if this was wise. Did I truly want to alter part of my life?

Youth summit teaches evangelization, adoration

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{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.