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manger.pngEditor’s note: If you are scrambling for gift ideas during this third week of Advent let us assure you that there is an alternative to the cult of shopping mall madness. We challenge you to root through our free or inexpensive homemade last-minute gift ideas guide. Give with a social and ecological conscience in the spirit of Bishop St. Nicholas of Myra whose compassionate generosity, albeit twisted by our modern day consumer culture, points to a greater reality — the greatest gift of all: the coming of Jesus Christ.

Happy Advent
from the Youth Speak News Team

Ottawa archbishop shares his vision for youth

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prendergastOttawa.jpgOTTAWA - Ottawa’s new archbishop looks forward to skating on the Rideau Canal, something he’s missed doing since studying at the University of Ottawa 37 years ago.

Working for change at the UN

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Last spring I trekked up to the University of St. Michael’s College to hear a presentation by Anna Halpine, founder of the World Youth Alliance (WYA). The story she told was absolutely inspiring. When it ended I introduced myself and asked how I could get involved.

Jews, Christians, Muslims unite at camp

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Kids4Peace.jpgTORONTO - “Twenty-four kids. Three faiths. One planet” is the slogan for Kids4Peace, a summer camp that aims to bring peace to the Middle East a dozen families at a time.

The music downloading dilemma

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LimeWire, eMule, Morpheus, BitTorrent and iMesh are all free music downloading sites that young Canadians are all too familiar with.

The problem with pill-popping preteens

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Sometimes I think of myself as the candy man, or my place of work, the local pharmacy, as a candy store. Pills come in all colours, shapes and sizes and the druggist mixes them with love to make the world feel good. However sweet the job is I have developed a few cavities. 
 The thing that’s shocked me most is the amount of birth control and emergency contraception (morning after pill) that is literally handed out like candy to girls not even 15 years old.

Changing the world through art

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VivianaAustudillo_Clavijo.jpgTORONTO - Within the last few months 17-year-old student Viviana Astudillo-Clavijo of Loretto College School in Toronto has dined with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and mingled with Governor General Michaelle Jean. Her passion for art and her efforts to help the community won Astudillo-Clavijo the Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case (Youth Award) on Oct. 17.

I love being a Catholic

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I love being Catholic. To say so reminds me that I have received the best gift ever given.

Latin Mass appeals to youth

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latin_missal.jpgOTTAWA - Catholics who attend Mass in Latin are not merely those who can remember it since before it was discontinued after the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s.

Youth inspire Sr. Sue Moran

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SisterSueMoran.jpgTORONTO - Call her the Mother Teresa of Canada. However, when addressed by this title, Sr. Susan Moran, or Sue as she is more affectionately known, protests saying that she is far too little to be compared to such a great person. This is just one indication of the humility with which Moran carries herself.

The reality behind the rhetoric

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Often when I tell people about my pro-life position I am accused of being anti-women. So just what is it about the pro-life position that makes its supporters anti-women? After all, the pro-life movement is founded upon women. What would detractors say to that? Could it be possible to reconcile both regard for fetal rights and women’s rights? Is it necessary for women’s rights to supersede that of the unborn child in order to be sympathetic and compassionate to women?