Youth Speak News

Editor's Note: this is the second place winner of the Friars' Student Writing Award sponsored by Franciscan Friars of the Atonement and The Catholic Register. Gregory Drozdzal, 16, is a Grade 11 student at St. Michael's Choir School in Toronto. The contest is held in conjunction with the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Over the coming weeks, we will publish all six winning essays.

Why I pray the rosary

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At Mass, I often listen to people as they say the Our Father and the Apostles' Creed, wondering whether they ever stop to think about what those words mean. It's funny how you can recite prayers without paying attention to the important words you say. Sometimes when saying repetitive prayers like the rosary, I find myself just going through the motions, either because I'm worried about school or just not focusing, so I stop myself and consciously reflect.

Unity begins with one step

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peter grbacIt has been said that every journey begins with one step. Sacred Scripture brings to life the courageous and bold journeys Jesus and the apostles took in an attempt to evangelize the world and spread their revolutionary teachings of love and social justice.  Yet their journey began with one simple and courageous step. A few weeks ago, Pope Benedict XVI travelled to Turkey in a noble attempt to connect with the Muslim, Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christian faiths.  His journey, like his predecessors' 2,000 years before him, began with one simple and courageous step.  Every   day, we, as Catholics, set out on a new journey. Not knowing who we may meet on the road of life or where we may end up, we place our faith in the God who created us and loves us.  Life is indeed a fascinating journey.

Winners announced for annual essay contest

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Peter GrbacTORONTO - Peter Grbac  of Toronto has won the fifth annual Friars' Student Writing Award contest for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which runs Jan. 21-28 this year.

How far is too far?

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Do you find yourself tripping over your words more than usual lately in the effort to appear politically correct? Over the past Christmas season, more than in previous years, I was especially aware of the awkward "holiday" jargon such as re-naming the Christmas tree a holiday tree to try and be more inclusive. To me, it is obvious that we belong to a society whose members are so fearful of stepping on toes that they often do not step out at all.
  

Toronto school helps build maternity ward in Nigeria

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TORONTO - While some schools raise funds to fix the girls' washroom on the second floor, or to purchase new school supplies, the students at Loretto Abbey Catholic Secondary School in Toronto worked together to raise $35,000 to build a maternity ward in Umuahia, Nigeria.

The power to choose

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As a teen I hate when I don't get to make my own decisions. I get very aggravated when my parents prevent me from going out. Being 17, I know I am old enough to make my own choices. However, recently I encountered a peer whose opinions really disturbed me. He claimed it was impossible to say "no" to peer pressure. In other words he believes he has no choice.

Youth in Motion Catholic Christian Outreach

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QUEBEC CITY - Instead of ringing in the New Year partying at a club at the stroke of midnight, about 450 young people from across Canada broke out into song praising God.

Simply surrender

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I have recently discovered the importance of surrendering to Christ, giving up my questions and anxieties to God and adopting a child-like faith. Looking back on my journey of faith, I realize that I learned this lesson, not without difficulties, partially through my quest of faith in the summer of 2004, when I travelled throughout eastern Canada to visit various religious communities.

Compass clubs offer spiritual guidance at three campuses

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HAMILTON, Ont. - Three years ago, a group of Catholic students at McMaster University noticed a spiritual void in their university lives so they started a chapter of the Compass Catholic Fellowship group on campus. Compass is an international student-run Catholic group with Canadian chapters at the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo and McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont.

Make time for the spiritual in the New Year

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Aaaahhh, New Years. The time where last year's unresolved resolutions are reviewed and rewritten. There is one resolution, however, that we as Catholics should make and keep every moment, or else there'll be, well, Hell to pay. The resolution I'm talking about, of course, is to encounter the Father.