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.

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.

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.

Keeping the homeless frostbite free

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SUDBURY, Ont. - Waxy, bumpy and discoloured fingers and toes were enough to spring the young people of St. Kevin's parish in the diocese of Sault Ste. Marie here into action. Frostbite becomes a serious issue in the Greater Sudbury area, especially for the homeless, where winters can see temperatures remain around -30C with wind chill.

In anticipation of Advent

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The plight of the university student during the holidays is a strange one. The timing of the exam period seems almost like a conspiracy as far as important times in the Catholic Church. While others celebrate Advent, anticipating the coming of Christ's birth, students hunker down and crack their textbooks open, some, like myself, for the first time since September for a furious and grueling month of studying for the necessary evil of end-of-term exams.

Seeing Christmas through a child's eyes

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Recently, my fiancé Ian and I spent a Saturday at the Toronto Zoo. Although the animals were amazing to see, I found myself most entertained by the children with their parents.

Sitting on the other side of the desk

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Less than six years ago, I was a Catholic high school student sitting in classes and hanging out with friends. Now I find myself sitting on the other side of the desk. As a teacher at St. Edmund Campion Secondary School, I not only have the job of learning new skills but extending those learning skills outward to my students. 
  

Priesthood requires courage

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I cannot count how many times someone has said, "Hey, I heard you are going to be a priest." It happens when I'm sitting at church, walking through malls, in line at the school cafeteria, even at work. And while I have been repeatedly cornered with this accusation, it still doesn't bother me. The truth is I have often thought about becoming a priest; in fact, I still think about it.

Defending the faith takes courage

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Going to a Catholic school, I occasionally get teased from some of my non-Catholic friends. "How many 'Our Fathers' have you said today?" they mock. While I try to laugh it off and say that it doesn't matter what they think, it still bothers me deep down. I wish I had the courage to stick up for not only my beliefs, but for God, who makes all things possible.

Overcoming troubles

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As a young Catholic going through adolescence, I did not question the motives for accepting or rejecting the Catholic faith. As I entered into the struggles of junior high and high school, I had many doubts concerning my own self-image, but my faith remained strong.

Patience is virtue

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Why do we struggle with patience? Why is waiting so hard? It's because our pace of life has quickened. It's difficult to have patience in a society where cell phones, the Internet and bank machines eliminate much waiting in our lives.