Youth Speak News

Editor’s Note: this is a runner up in the Friars’ Student Writing Awards sponsored by Franciscan Friars of the Atonement and The Catholic Register. Catherine Kirkpatrick, 14, is a Grade 9 student at St. Aloysius Gonzaga High School in Mississauga. The contest is held in conjunction with the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The Register  will publish all six winning essays.

Sometimes we find that we get so caught up with schoolwork, our hectic schedule and our heart’s desires that we often forget about, and close our hearts to, the suffering people are enduring all around us. So how can we, as Catholics, open our ears to the needs of others and loosen our tongues in order to promote Christian unity not only today, but for generations to come?

Rather be late than wait

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I hated catechism class as a child because I had to miss Saturday morning cartoons. But more than that I hated when catechism class ended because it meant I would have to wait. 

The Heralds spread the gospel loud and proud

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heraldsTORONTO - The Three Musketeers, Swiss Guards, medieval knights — members of the Heralds of the Gospel have heard it all. When they wear their scapular in public they can’t go anywhere without attracting attention. 

Hip hop priest comes back to Toronto

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Fr. Stan FortunaTORONTO - The rapping friar from the Bronx returns to Toronto to perform at the You Are the Light of the World Rally on Feb. 28 at the Ricoh Coliseum.

Near death experience gives new life

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I could feel the undertow of the Pacific Ocean pull me further into the waters as I attempted to yell out to my friends for help and tried to catch a glimpse of someone on shore. I couldn’t help but ponder whether these moments would be my last. With barely time to say a prayer, I was being toppled over by huge waves which moved my body in every direction. Minutes later, as if by the hand of God, a wave pushed me close enough  to shore so that I could grasp hold of the ground again. A near-death experience was not how I expected my Peruvian mission trip to end.

FRIARS ESSAY: Practise what Christ preaches

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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.