Tag - youth

Pope Francis tells Canadian youth in video message to ‘build bridges’



(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis has sent a video message to the young people of Canada gathered in preparation for the Synod of Bishops 2018.

The Holy Father invited them to build bridges through social communications, without letting their youthful enthusiasm for the Gospel be snuffed out.

Listen to Devin Watkins’ report:



In his video message to the young people of Canada, Pope Francis reflected on the “marvels of technology” which now allow “encounters and exchanges that were unthinkable until a short while ago.”

He invited them to use new channels of communication positively and “not to let them be ruined by those bent only on exploiting and destroying them”.

Spread youthful joy of Gospel

Rather, the Pope told them to flood the places they live “with the joy and enthusiasm” typical of their age and “to water the world and history with the joy of the Gospel”.

He said this is possible only through an encounter with Jesus, “who has intrigued you and drawn you to be with him”, he said.

“Don’t let your youth be stolen from you,” Pope Francis told the young people of Canada.

“Don’t build walls of division. Build bridges, like this one which you are crossing and which allows you to communicate from the shores of two oceans.”

Ever-present call to discipleship

Pope Francis went on to remind them that Jesus’ call to discipleship can never be drowned out by the noise of modern communications.

“Jesus turns his gaze to you and invites you to come to him… Have you heard his voice?… I’m sure that, even though din and daze seem to reign in the world, this call continues to sound in your being, calling you to open up to the fullness of joy.”

This, he said, is possible only when they have sought out expert spiritual guides “to discover God’s project” for their life.

Courageous young people

Pope Francis also told the young people that the Church needs courageous young people.

“The world and the Church need courageous young people, who are not afraid of adversity, who confront any difficulty, keeping their eyes and heart open to reality, so that no one may be rejected, fall victim to injustice or violence, or be deprived of their dignity as a human person.”

The Holy Father said he had no doubt their “young hearts” would remain open to the cry for help of their age mates, “who seek freedom, work, studies, and the possibility to give meaning to their lives.”

Open to Christ

Finally, Pope Francis invited them to open themselves to Christ.

“Let him speak to you, embrace you, console you, heal your wounds, and dissolve your doubts and fears. Thus you will be ready for the fascinating adventure of life.”

Jesus, he said, “is with you and awaits from you a resounding ‘Here I am’.”

(from Vatican Radio)



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7th Asian Youth Day inaugurated with Mass in Yogyakarta ‎



(Vatican Radio)  The 7th Asian Youth Day (AYD7) kicked off with a colourful concelebrated Mass Wednesday evening ‎in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, in a colourful and festive show of unity around Christ and his Gospel ‎amidst the continent’s diverse cultures and peoples.
After four days of the preliminary ‘Days in the Dioceses’ (DID) live-in programme in 11 Indonesian ‎dioceses, July 30- August 2, the over 2000 young Catholics from 21 countries converged in Yogyakarta, the cultural ‎and intellectual heartland of Indonesia.  The 7th Asian Youth Day on the theme “Joyful Asian Youth! ‎Living the Gospel in Multicultural Asia,” will conclude on Aug. 6. ‎

Youth participants had begun pouring in at Yogyakarta’s government facility, Jogja Expo Centre (JEC), ‎since early morning, August 2.  After lunch the various national contingents began celebrating with ‎songs and performances and shared their DID experiences of living with local families in dioceses, in ‎preparation for the Eucharistic celebration.

The inaugural AYD7 Mass, that was streamed live by organizers, was presided over by Bangladeshi ‎Cardinal Patrick D’Rozario of Dhaka, chairman of the Office of Laity and Family of the Federation of ‎Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC), under which comes the Youth Desk that organizes the AYD in ‎collaboration with the country’s bishops’ conference body and its youth commission.  Joining Card. ‎D’Rozario at the altar were 52 bishops, including 6 cardinals and 158 priests.  Among the concelebrants ‎were AYD host Archbishop Robertus Rubiyatmoko of Semarang, Indonesian bishops’ president, ‎Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo of Jakarta and President of Indonesian bishops’ Youth Commission, ‎Bishop Pius Riana Prapdi of Ketapang. ‎

Card. D’Rozario began his homily singing a few lines from the hymn, “Rejoice in the Lord always….” ‎setting the mood of his reflection on the theme of the AYD7– “Joyful Asian Youth! Living the Gospel ‎in Multicultural Asia.”  The young people, many in traditional dress and country t-shirts and holding their ‎country flags, joined in with rhythmic clapping accompanied by the piano.  The cardinal explained that ‎the reason for their joy was that Jesus loves them, despite their unworthiness and sinfulness.   He said ‎when they feel sad or without joy, it is then that Jesus loves them most.  Jesus loves them by calling ‎them, choosing them and sending them out to mission, to proclaim His love,  mercy, compassion and ‎healing to others.

Card. D’Rozario compared the AYD gathering to the Pentecost where people of diverse cultures, ‎languages, ethnic groups and nations of Asia were one in the Holy Spirit who manifests Himself in a ‎variety of gifts.   The Holy Spirit was inviting them all to celebrate  their oneness of faith, life and ‎mission at the WYD.  ‎

After dinner, the AYD7 was officially launched with a variety programme in which the participating countries showcased thier cultural richness. 

 

(from Vatican Radio)



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Philippines preparing for 7th Asian Youth Day ‎



(Vatican Radio) The biggest event of the Asian Catholic Church this year, is taking place in Yogyakarta city, Indonesia, next week.  The 7th Asian Youth Day (AYD7) is being hosted by the Archdiocese of Semarang, August 2-6, with over 2000 ‎‎young people from ‎‏‎21 ‎Asian countries rallying around the theme, “Joyful Asian Youth: Living the Gospel ‎in Multicultural Asia‎!”‎ The continent-level event has been held in various Asian cities since 1999 in intervals of 2, ‎‎3 ‎and 5 years, with the last AYD in Daejeon Diocese in Korea in 2014, in which Pope Francis participated. 

Organizers have divided the entire AYD into three events spread across 11 days from July 30 to August 9.  On arrival, the participants will head to the 11 of Indonesia’s 37 dioceses who will be hosting them from July 30 to August 2 in what is called Days in the Dioceses (DID).  All the participants will then converge in Yogyakarta from August 2 to 6 for the central event of the AYD7.   The 5 days will include a variety of activities such as adoration, confession, Mass, reflections, testimonies, workshops, group sharing, country exhibits and cultural performances.  After the main event, the Asian Youth Ministers will stay back for a meeting, August 6 to 9.

Among the 21 countries participating in the AYD is also the Philippines.  To know about it, we called Fr. Conegundo Garganta, the executive secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Youth of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.  Speaking to us on the phone from Manila Fr. Garganta  first talked about the Philippine youth delegation to the Asian Youth Day.

Listen:  

Summary:

Fr. Garganta said that 69 young people have been officially registered with the AYD7 but with bishops and youth ministers accompanying them, the entire delegation has 82 members. 

Peparation

The young people will first head to the Indonesian dioceses of Bogor and Jakarta for the Days in the Diocese (DID).  The young people have been preparing for the event following the pre-event modules of the AYD, that recommend reflecting and meditating on the suggested scripture passages, visiting churches, talking to priests, visiting non-Christian families and communities etc.   

Philippine contribution to AYD

Fr. Garganta also talked about the contribution that the Philippine young people will be brining to the AYD.  He talked about the warmth and friendship of the Filipino people, particularly visible in their smiles, and their strong faith.  They would also display the “multi-culturality” of the Philippines, where there are minority and tribal groups and followers of other faiths, “but still people are able to blend well.”

Message

The executive secretary of the Philippine Episcopal Commission on Youth ‎sent a message to Filipinos abroad assuring them that despite numerous challenges and struggles, as in many countries, the faith of the Philippine people was leading them to hope  and to continue working for peace. The Church regards the young not merely as hope for the future but much more for the present.  Fr. Garganta urged the country, the Church and the government, also of other countries, to “really invest in the young people” , because they provide “new perspectives in ways of looking at life…” which promote solidarity, unity, friendship, and understanding.  

(from Vatican Radio)



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Pope Francis leads Marian vigil for Roman youth



(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis presided over a prayer vigil in the Basilica of St. Mary Major on Saturday evening, to open the diocesan celebration of World Youth Day, which this year is being marked in dioceses all throughout the world on Palm Sunday.

The Rome diocese has chosen a special Marian theme for its world World Youth Day celebrations this year – celebrations that are also the official opening of preparations for the 2018 Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which is focused on young people, discernment, and vocational accompaniment.

The website of the Rome diocese explains that the desire of the Church is to make young people protagonists of this journey: to allow them, by their prayerful presence, to enter upon the journey of the synodal process.

It was the originator of World Youth Day, Pope St. John Paul II, who decided to make Palm Sunday the day on which the diocesan iterations of World Youth Day would be celebrated in the years between the great worldwide gatherings of young people, the next of which is scheduled to be held in Panama City from January 22-29, 2019.

(from Vatican Radio)



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