The Youth Commission of the Conference of Catholic Bishops’ of India (CCBI) which is the episcopal conference of Bishops in India is celebrating the 3rd National Youth Day on the second Sunday of August, the 11th 2019, which marks a day dedicated by the Bishops of India to all the young people nationwide.

The day will be celebrated by the youth in their parishes, dioceses and institutions. Young people will gather in the churches & institutions on this day to celebrate the Holy Eucharist (a special youth mass) and organize various charity, fundraising events and also pay visits to old age homes, orphanages and homes run by the missionaries of charity etc.

Young people would observe this day by organizing community programmes, recreation, outreach, fellowship, competitions, mela/fete etc, to celebrate their youthfulness & fellowship. The CCBI Youth Commission also urges all the faithful & religious leaders of the country to pray especially for all the young people across the world. It also invites young people to read the Apostolic Exhortation, a letter to young people by Pope Francis  called “Christus Vivit or Christ is Alive” following the 2018 Synod on Youth & reflect upon it in groups in creative ways, said Father Chetan Machado, CCBI Youth Commission Secretary.

The theme for young people in India this year is “I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). This theme paves a way for young people to re-discover Christ, who is young and alive and therefore commit themselves to their call in life just as Mary did by her ‘Yes’ to the Lord, added Fr. Machado!

In his message to young people, Pope Francis in Christus Vivit says “Do not just watch life from the balcony, but face it in the arena, accepting challenges and confronting trials. That is what Mary did, in her own youth, as she confronted her own questions and difficulties. May she renew your youthfulness by the power of her prayers and accompany you always by her maternal presence”(CV, §298).

He also talks about ‘three great truths’: “God loves you; Christ is your Savior; He is alive” (CV, §130). In a world where young people experience persistent turbulence and isolation, these three truths will make them feel loved. Even when they feel that they have messed up their lives, committed mistakes that have taken them far away, remembering that “He always helps us to learn something even from my mistakes”.

In his concluding message he tells the youth,  “Dear young people, my joyful hope is to see you keep running the race, outbeating all those who are slow or fearful. The Church needs your momentum, your intuitions, your faith. We need them!”

CCBI Youth Commission is the chief organ of the CCBI that animates the youth apostolate across 132 Dioceses and 14 ecclesial regions towards a deeper Christian awareness and commitment through faith formation. It aims to achieve its objective by working in close collaboration with the Regional Youth Commissions, Indian Catholic Youth Movement (ICYM) and other various Catholic Youth Movements in India.

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