By Percival Holt

Aug 30 : The National consultative body meeting of young people organized by the National Youth Commission of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) was held on 23rd August 2019 at St. Thomas Mount Chennai. The meeting was chaired by Most. Rev. Soosai Nazarene, the Chairman Bishop of the commission along with Rev. Fr. Chetan Machado (Executive Secretary of the Commission) and Rev. Fr. Stephen Alathara (Deputy Secretary of CCBI). Participants of the meeting included two young representatives from various youth movements such as ICYM, YCS/YSM, YU4C, Salesian Youth Movement and Focolare amidst the many catholic youth movements in India along with a representative from the commission and the Synod on Youth.

The annual meeting was organized in order to deliberate on the present scenario of youth ministry, the current concerns and needs of young people, the implementation of the 2018 Synod on Youth, collaboration between the many youth movements in India and therefore to discuss the further plan of action for the National Youth Commission.

Amidst the many discussions, some of the highlighted points that emerged were the need for proper leadership training for young people, family orientations to cope up with the generational gaps, promoting higher education and career goals in young people, the importance of having a vision and expected outcome while designing programmes etc. Some of the major proposals from this forum were revision of the catechetical system of formation to answer the questions of young people; cultural and spiritual exchange programmes across cultures and states; reaching out to young people via four avenues : churches, schools, colleges and workspaces; the need for diocesan pastoral plan for minimum fivr years in every diocese followed by evaluation; the need for a resource/ advisory team in the youth commission of every diocese incorporating the various movements and associations; regional level training programmes for directors and animators; seminary formation on youth ministry; use of social media/ AV tools to spread the thrusts of youth ministry and using the post-synodal document along with ChristusVivit for a better implementation of the synod.

During the meeting, the board of advisors of the National Youth Commission of CCBI was declared which comprises of the Chairman, Member Bishops, Deputy Secretary of CCBI, Executive Secretary of the Commission, Coordinator/Lady Animator, Mr. Alison Pereira from Mumbai, Ms. Cheryl Anne Menezes from Mumbai (Synod Participant) and Mr. Percival Holt from Delhi (Synod Participant), for a minimum term of 3 years, they shall advise the Latin Church in India via the commission on matters related to the national youth ministry in India.

The deputy secretary of CCBI in his remarks stressed on the importance of networking, collaborating and allowing young people to be a part of various ministries and movements based on the charisms while remaining rooted in their respective parishes which remains the focal community of a Christian life. The Chairman in his concluding remarks emphasized on the need to have a thrust for the country every year that must percolate to grassroots and reach every young people in order to make them better persons and responsible citizens of the country.

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