ICYM organizes III National Youth Conference
Bengaluru: The Indian Catholic Youth Movement of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India organized the III National Youth Conference from 11-13 December 2020. This year the conference was online and was organized in a very unique way. A special portal was created to give a different experience to all the participants.
The virtual Conference began on 11th December at 5 pm with the Inaugural Mass celebrated by the Chairman of the National Youth Commission Most Rev Soosai Nazarene, Bishop of Kottar. In his homily, he urged the young people to have good relationship and see goodness in others. He also asked the young people not to judge people knowingly or unknowingly and use our words carefully. After the Inaugural Eucharist, Ms. Jyotsna, on behalf of the National Team welcomed all. In her address she asked the participants to take life seriously, to enjoy the opportunities the Lord has prepared. The chairman in his message to the young people mentioned the difficult moments that we are facing and said that as one catholic family of this country this conference should foster better relationships. Most Rev Ignatius D’Souza, member bishop of the commission, in his message asked the young people to be compassionate like Jesus was compassionate. Speaking on the theme he said, ‘we need compassionate hearts to reach out’ Fr. Chetan said that there is an urgency today that we need to rise up and accept the challenges and move on in life.
After the Inaugural Mass, His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias addressed the young people. He spoke on the theme of the Conference ‘Young Man, I say to you Arise’. He also told the young people about the discussion that took place during the synod on the youth. He spoke about three messages which came up strongly during the synod; to take them seriously, to accompany them and to trust them. He wished the participants all the best. After the key note address there was a plenary session where the participants were given opportunity to clarify doubts on youth matters. Ms Jyotsna, National President moderated this session and Fr. Chetan answered a few queries.
On the second day of the Conference, the participants were divided into eight groups for workshops. They were asked to choose two workshops while registering. After some basic instructions, they were sent to class rooms. Themes were carefully chosen to educate young people on various current themes like, social media, dating, relationship, Catholic faith, mental health, career, church history, spirituality and social consciousness. Resource persons were allotted to these classrooms who were experts in these topics. Soon after the workshops, there was a plenary called ‘youth café’. A panel was chosen to discuss on the recent government policies, recent court judgments and scandals in the church. Fr. Frazer SJ, Fr. Prakash Cedric SJ and Fr. Suresh Mathew spoke on these topics respectively. This followed a very fruitful interactive session moderated by Fr. Chetan Machado. The day concluded with Taize Prayer conducted by young people at Bethania Centre, Faridabad.
On 13th December 2020, Most Rev. Ignatius D’Souza, Bishop of Bareily and member bishop of the Youth Commission celebrated the Eucharist at 10:00 am. In his homily he asked the young people to be prophetic and active. He urged them to shun the negativity that they read and watch on television. He said, ‘We shouldn’t take the unkind road or arrogant path’. Quoting Pope Francis, he said, we need to find new ways to give joy to the world which is filled with negativity. In the evening there was a second round of workshops. The day concluded with live gospel band from Mumbai. Echoes of Zion, a Catholic gospel band of Salesian Youth Movement that focuses on youth evangelization and catechism through the Gospel music performed live. The evening was full of music & thrill.
The National Executive Committee of ICYM conceptualized and planned the entire event with the technical help from Cisoft Technologies and Bethania Centre assisted by Mr. Percival Holt. MS Jyotsna D’Souza thanked all the participants and resource persons for helping to conduct this unique online conference. Three hundred young people along with youth directors and animators participated in this Conference.
Fr. Chetan Machado