National Consultative Body Meeting of Young People
Bethania Faridabad, 23 Aug.: The National Youth Commission of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) organised the Annual Consultative Body meeting of National Youth Leaders of various Catholic Youth Movements in India on 23rd August 2020 virtually via Google Meet. The meeting was chaired by Rev. Fr. Chetan Machado (Executive Secretary). Participants included two young representatives from various youth movements such as ICYM, YCS/YSM, YU4C, Salesian Youth Movement, Jesus Youth, St. Vincent De Paul Society (SSVP) and Focolare among/ the many catholic youth movements in India along with the Advisory Board of the commission and special invitees.
This annual meeting aims to deliberate on the present scenario of youth ministry, exchange of ideas, current concerns and needs of young people, collaboration between the many youth movements in India and therefore to discuss the further plan of action for the National Youth Commission which is the umbrella body for all catholic youth activities in the country.
Amidst the many discussions, some of the highlighted concerns that emerged were the psychological and mental wellbeing of young people, particularly, in this year of uncertainty, the alarming need to inculcate the virtue of hope in young people, increased awareness and sensitivity on social and public matters, modeling them to stand for social justice & truth, dire need of more role models in different spheres, sharing available resources, career and future guidance, job & financial stability, promoting higher education and professional goals in catholic young people.
Some of the major proposals from this forum were training young people on crisis management & integral human development, focused spiritual & catechetical formation to clear the misconceptions about church teachings, joining hands by promoting each other (movements) in the different ventures and charisms, creating a group of leaders of movements to share and collaborate youth ministry better, more combined meetings of different movements to explore collaboration & networking.
Earlier today, the advisory board met to reflect on the growth and future goals of the commission. Some of the plans elucidated are national and international exchange programmes to give more exposure to diverse cultures and spirituality of young people. Members also suggested to use social media/ AV& digital platforms for virtual formation programmes & to spread the thrusts of ministry among church communities; to identify and address concerns of local communities, explore next step collaboration with secular and established organizations based on the cause/concern for more concrete outcomes, appreciate and acknowledge the achievements of young people in public domains in order to motivate them and inspire others; a shift in approach from group building to one-on-one assistance with the help of virtual platforms.
Rev. Fr. Stephen Alathara (Deputy Secretary General of CCBI) in his remarks made three requests to all the young leaders –Respond to any crisis positively; Collaborate, network & work together for the common good of young people; Think creatively, bring forth new ideas and innovative concepts, take the charism and vision one step ahead.
Report by: Percival Holt , Advisor & Full Timer