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Youth ministers challenged to embrace the joy of the Gospel as way of mission

BUNDU TUHAN – One hundred and forty youth ministers were challenged to embrace the joy of the Gospel presented by Pope Francis to the Church as their way of mission at the 10th Archdiocesan Youth Consultation or KBK-10 (Konsultasi Belia Keuskupan), at the retreat centre here on30 Aug- 3 Sept 2017.

The youth leaders comprising Parish Youth Pastoral Team (TPBP) and the Catholic Student Council (CSC) came from the various parishes in the KK Archdiocese. They were accompanied by the Franciscan Sisters and spiritual adviser Father Joshua Liew.

KBK is an annual event organised to achieve specific objectives utilising the Pastoral Cycle of “See-Judge-Act.”  This year, KBK aimed to refresh the spirit of the youth serving in youth ministries and to refocus their direction in this ministry.

Father Charles Chiew of Keningau Diocese, who facilitated the session on the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis, said that the Joy of the Gospel teaches us how to live the Gospel in this generation, especially with issues that challenge the faith and beliefs of our young people. The Joy of the Gospel lays out the vision for a missionary youth ministry, and youth ministers are encouraged to first appropriate it in their life, family, parish, and campus ministry.

The consultation kicked off with the Opening Eucharist, which was presided by Archbishop John Wong. Referring to the theme adopted by KBK this year “The Mighty One has done great things for me, Holy is His Name” (Luke 1:49), borrowed from the World Youth Day in Panama 2019, Archbishop Wong urged the participants to model after Mary in self-giving in their service, as well as to appropriate Marian attitudes in their own lives.

The two days were spent to walk through the Pastoral Cycle of “See-Judge-Act” during the reporting from each TPBP and CSC on the issues they are facing in their respective ministries, and to see the movement of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Thrust (Go Inward, Go Small, Go Outward) in their ministry.

To start with, Fr Joshua facilitated a recollection to assist the participants to look inward into their personal relationship with God, reflecting on Who God is and how God has helped them in meeting the challenges of their lives. With this, they were enabled to appropriate the pastoral cycle of “Seeing”.

With the help of Jerald Joseph and Father Paul Lo, the participants were presented with a social analysis in Malaysia and a theological reflection of how the values in the Bible are able to help them face the challenges of their lives, social or otherwise.

According to the pastoral cycle of “Judging,” the youth ministers must be able to “judge” for themselves when challenged and to voice out and stand for truth, for the dignity and human rights of each person. Knowing their intrinsic value as children of God and the knowledge that nothing can separate them from the love of God would enable them to judge without fear.

To help them live out the pastoral cycle of “Acting,”  Dominic Lim encouraged the participants to live out their faith within the Church and through their participation in society, that is, “Going Outwards”

Quoting Pope Francis, he said, “If I say I am Catholic and go to Mass, but then don’t speak with my parents, help my grandparents or the poor, or go and see those who are sick; this does not prove my faith; there’s no point.”

Lim also said, “The Social Teaching of the Church or DOCAT explains to us the reasons why we are to be involved in the issues of society. The Christian Faith includes a social dimension. We are commissioned to be the light and salt of the world. If we do not ‘Go Outward,’ then our faith remains only as a private matter.”

Concluding his session, Lim urged the participants: “Let’s take DOCAT as an important guide to help us live out our faith in this society, in order to build a culture of love in this world.”

A Solidarity Night was held on the last evening as a platform for the youth leaders to interact and share, through their God-given talents, what they have learned and reflected throughout KBK.

The days in KBK began and ended with Morning Prayer (Lauds) and Night Prayer (Compline), as well as Angelus, Eucharistic Adoration, the Sacrament of Reconciliation and personal reflection. Daily Mass was looked on as the main source of faith.

On the final day of KBK, a prayer with Mother Nature led the participants into the Presence of God in His creation. This has also brought about an awareness of our common responsibility to protect and preserve it.

As a gesture of commitment to take Mother Mary as the model in their lives and ministry, an image of Mother Mary and prayer cards printed with the KK Archdiocesan Youth Prayer were presented to each participant.

The organisers hoped that all youth in the archdiocese will pray this prayer as part of their journey towards World Youth Day in Panama 2019! – Archdiocesan Youth Commission

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