By Anil D’Sa
New Delhi, October 22, 2018: The National Youth Conference of ICYM (Indian Catholic Youth Movement) the official parochial youth movement of CCBI (Conference of Catholic Bishops’ of India) was inaugurated on 21 October at Shofar Conference Center, Gurgaon, Haryana.
Archbishop Emeritus Vincent M Concessao of Delhi celebrated the inaugural Mass and also as the chief guest of the conference declared the conference open in the presence of Bishop Simon Mar Irenios of Eastern Believers Church, Delhi.
Pope Francis sent his special video message to the participants of the conference and said the young people are close to his heart. About 400 participants consisting of youth leaders, youth directors and animators from all over the country represented the 132 Latin Catholic dioceses spread across the nation.
In his inaugural speech Archbishop Concessao urged the young people to be at the service of the church in carrying forward the mission of Christ, of building the kingdom of love and peace. Bishop Simon challenged the youth to be “change makers” in the society.
The conference scheduled for 21 – 25 October will have series of study sessions on issues of youth in India. Various sessions are facilitated by experts on the given topic. A lot of group discussion and activities are planned to simulate active participation of the youth and their contribution towards their growth.
The Catholic Church all over the world is concerned about the integral development of the youth in the church and society. Thus, Pope Francis has convoked the Synod of 2018 where about 250 bishops along with about 50 young auditors and experts, representing every country have to together reflect on the theme “The Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment.”
India is represented by five Bishops, the youth president of ICYM, Percival Holt and Ms. Cheryl Anne Menezes, Focolare movement. The ICYM Conference marked the ongoing Synod on youth that is taking place at Rome from 3 to 28 October.
The national executive team (NEXCO) under the leadership of Fr. Chethan Machado (the national youth director of ICYM) has planned and executed the programme efficiently.
Sagar, National Vice President of ICYM, welcomed the gathering while Paul Jose the General Secretary proposed the vote of thanks. The programme was compeered by Ms. Shilpa, the National Spokesperson and the Ms. Priyal, the National Liturgy coordinator.