Cardinal Gracias asks youth to become true missionaries

Cardinal Gracias

By Nirmala Carvalho

Mumbai, July 23, 2019: Cardinal Oswald Gracias, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), has called on young Catholics to dream to become missionaries to transform the world and relationships.

“Dream dreams of becoming true disciples of the mission at work, at home and in society,” Cardinal told some 3,000 participants of the 14th International Youth Conference now underway at Muringoor, Kerala.

“Set all your worries and anxieties aside, present them to the Lord. This is a moment for a two-way communication with Jesus,” he told the youth in the homily during the opening Mass he led at the Divine Retreat Centre.

The cardinal also explained that all the baptized “are called to have relationships with Jesus, to become disciples of Jesus, to so that we can be true missionary disciples.”

Led by Vincentian Father Augustine Vallooran, a renowned retreat preacher, the July 21-26 conference addresses the theme, ‘Kindle into a flame.”

Cardinal Gracias, who is also the archbishop of Bombay, India’s largest diocese, urged the audience to take advantage of the conference to “dream, to dream Jesus is with you, learn to dream dreams for a better world, a better society, a better India. This is a sign that the Holy Spirit is with you.”

Urging youth to become missionaries to the world, he explained that “We are not meant to be islands; we are called to be part of a community.”

Finally, he ended repeating “Christ lives,” which is also the title of Pope Francis’s post-synodal apostolic exhortation Christus Vivit.

The cardinal referred to his participation in the Synod on Young People, when young Catholics from all over the world sent a clear message to the bishops, asking them to listen to them, to trust them and to accompany them.

In this regard, the cardinal noted that listening means paying attention to what is said. “Our youth cried out,” asking that they not be treated as “mere children.” Instead, “we are responsible, and know that we can to things well,” they said.

This message “is also for all parents.” In fact, “society must learn from our youth, give them responsibilities, know and accept that our youth are generous, authentic, wanting to transform the world for the better, full of energy and enthusiasm.”

When it comes to the bishops, young people at the Synod asked the prelates to accompany them: “Walk with us, be at our side, don’t leave us alone; if we make mistakes correct us, don’t neglect us.”


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