Bishop’s Monthly Letter
My dear Fathers,
As we began to recover from the shock of the Easter Sunday massacre of innocent Catholics, we were faced with a situation of further destabilization of the Country with sporadic violence and destruction of property by misguided people. Gradually the country is returning to normalcy but the damage done will take a longer time to heal. Unless and until the Country walks on a path of reconciliation and unity, our country will continue to suffer socially and economically. Let us therefore, intensify our prayer campaign and do everything possible at the local level to build up harmony and understanding among our people along with other religious leaders and wellmeaning laity in your locality.
Our Holy Father Pope Francis has promulgated the Post Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, following the Synod on youth on the theme ““Young people, the Faith and Vocational discernment”, on the 25th of March 2019, Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord at Loreto. The Apostolic Exhortation begins with the words “Christ is Alive”, “He is our Hope”. In Latin the Exhortation begins with the expression, “Christus Vivit”. It comprises nine chapters and as usual the document is written is a very simple style, and therefore, easily readable. The Document is the result of the deliberations of the Synod Fathers in union with the Supreme Pontiff. Even though in the words of the Holy Father himself,” the Apostolic Exhortation is affectionately addressed to the Youth,” it is meant to remind all in the Church of certain convictions born of our Faith, to encourage all the baptized to grow in holiness and in commitment to each one’s personal vocation. It will help us, therefore, immensely to organize our Youth Apostolate in our Diocese and our parishes in a meaningful manner.
We now need to study this document in view of implementing the orientations given to us. For the purpose of studying the document we had a fruitful study session at our May Monthly Recollection on the 20th & 21st of May. Our own resource persons, from our Presbyterium, did very well in giving us important insights in this document. Now that you have copies of this document, please read it carefully and become familiar with the document and make all our youth aware of their role in the Church.
As I emphasized in my Chrism Mass homily, we need to make a massive effort to highlight the fact that the Church is essentially missionary. That is why, the Holy Father has declared an Extraordinary Missionary Month in October 2019, for the Universal Church to coincide with the Centenary of the Missionary Encyclical of Pope Benedict 15th,”Maximum Illud”.We shall launch many programs at the parish, deanery and diocesan levels, led by our Diocesan Director of Pontifical Mission Societies together with the Vicars Forane and the Regional co-coordinators of the three Vicariates . We must be convinced, ourselves of our priestly consecration for mission and that is fundamentally for the mission of the Church. All the Baptized faithful are also consecrated for mission. Consecrated life has no other objective except the mission of Christ.
Already the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples has published a Volume on the theme “Baptized and Sent” (The Church of Christ on Mission in the World). The following are the recommendations by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples to rekindle the missionary impetus of the Church.
1. Organize a Diocesan or National Celebration for the Opening of the Extraordinary Missionary Month of October 2019. 2. Celebrate the Missionary Vigil, focusing on the theme given to us by Holy Father. 3. Celebrate the Most Holy Eucharist at the Diocesan level on World Mission Sunday. 4. Propose that small groups of people or families gather in each other’s houses to pray the Holy Rosary for the missionary work of the Church, drawing inspiration from the original intuition of Venerable Pauline Jaricotfoundress of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith. 5. Promote a pilgrimage to a Marian shrine or to that of a mission saint or martyr. 6. Promote the collection of funds to support the apostolic work of the “missio ad gentes” and missionary formation. 7. Propose a public activity by which young people are involved in proclaiming the Gospel. 8. Organize a Diocesan or National celebration for the Closing of the Extraordinary Missionary Month of October 2019
When we speak of mission, we do not mean an aggressive form of proletyism but rather witnessing powerfully to our faith commitment in our day to day life and in all our activities both within and outside the Church. Therefore, we need to understand that our witnessing can become effective only by a personal encounter with Jesus Christ who is alive in His Church: through the Holy Eucharist, the Word of God, and Personal and Communal prayer.
In the coming months, we shall publish material in “Among Ourselves”, that will help us to prepare at the Diocesan, as well as Parish and Institution levels, to celebrate the Extraordinary Missionary Month of October 2019 fruitfully.
Let us all once again recall the missionary mandate given to the Church and to all of us by the Lord Himself, “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Wishing you all God’s blessings and our Blessed Mother’s ever loving protection, Yours devotedly in the Lord,
Bishop Vianney Fernando,
Bishop of Kandy
POPE’S DAY 16th June 2019
“You are Peter and this Rock I shall build my Church” (Mt 16:18) The Theme for Pope’s Day………… “Are You Ready to Repent”
Let us pray for our Holy Father Pope Francis
Bishop’s Engagements in June
06th 9.30 am – CBCSL Meetings at Balcombe Place
13th 5.00 pm – St. Anthony’s Feast at the Cathedral, Kandy
15th 9.30 am – Blessing of new Church, Talawakelle
23rd 9.30 am – Kadiyanlena 10.30 am – Blessing of the new Church at Queensbury Estate
24th and 25th – Clergy Monthly Recollection at Lewella
29th- 4.30 pm – Sancta Maria Feast
30th – Gampola Crèche Cultural Program
SPECIAL REQUIM MASS FOR THE VICTIMS OF EASTER ATTACKS
The Holy Mass will be celebrated by His Lordship Bishop Vianney Fernando Bishop of our Diocese
On 2nd June 2019 at St. Anthony’s Cathedral, Kandy at 8.30 am
On 9th June 2019 at Holy Cross Church, Hatton, at 10.00 am
On 16th June 2019 at St. Xavier’s Church, Nuwara Eliya at 10.00 am
May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God
REST IN PEACE
Easter Victims of the Hill Country For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Phil:1, 21)
It was a hot sunny day. I was travelling to Walapane from Kandy. I always like driving on that road enjoying the natural beauty of those green mountains, beautiful reservoirs, rivers, paddy fields and vegetables gardens. However, on this particular day, my mind was not at peace. I saw the dried-up reservoirs and the mountains without green meadows. Mr. Francis Rajan one of my parishioners, who accompanied me, started a discussion. Our discussion was on the Easter Carnage and the suffering of the people.
Mr. Jeniston Raj – Walapane We reached Mahauva tea Estate in Walapane. The house of Mr. Jenistan Raj is situated near the main road among the tea garden. Mr. Pilavendrean, the father of late Mr. Jeniston Raj came down from the house to welcome us. We entered the house and but we were speechless. we did not know how to console them. Mr. Jeniston Raj was the elder son in the family; I can remember him very well. He was a very silent man. He got married to Nithiya Kala a Hindu convert from Madulkelle. He has a son, Kevin who is now three years old. Jeniston Raj and His brother Paul were working in Colombo and did not come home for the Easter this year because, Mr. Paul Raj was getting married on the 16th of May. Therefore, they had decided, not to take holidays for the Easter. Their three years old son, Kevin was listening attentively, but we are sure that he understood nothing of our discussion. His mother said that he used to speak to his father (Jeniston) everyday through a Video Call. Now he was telling her that “why Daddy is not calling me these days. He is very bad.” Jeniston also has two sisters and one of them is not yet marry. They all live in one house. The Mother of Jeniston is also a sick person. His parents were workers in the tea estate. Mr. Pilavendran is an active member in the Legion of Mary. He was blaming that minister who said that his father had warned him not to go to church on Easter Sunday. He shared this thought with us, that is “If there had been a Politician or a ‘big shot’ among the dead or the injured, all these lives of the victims would be considered less worth and because they all become very small in front of the ‘Manthri’. As for ‘that father’ my son’s life is precious to me as well.” After saying a pray for the repose of the Soul of Mr. Jenistan with them, we left the place with a heavy heart.
Mr. Christy Fernando Brookside, Ragala There is a beautiful small chapel dedicated to Divine Mercy at Brookside Ragala. Mr. Christy Fernando had a great devotion to the Divine Mercy. He never misses the annual feast of that chapel. His wife, Sri Devi said that he came home for the Palm Sunday and told her that he would not come home for Easter this year because, He wanted to be present for the annual feast on the Divine Mercy Sunday. He had told her that he has to do many preparations for the feast this year. While she was narrating his story, the tears in her eyes were falling on her her cheeks. In addition, her son was crying and disturbing her to embrace him. Mr. Christy Fernando has two children. His Daughter Nimcy is studying in Grade 4 and His Son Charles Raymond is still two years of age. Sri Devi is a house wife and is an active member in the church choir. I can remember her dancing for Christmas gatherings in their small Christian community. Mrs. Soosai Mary, The mother of Christy Fernando was also speaking about her son who was the only breadwinner in the family. There are about ten members in the family living in that line Room.
Miss. Ramila Grace – Pussellawa Miss. Ramila Grace is from Paradekka in the Kandy – Nuwara Eliya main Road. She was one of the Daughters of Mr. Alexender and Mrs. Mary Esthakey. They have three other girls in their family as well. Ramila was working in an IT company at Rajagriya. Since she did not come home for the Easter, she was attending the Easter Mass at St. Anthony’s Shrine at Kochchikade along with her sister Anne Imasha. She was killed in the church, her sister Anne Imasha obtained severe injuries. she was taken to the Hospital. After hearing about the incident On Easter Sunday, Mr. Stefan, the brother of these girls was searching for them, but He could not trace their whereabouts.
He rushed to Colombo at once. Since the News alerts were calling the people to donate blood. Stefan decided that firstly, he would donate blood for the victims and then he went in search of his sisters. He found Anne Imasha in one of the hospital lying on the bed. She was suffering in pain. She told Stafan that she was kneeling and praying and her sister was standing and after the blast she had seen that somebody was carrying Ramila away. Hearing this from her sister Stefan said that He was confident that Ramila should be somewhere in the one of the hospitals in Colombo. He had gone everywhere in search of her. He could not find her. And finely, with reluctance, he came in search of her among the dead. He says that nobody should undergo this kind of experience in life. Becuase He had seen the bodies of the diseased and the parts of their bodies were lying over in the mortuary. At last, he could make out the body of his beloved sister. He was sobbing as he was sharing his painful experience. Miss Anne Imasha was also present for her sister’s funeral though she cannot walk. She is now under treatment now.
Krishna Moorthy Dayanandan- Maskeliya The family of Late Mr. Dayanandan is living in Vaalamalai Tea Estate in Delhouse (Nallathanni). He was a Father of two children. His wife Mrs. Cecilia and his two children live with the parents of Mr. Dayanandan at present in Maskeliya. Mr. Dayanandan was a carpenter in Moratuwa. His daughter Renishiya is studying in Al Mahmoood Muslim School Malwana in Grade 6. The little boy Renison Stanley, who is now 2 years of age, was crying all time. The mother was telling that the boy is behaving like this since this incident occurred. The little girl is also very silent and is thinking always. The Mrs. Cecilia said that the whole family attended the Mass on that Easter Sunday. She was in the front rows with her children and her husband and her brother, Anthony Perera from Nanuoya, were standing at the entrance to the church. When the blast occurred, she first brought the children out of the church and went again inside the Church in search for her Husband. She found him dead and her brother was also on the ground with severe injuries. She took them to the hospital. Mr. Dayanandan was a Hindu convert. She says that he was very different after his conversion; he stopped drinking and was a very good husband and a father. He attended Mass every Sunday in the Velankanni Church. Last February, he had come to Kandy to give an almsgiving to inmates of Daya Nivasa. Saraswathi, Mr. Dayanandan’s Mother was saying that Dayananan was the one who was much closer to her among the other four sons. She wept a lot heartbroken remembering her son. The family of Mr. Jeeva Raj – Wanarajah -Hatton Then we came to the house of Mr. Joseph who was waiting for us. As we sat down to listen to him, He brought the family Photo of Mr. Joe Benedict Jeeva raj who was killed with his wife and his child. Mr. Jeevaraj, His wife Sharmila and the five-year-old son Kirthish have lost their lives at Kochchkade Church. Mr. Joseph said that he could only find the body of his grand son. However, they are still trying to identify the bodies of Jeeva Raj and Sharmila. Krithish was buried at Mattakuliya. Mr. Jeeva Raj and His wife Sharmila were teachers in Anne field Tamil School. Mrs Sharmila was also a Hindu and she decided to be a Hindu even after the marriage. Mr. Joseph said that it was a miracle that she decided suddenly to embrace Catholicism together with her child in January this year. Their marriage was rectified and she was baptised in January this year together with Kirthish. Moreover, when she moved to Colombo for her treatment she continued to go to the church. Mr. Joseph consoles his wailing wife saying that they are in heaven.
Suppaiah Sathiyavaani- Veli oya Hatton Miss. Sathiyawani was also an unmarried woman. She was 46 years of age when she was killed while attending the Easter Sunday mass. Rev.Fr. John Steevan who is a close relative of Sathiyavani says that she was more than a sister to him. She was a very pious woman, she was also a spiritual strength to him, and she has been praying for him every day. Now she is in heaven and she continues to pray for him. Thus, he shares the memories of Miss Sathiyavaani. Joe Malar – Nanuoya.
Mrs. Joe Malar was also a young mother who was killed in the Kochchikade Shrine. She was 29 years of age. She has left behind her 1-year-old son and her husband. her husband works in Colombo and the child is now looked after by the grandparents.
Dilani- Dayagama Kowlwhwna
Dilani was another young girl who died on Easter Sunday and she is from Diyagama. She was 17-years of age. Even Though She was a non Catholic Christian, she has been attending the Holy week services at Kochchikade shrine. She had told her mother that she was going to the Catholic Church on Easter Sunday too. Her mother works in the estate. She has two school going- sisters and a brother. It was reported that her father has attempted suicide after the funeral of her daughter. and now he is Hospitalised in Nuwara Eliya.
Talawakelle -Leema Rithika and Rosalin Mary
Leema Rithika, Daughter of Mr. Regan is from Sheen Estate Punduloya. She was 5 years of age. She was also killed while attending the Easter Mass in the Kochchikade Shrine with her father and Grandma. Her body was taken to Punduloya and was buried there.
Mrs. Rosalin Mary was also killed in the Bomb attack in the Shrine. She was 46 years of age. She is from Loosa Estate Talawakellwe. She was living with her daughter. Her body was also buried at Talawakelle. Finally, we also met some of the injured persons. As far as we got to know there are 15 injured people in the Diocese. Mr. Douglas aged 25 From Fordyce Battalgala has obtained injuries in his face and hands. He was in hospital for five days. He is having sleeping disorder.
He says that he gets the smell of the Church that he sensed after the Blast. He says that There were two or three dead persons over him as he came to his senses after the blast. Mr. Philip Raj has got serious back injuries as well and he is not able to walk still. There are two or three pieces of the cells in his back. He was in the hospital for nine days. And These two have not received any government compensation yet.
There are also several other persons At Norwood Estate, who are injured and now slowly recovering from their shock and pain. Theothra, Jacintha, Rasilda, and Ovilia are affected by injuries and hearing problems etc. Kevin, who is sitting for O/ Level exams this year has also obtained injuries. Moreover, he says that the water and blood ooze out always from his wounds. He is not able to sit. However, he has started going to school with great pain and difficulties. At the same time, Mr. Prakash who is the husband of Ovilia has obtained injuries in his face and head and now he has gone back to Colombo.
There are two injured persons from Bogowanthalawa. They are critically injured. Mr. Stephan a 24 years old boy is still in the Intensive care. His brother goes to see him every day. He informs us that the doctors ask from him the respiratory tool Thermovan t2 to be bought from outside. However, he find it difficult buy anywhere in Colombo. In addition, Mr. Stans king (Kingsley) is also slowly recovering from his injuries.
I got these little details from these victims. I also thank Rev. Fr. Jayanath , Rev. Sr. Virginiya Mr. Francis and Mr. Arul for their support. According to me the dead persons are real martyrs because not because they are killed in the church during the Easter service but they are lives are inspiring. They were really closer to God. Now they are with God, interceding on behalf of the church in the Hill Country. May their souls through the mercy of God Rest in Peace.
Rev. Fr. Christy Paul, Director – Family Apostolate
SUMMARY OF THE POST-SYNODAL EXHORTATION CHRISTUS VIVIT OF POPE FRANCIS TO YOUNG PEOPLE AND TO THE ENTIRE PEOPLE OF GOD
The title of the exhortation is Christus vivit, Christ is alive. In this way, the Holy Father reminds all of the fact that Christ brings hope to the young people of the world. The exhortation neatly divides into nine chapters and is addressed in a particular way to Christian young people.
Chapter One What does the Word of God have to say about young people? The Holy Father begins by recalling well known youthful characters in the Old Testament like Joseph who, even though being the youngest from among the sons of Jacob, becomes favored by God. Gideon is presented as a young person who speaks frankly to God. In this way, he expresses his youthfulness. Other important characters in the Old Testament are Samuel, Saul, David, Solomon, Ruth and the Jewish servant in the house of Namaan the Syrian. All these characters received their mission from God whilst in their youthful stage of life. In them, we see a God who takes a particular interest in issues of young people. The New Testament continues the theme of youthfulness in a number of narratives. Among these can be recalled the famous parable of the younger son in Luke 15. He risks his life and when he realizes that he has done wrong is not afraid to change course and go back home. This character is contrasted with the older son who remains at home with a cold heart, unwilling to forgive and rejoice with the Father and his household. In his preaching, Jesus continually exalts being young. He speaks of the greatest among his disciples becoming like the youngest. Paul continues this thread when he exhorts Timothy that his youth be despised by no one (1 Tim 4:12). The fact that young people are mentioned positively in the exhortation does not mean that elders should be disrespected. On the contrary, an exhortation to respect them is firmly upheld. “In the same way, younger people, be subject to the elders” (1 Pet 5:5). To be young is to be willing to change and at the same time to be wise like the young women who awaited the arrival of the bridegroom. Every young person should thus be ready to hear the words of Jesus as were uttered to the young man, “Young man, I say to you arise” (Luke 7:14).
Chapter two Jesus, ever young The Holy Father speaks of a Jesus who is young and in this way sanctifying being young. As a child, he appears as a refugee in Egypt and later on is repatriated to Nazareth. He is seen among the crowds in the Jordan to be baptized and hears the words, “You are my beloved child”. Such words should ring in the ears of all young people today. We also see Jesus being obedient to his parents after the episode of having remained behind in the Temple. Luke emphasizes that Jesus grew in wisdom, age and grace before God and man. As a sign of his obedience, we learn that he learned his father’s trade as a carpenter (Mk. 6:3). He was not a self-absorbed youth. The episode of him having been lost gives us an indication that he freely related to the crowds and his own relations. It was for this reason that his parents started off by looking for him from among their relations thinking that he was journeying with them. The use of the word synodia is thus important in observing the young Jesus. Jesus’ youthful days teach us, especially young people, that it is important to have a correct relationship with the father and the importance of family. This requires openness to the Holy Spirit which in turn allows a young person to recognize his mission and personal vocation. Like Jesus, young people need to show compassion for the poor and the sick.
The message of a youthful Church is not only for young people but for the whole Church. The Church must always be open to renewal. She is young when she is open to God’s word, the Eucharist, constantly returning to her source which is Christ himself and being attentive to the signs of the times. In this endeavor, the Church has in the first place Mary as a model of being young. Just like a young person she was not afraid to ask probing questions when she received the angel (Luke 1:34) and finally embracing her mission (Luke 1:38). Young people can learn from Mary who was not fearful. She embraced her mission totally without being overwhelmed by the sufferings of her son. She became an influencer through thick and thin.
The Church is littered with many models of sanctity who were young. Among these, we may recall Blessed Isidore Bakanja of Congo who was tortured for proposing Christianity to other young people and prior to his death forgave his executioner.
Chapter three You are the ‘now’ of God The Holy Father emphasizes that young people are not simply the future of the Church. On the contrary, they are the present and should thus assume responsibilities proper to them in the Church and society in general. Being the ‘now’ of God therefore also requires that adults listen to young people and avoid giving pre-packaged answers to them. Adults need to be aware that young people themselves are bearing seeds of divine life within them. The ‘now’ of young people shows that many young people are exposed to suffering and manipulation by various ideologies. These ideologies encourage young people to ridicule others on the basis of sexuality, race and otherwise. At times young people live in constant marginalization due to their religious affiliation, economic standing and or even ethnicity. The Church cannot remain indifferent to the problems of young people. As a mother, she must weep in the face of all these problems. Her weeping is a sign of her mercy and compassion. The Holy Father goes on to emphasize three important matters currently affecting young people:
1. The digital environment, which has both bright and dark spots. On the positive side, the digital environment allows young people to engage politically and thus engage actively in public affairs. Negatively though, the digital environment may lead to loneliness, manipulation, fake news and violence with the accompanying addictions and loss of contact with concrete reality.
2. Migration, which remains the Church’s main concern especially on those fleeing war, violence, persecution, hunger, natural disasters and poverty. It may lead to a fragmentation of families. For many migrants the Church remains a point of reference. On the positive side, migration can be about the encounter and the meeting of cultures which should be appreciated. In this way, it becomes a source of enrichment for both migrants and the receiving societies. Abuse, especially sexual abuse, which has even been perpetrated by some leaders in the Church. The Holy Father condemns this evil and in the same breath applauds the courage of all those who have come out and spoken out openly against it.
1 As he concludes this chapter, the Holy Father invites young people to renew themselves with the hope that only Jesus gives. At the same time, he invites young people to stick together so that they can face their challenges as a united force.
2 Chapter four A great message for all young people 3 The Holy Father speaks of the demands of faith that young people need to know:
1. God loves you: This explains the worth, significance and importance of young people before God.
2. Christ saves you: He saves all young people out of love and no one is for sale. No ideology may save a young person.
3. Christ is alive: He is not a distant figure of two thousand years ago but remains an influential and active presence today in the lives of young people. The Spirit gives life: All young people have to open themselves up to the Holy Spirit who is the only one that is able to keep alive the hope of salvation.
1 Chapter five Path of Youth
2 The Holy Father embarks on an analysis of what it means to live the years of youth in the light of the gospel. Youth is a time of dreams and decisions whence the young are called to move forward without cutting themselves off from their roots. Of course, temptations like complaining, giving up and anxiety are sure to come. For this reason, young people should be able to exercise patience and not expect instant results. They should not be afraid to try something new even not be afraid to make mistakes. In living out their youth, young people are encouraged to enjoy the small everyday blessings and having a constant friend in Jesus. The key to maintaining this friendship is prayer. This friendship allows for growth in maturity as the young person remains cemented in the Lord, “being online” “being connected”. To be courageous missionaries who are called to be witnesses of the gospel wherever they find themselves and be aware that there are no borders to missionary work. The Lord seeks all and all should participate in missionary work.
1 Growing older requires cherishing and preserving the most precious things about youth but also having to purify those things that are not good and receiving new gifts from God so that one can develop the things that really matter. This requires that the young person grow up to be truly himself. A strong warning is stated here. “Do not be a photocopy of somebody else”. Be more of yourself, becoming what the Lord wished to dream and create.
2 The Holy Father then proceeds to give three ways as to how this growth to maturity may be achieved:
1. Paths of fraternity, which find expression in the hidden beauty in others, their dignity as creatures of God and children of the Father. This fraternity is expressed beautifully in the African proverb which says “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”.
2. To be young and committed allows one to go beyond small groups. This may find expression in assisting the elderly, the sick, poor neighborhoods, the homeless and the needy. It is important that young people see themselves as protagonists for change.
3. To be courageous missionaries who are called to be witnesses of the gospel wherever they find themselves and be aware that there are no borders to missionary work. The Lord seeks all and all should participate in missionary work.
Chapter six Young people in the roots
1 This chapter seeks to encourage young people not to allow themselves to be uprooted from their culture and origins. Such an uprooting unfortunately, lends a young person to the danger of ideologies which encourage the young person to ignore history, rejecting the experience of his elders and look down on the past. The Holy Father calls these ideologies masters of manipulation who despise all that is not young. It finds expression in the so called so-called cult of youth which sees growing old as a problem. On occasion this cult also tends to homogenize young people, blurring out what is distinctive about their origins. The Holy Father makes a clear call that the young should reject this cult of youth as it promises a shallow life.
2 Having condemned the cult of youth, the Holy Father proceeds to emphasize the importance of a relationship with the elderly. “Helping young people to discover the living richness of the past, to treasure its memory and make use of it for their choices and opportunities is a genuine act of love towards them”. Even Scripture emphasizes this harmonious relationship as seen in the fourth commandment and wisdom literature. Elders, therefore, can assist or teach the young in the following ways:
1. A life without love is an arid life.
2. Anxiety about the future can be overcome.
3. There is more joy in giving than receiving.
Love is not only shown in words, but also in action. As a parting shot in this chapter, the Holy Father exhorts young people as follows: “Steer clear of young people who think that adults represent a meaningless past and those adults who always think that they know how young people should act. Together let us seek a better world, assisted by the Holy Spirit”.
Chapter seven Youth Ministry
In advocating for an improved youth ministry the Holy Father encourages a synodal approach. Of course, it is important to make use of methods that have worked in the past be they labeled conservative or liberal, traditional or progressive. The important thing is to promote effective communication of the joy of the gospel. Such a synodal approach thus encourages a form of co-responsibility in such a way that no one is excluded. The unity of the Church should not be seen as monolithic as such but a network of varied gifts.
Two important approaches need to stand out in youth ministry. The first is outreach and the second is growth. Outreach refers to reaching out to those who are outside the Church through various means like social media, songs, video, songs and other means which are able to touch the hearts of young people. Growth refers to those already inside the Church who should experience all the more the love in the Christian life as they deepen too on Christian doctrine and morality. Christian doctrine should focus on the development of the kerygma with morality focusing on the importance of fraternal love. Institutions play an important role in Youth Ministry. These should be welcoming and be like a real home and family for young people. They should be placed where young people can come and go The preservation and or establishment of oratories and youth centers should thus be promoted. Also, educational institutions like schools and universities should be maintained and these should not only give academic formation but also cultivate the kerygma and be engaged in cultural formation. Whilst these institutions should engage in various activities like sports and art, nevertheless, the Word of the Lord, the Eucharist, Reconciliation and the importance of the lives of the saints should never be forgotten.
Youth Ministry should not be limited to what we are familiar with but should also go to the popular spaces where young people already are. This forms part of the outreach posture and it is in such spaces that the Church can be seen as keeping open doors. These popular spaces will allow for the welcoming of those with a different vision of life and those belonging to other religions or even out of religion. The important thing to keep before our eyes is that all young people are in God’s heart and thus in the heart of the Church.
Participation in popular piety like pilgrimages forms part of youth ministry. In all this, the importance of accompaniment by adults can never be overstated. Among the qualities of such adults, the following deserve special mention: A faithful Christian, seeking holiness, confident, not judging, listener, self-aware, recognizing own limits, acknowledging own humanity, makes mistakes and believing in young people.
Chapter eight Vocation In this chapter, the Holy Father underlines the fact that God has a wonderful plan for us all and the importance of the call to holiness. God has called us to a friendship and Jesus wants to be a friend of every young person. Every vocation requires one to be there for others and engaging in missionary service. Being there for others may take two forms namely love/family and work.
Many young people feel intensely the call to love with the view of forming a family. The sacrament of matrimony envelops this love in the grace of God. God has created us as sexual beings and sex is a beautiful gift from the Lord. Its purpose is to love and generate life. Indeed, for many young people, the family continues to be a point of reference in spite of problems of divorce and the disintegration of families. When such happens it has been observed that on occasion grandparents have played a decisive and positive role. They should be treasured and appreciated as they have done a lot in holding families together, being helpful and crucial in affection and religious education.
Work allows young adults to meet their practical needs, to seek meaning and fulfillment of their dreams and visions. Yet, it is also in the area of work that some young people can experience exclusion and marginalization. This is certainly true of youth employment affecting many countries today. In spite of the pervasive unemployment, the Holy Father exhorts young people not to give up on their dreams and never to accept defeat. Beyond family and work, the Holy Father goes on to indicate that some people might feel called to the priesthood and consecrated life. It is important that those who feel called to these states of life do so with confidence in the Lord.
Chapter nine Discernment Discernment is fundamental in discovering one’s vocation in life without which we can easily become prey to passing trends. It has to do with seeking a glimpse of that unique and mysterious plan that God has for each of us, the meaning of one’s life before God who knows and loves every human being. Young people should make use of the many priests, religious, lay professionals and other qualified young people in the process of discernment.
Conclusion As a parting shot, the Holy Father invites the young peoples of the world to keep running, attracted by the face of Christ who loves us so much, whom we adore in the Holy Eucharist and acknowledge in the flesh of our suffering brothers and sisters.
Taken From :http://imbisaweb.com/?p=2161
Facing terminal cancer, Polish man ordained priest in hospital bed
May is ordination month in many dioceses, but the ordination of Fr. Michal Los, FDP, a member of the Orionine Fathers, was far from your typical ordination. On May 24, Los was ordained a priest in his Warsaw hospital bed.Los was diagnosed with cancer a month ago, and is now in critical condition. Pope Francis granted a dispensation allowing him to be ordained both a deacon and a priest in the same Mass, and Los was ordained by Bishop Marek Solarczyk of the Diocese of Warsaw-Praga. The day before his ordination, Los made perpetual vows in his religious community. Permission was granted to the director general of the congregation, Fr. Tarcisio Vieira, to whom Pope Francis sent a letter.
Also present at the ceremony were the vicar general of the Orionine Fathers, Fr. Oreste Ferrari, the counselor general, Fr. Fernando Fornerod, and the Orionine Province of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Fr. Krzysztof Mis. Los’ parents and sister also came, along with other Polish members of the congregation.
“The ceremony took place in an atmosphere of great and profound spirituality. After the initial prayer, the litany for the intercession of the saints followed for the life of Michal and for his congregation,” said Fr. Fornerod in a Facebook post about the event.
The day after his ordination, Los celebrated his first Mass from his bed. On May 25 with a video posted on Facebook, Los, thanked Catholics who prayed for him, asking for more prayers and offering a blessing with the sign of the Cross.
“Praised be Jesus Christ, thanks for all your prayers and I hope you continue to praying, I bless all of you in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,” the young priest said on the video.
From : Catholic News Agency
01st- Sat -Rev. Fr. Edward Christy Fernando
02nd- Sun -Rev. Fr. Alvin Peter Fernando
12th- Wed -Rev. Fr. Starrett Melder
18th- Tue -Rev. Fr. M. Charles
21st- Fri -Rev. Fr. Sanshana Wasara Samarasinghe, OSB
29th- Sat Rev. Fr. Roshan Dilrukshan
26th- Wed -Rev. Fr. Ignatius Samarakoon
30th- Sun -Rev. Fr. Lalith Thushara Amerasinghe
03rd- Mon -Very Rev. Fr. Theodore A Peiris
05th- Wed -Rev. Bro. Robert Lyson, OSB