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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Malaysian Catholic Youth Ministers Committee (MCYMC) Meeting

DS / st
Photos by Kevin Eruthayanathan
Group photo with Archbishop Elect Rev Julian Leow ( seated 3rd left )
Port Dickson : 28 representatives of the Malaysian Catholic Youth Ministers Committee (MCYMC)  from the nine arch / dioceses convened at Champagnat Youth Centre (Marist Brothers) here, for the annual meeting from 7th to 11th July. 

Fr. Ronnie Luni from the Diocese of Keningau presided over the Opening Mass at the Centre's Chapel. In his homily, among others he said, "Out of so many young leaders, you were chosen and appointed to lead the young people through this tough and challenging time in Malaysia. To lead them in their fears and tears, to guide and encourage them to find hope through the guidance and teachings of Christ Jesus. Be their hope" 

The meeting proper began with presentations of reports on program implemented, up-coming program and challenges faced by each arch / diocese. After the reporting sessions, MCYMC discussed on the common trends encountered in their own respective arch / diocese using the see-judge-act approach. The main challenges faced by the Catholic youths in Malaysia are ;
  1. Conversion to other religions
  2. Conversion to other denominations
  3. Lack of youth leaders and full time pastoral worker
  4. Migration and it's problem
  5. Lack of holistic faith formation
From the 5-day and 4-night meeting, MCYMC came out with an action plan to be adopted at the National and Diocesan level. One of the action plans at national level is the Malaysian Catholic Campus Students' Day which will be held in the Archdiocese of Kuching from 14th to 20th July 2015. At the diocesan level, a joint prayer with other denominations and other religions as well as holding talks on conversion to other religions and a series of awareness programs on the issue will be held.
On Thursday afternoon 10th July, MCYMC visited Our Lady of Lourdes' Church in Klang. During the visit, Fr. Michael Chua, the Parish Priest shared and enriched us in the understanding  of other religions in the country. It is an interesting talk and at the same time an eye opener where we were exposed to the background of other religions practiced in the country.

On the last day of the meeting, 11th July we were blessed to have Archbishop Elect Rev Julian Leow to be with us during the Closing Mass. The prelate shared that the Youth and Campus Ministry has been carved out from the Lay Apostolate and he will be in charge of the said Ministry effective 2015.

According to the prelate, the youth ministry is a place where our young people should have a sense of belonging where they can feel safe and can share especially in the world today. It is important to give them this avenue to pour out their problems and concerns. As a youth minister, we play an important role to guide them in today's world. Youth are not the leaders for tomorrow but leaders of today. 

All of us have baggage(s) and brokenness in ourselves. We are to help them to nurture them and to heal, so they would not propagate the brokenness to others. There is so much to be done in today's world, especially on "the path of no return" - conversion to other religion. Therefore we need to start from our young people, inculcating values, goodness and respect for others. To see all of you here is a sign that the young people are near to our heart. Before he ended his speech, he asked the youth ministers to pray for him in his new journey.

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