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YOUTH

63. The younger generation is a major force in the world today. By standing for values and initiating a movement for change, young people have become the “leading characters in evangelisation and participants in the renewal of society” (CL 46. Cf. EA 47). Therefore, the Youth Apostolate is an important part of the ministry of the Church.

64. Youth is, in fact, a time of search for identity and meaning, for belonging and for achievement. It is a key stage of intense discovery of one’s self and one’s qualities and capacities. It is a point of decision-making about one’s vocation, one’s direction in life and one’s life partner. It is a phase for accepting, rejecting or reshaping one’s values and beliefs and one’s stance towards status and authority. It is a tremendous potential that can either be harnessed to bring about a creative transformation or wreak enormous destruction.

65. A sizeable number of youth in Goa find themselves being swept along by the tide of a fast growing consumerist and materialistic culture promoted through the media. They are caught up in the race for quick money and success in a world little concerned with values and morality. There are also a large number of youth who are unemployed, marginalised and, consequently, at a high risk of being trapped by communalist forces and crime promoted by various vested interests. Many young people are also victims of insecurity, sexual abuse, oppression and violence. They struggle to cope with such situations, yet they also show a tremendous resilience. We cannot overlook the present-day scourge of alcoholism, gambling, and drug addiction afflicting many of our young people. The communication gap between parents and children, emigration of parents in pursuit of employment and the consequent lack of love and acceptance, also present a stumbling block to their formation.

66. Young people affirm their right to recognition and responsibility in the faith community. They are looking for a genuine God experience in the life and liturgy of the Church. They assert that their right of becoming and belonging is denied, when the Church fails to respond to their needs and talents. They yearn to be trusted, appreciated and respected, especially by their parents in their families and by their educators. Disillusioned with the hypocrisy and lack of transparency on the part of their elders and people in authority, both in the Church and in Society, they look for genuine role models, authentic personalities and exemplary lifestyles.

67. Recommendations

 

  • 67.1 The Diocesan Youth Centre (DYC) should promote the youth ministry at the PARISH LEVEL by means of regular youth animation programmes and by imparting Gospel values.
  • 67.2 Special attention should be paid to the formation of Youth Animators in each of our Parishes.
  • 67.3 Every Parish should have adequate structures and offer opportunities that will help not only the Christian youth but also youth of all religions to come together and share their life, faith experiences, concerns, questions and discoveries. The Parish library should have sufficient and appropriate material for youth. The Parish should provide greater opportunity for fellowship and communion by means of organized youth apostolates and youth groups/associations and also make available recreational facilities. Every organized parish youth apostolate/association should have guidelines in line with those established by the DYC.
  • 67.4 Adequate representation of youth should be ensured in all participatory structures of the Church at the parish and diocesan levels.
  • 67.5 Given the fact that adolescence is a transient stage towards maturity, taking place in the bosom of the family, the DYC could organize programmes for the youth with particular stress on family involvement. A holistic sexuality education/ training programme should be developed so that youth can themselves counsel other youth (peer to peer counselling).
  • 67.6 The DYC should have as its top priority a CAREER GUIDANCE CELL with professional counsellors and other trained personnel. It must coordinate with the Archdiocesan Board of Education (ABE), the Diocesan Service Centre for Social Action (DBSA) and the DFSC. It must also network with other youth organizations/movements and employment bureaux.
  • 67.7 The activities of young people should be channelised by involving them in concrete plans of action in the religious, social, political, cultural and environmental fields. Dignity of labour needs to be inculcated in the minds of our young people. Christian Youth Movements have an important role to play in this sphere.
  • 67.8 Good educational and entertainment programmes need to be organized in order to counteract those filled with frivolous and cheap entertainment that promote hedonism and materialism.
  • 67.9 With a view to helping parish communities, the DYC should set up a specialised cell with a team of experts along the coastal belts of Goa and co-operate with NGOs to fight the rising menace of drugs and alcohol, paedophilia, sexual promiscuity and other evils.
  • 67.10 Inviting persons of dubious moral character as Chief Guests/Guests of Honour at community functions should be strictly avoided, as it gives a counter witness to our Youth.

Golden Verse

1Korintkarank 7:38

Mhonnttôch aplê ankvar hoklê lagim logn zata to borem korta; ani logn zaina to odik borem korta.
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