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Youth Jubilee in India

29 dicembre 2010

By reporter, Kochi

A senior Vatican official has urged young Catholics to follow Jesus through doctrine, discipline and devotion.

Cardinal Ivan Dias, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, also urged the youths to witness Christ “with our sweat, with our word and, if God wills, with our blood.”

The cardinal launched the silver jubilee of the Jesus Youth (JY) movement last night near Kochi, the commercial capital of the southern Indian state of Kerala.

More than 20,000 JY members from 29 countries are attending the five-day program.

Cardinal Dias said it was “a great occasion” to have so many young people from across the world “assemble and praise the Lord.”

The Vatican official noted that the jubilee began on the feast of the Holy Innocents when the Church commemorates the sacrifice of babies following Christ’s birth.

Hailing those children as the “first” and “silent” witnesses to the Lord, Cardinal Dias urged the participants to become “living” witnesses to Christ in modern world.

“A disciplined approach to relationships, time, effort and money, which captivated the non-Christians of the early ages, remains the silver bullet to share Jesus with the world even today,” the cardinal said.

The jubilee began with music by Rex Band, the JY’s music ministry. The crowd sang and danced with the band that fuses Indian ethnic rhythms and Western music.

Participants have come from Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Germany, Malaysia, Persian Gulf countries, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Manoj Sunny, general convener of the jubilee program, said the participants include several bishops, 757 priests, 918 nuns, 113 seminarians and 3,160 families.

The conference will conclude with a vigil on New Year’s day.

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