Karachi (Agenzia Fides) - "Be modern prophets, taking the proclamation of the Gospel seriously, to all those young people who are far from God, who pursue a wrong path and find themselves doing wrong": as Fides learns, this is the invitation addressed by Bishop Samson Shukardin OFM, president of the Commission for the Laity within the Bishops' Conference of Pakistan, to the youth of Karachi. The Bishop led the youth meeting of the "Jesus Youth Pakistan" ecclesial movement, organized in recent days for the young people of Karachi Archdiocese, in view of the Synod of Youth, to be held in the Vatican in autumn 2018.
"The Church in Pakistan needs lay people to support and carry on its apostolate. We appreciate the good works of the Jesus Youth Pakistan movement, especially the dedication and enthusiasm of organizing youth gatherings", said the Bishop. As reported to Fides, Mgr. Shukardin invited young Catholics to "witness the Risen Lord in everyday life" and to engage in the ministries of apostolate, making themselves available with their respective parish priests and catechists.
The theme of the meeting organized by "Jesus Youth Pakistan" was "joy". Ayyaz Gulzar, Catholic layman and coordinator of the movement, explained to Fides: "This meeting of reflection and spirituality was a moment to thank God for the works he has carried out in the lives of the youth in Karachi in the last five years. This year, in order to prepare ourselves for the Synod, the focus of our journey will be prayer: we want to experience and receive the grace of God in a time of reflection, silence, adoration, confession of sins, and prayer. This is the fuel that gives us strength to live and witness the Gospel in Pakistani society, school, family, and work".
In the concluding Eucharistic celebration, Bishop Samson Shukardin said to the young people present: "You are a sign of hope for the Church in Pakistan. Take your baptismal and missionary vocation seriously, reinforcing your faith, especially by living it in family life and in every aspect of your life".
In the various Pakistani dioceses, meetings of reflection and sharing among young people are planned for the Synod of Bishops, dedicated to young people, to be held in the Vatican in October 2018. As highlighted to Fides, Fr. Mario Rodrigues, Head of the Youth Pastoral Care in the Archdiocese of Karachi, "in the reflection which from Pakistan will be delivered to the Synodal Fathers, we will emphasize that the major challenges for young Catholics in Pakistan are education and the pursuit of a stable and dignified occupation. Education is essential to have a future and to find a job. The Church accompanies young people on the path of human and spiritual maturity and also helps them on the path that sees them integrate in the social fabric, where they can live a testimony of authentic faith, made of prophecy, mercy, charity". (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 5/10/2017)