Harare (Agenzia Fides) - How can the Apostolic Exhortation Christus Vivit be made known to the young people of southern Africa? This is what youth chaplains and leaders from the IMBISA Region (Inter-Regional Meeting of the Bishops of Southern Africa) asked themselves, during a virtual meeting held to discuss the reception and implementation of the Papal Exhortation Christus Vivit Exhortation in their countries.
The participants shared the various initiatives being implemented in their respective countries to promote the Papal document. Responding to Pope Francis' call to "discern pathways where others see walls, to recognize potential where others see only peril", participants shared the various platforms that have been utilised to "keep alive" the youth ministry during the Covid-19 pandemic through the use of social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Whatsapp and Twitter.
Participants of the 2019 Panama World Youth Day celebrations lamented on the lack of sharing after the pilgrimage, language barrier: the event was mainly in Spanish and did not include any other languages, while most of the volunteers could not speak English, some participants went for other business not meant for the pilgrimage, costs too high compared to Europe, multiple flights connections, travel disturbances and delays. Despite these challenges, young people "like to take trips, to discover new places and people, and to have new experiences" (Pope Francis).
For this reason, young people in the IMBISA region are encouraged to participate in the next intercontinental pilgrimage to Portugal 2023, with emphasis on proper planning, evaluation and spiritual preparation for potential participants.
Underlining that regional solidarity and cooperation are vital, the participants discussed and agreed on the need to create information-sharing platforms for young people in the region; to intensify working relationships at the diocesan, conference and regional level; have an IMBISA working group for young people.
Participants looked forward to developing an itinerary for IMBISA youths based on Christus Vivit anticipated for June 2021, organised and facilitated by the IMBISA Secretariat. Present among the participants were Youth chaplains and Youth Leaders from Eswatini, Lesotho, Sao Tome, South Africa (Republic of), and Zimbabwe. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 10/12/2020)