Youth Week Celebration!03 May 2015, by Events in
The youth are celebrated in the Catholic Church, especially in Nigeria under the name Catholic Youth Organization of Nigeria (C.Y.O.N.). In our Parish, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Lagos, Nigeria, the youth had a whole week dedicated to them to celebrate the youth week themed blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. The youth and the parishioners were blessed through the various speakers. The week came to a close today with thanksgiving Mass and the social celebration.
As the parish priest and the chaplain to the youth in the parish, I gave the following address:
The tragic death suffered by Saint Charles Lwanga and his Companions, who were murdered because of their faith as Christians, is no longer news but the feat achieved by their exemplary call to holiness as Catholic Youth would never be forgotten. This act of bravery to go against King Mwanga’s call to paganism and homosexuality even unto death earned him and his Companions canonization in 1964 by Pope Paul in Uganda. He was aged 26(1860–1886). Sad to note that these requests by the King which they rebelled against is now being glorified and institutionalized in our world today; the acceptance of sin as a way of life and freedom to live as one’s heart dictates in order to indulge the flesh is gradually becoming universally acceptable.
This year’s Youth Week therm “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God”- Matt 5:8 is a true reflection of what St. Charles stood for. This is a call for us all, most especially the Youth in our Parish, to examine our consciencce and see if we are what God and the Church wants us to be or we are what the world wants us to be.
The Youth are integral part of the church becaues the future of our Catholic faith and traditions are been handed over to them. One area of commendation I will like to give to the youth is there active participation in the Parish which could be seen in the PPC and Laity Council and also in our various groups and societies but more is still being demanded for a vibrant community; spiritually and socially. The responsibility which lies on the shoulders of the Youth is not just to the Church alone but also to the society and their families which is the basic unit of the church. I admonish you to see yourselves as beacons of light for others to follow. True that the world is going haywire but you have a responsibility not to go haywire.
This year’s Youth week has come and its almost gone just like the previous years and I pray it bears fruit in your life in Jesus name. Amen. I appreciate all our Parishioners who attended the program, there is more to come from the CYON and I hope you find time to attend as programs covering Skill Acquisition and Empowerment (SEAP), Youth Cycle for Interaction on Financial issues, Social issues and some other programs slated for the year are already under planning for improvement and encompassment.
I am also using this medium to call on all the Youth in the parish and all the Society heads to join hands with the CYON in moving the parish forward, most especially the coming reforms in the structure of the CYON to encompass all the Youth in our societies and Parish. We will need your corporation. To the Youth in the Parish who are yet to be registered, I advise you to join the CYON as your own contribution towards the Youth Apostolate and help the Church to grow.
Thank you and God Bless you.