Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New Web Portal Launched for Youth in India

The Church in India has launched a new web portal for young people with multimedia and social networking facilities, claiming it to be the first Church site to link its content to cell phones.

Nuncio to India Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio launched the site at the concluding function of a national youth convention on Oct. 17 in Shillong, the capital of Christian majority Meghalaya state.

An estimated 60,000 young people, especially from northeastern states witnessed the launch along with some 400 priests gathered for the week-long event.

The portal is conceived, developed and maintained in collaboration with, the Bangkok-based Catholic news service specialized in covering the Asian Church.

The site, having a full-fledged multimedia and social networking targeted at youth, is first such in the global Church, says Jesuit Father Michael Kelly, executive director of

The Indian Catholic Youth Movement that functions under the youth office of the Indian bishops collaborated to develop the site.

“The site is for you, and it is your site,” Father Kelly said amid applause from young people, dressed in colorful tribal and regional dresses.

“The Church is a community of communities. And sharing is the basics of communities,” Father Kelly said adding that the site helps build and sustain the communities.

“Here the technology is working to do what the Church wants to achieve–communicate a message and enrich relationships,” he added.

Rakesh Singh of the youth movement who coordinated the project with UCA News said the young people have “taken it as a big step of the Church forward.”

India is a world hub of technological development and the Indian youth are well aware of it. Here the Church is meeting them with something that they well understand, Singh added.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pontiff Urges Youth to Pray Daily Rosary

Benedict XVI is noting Thursday's feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, encouraging the faithful to appreciate this traditional prayer.

The Pope spoke of the rosary today at the conclusion of the general audience, when he offered his customary greeting to youth, the sick and newlyweds.

"October is the month of the holy rosary, which invites us to appreciate this prayer so dear to the tradition of the Christian people," he said.

The Holy Father went on to invite youth "to make the rosary your daily prayer." He encouraged those suffering from illness to use the rosary "to grow in confident abandonment in God's hands."

Finally, he exhorted newlyweds "to make of the rosary a constant contemplation of the mysteries of Christ."


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Youth Should Rise and Shine – Bp. Jacob Manathodath

“By leading a life firmly based on the gospels, youth should be able to liberate the world and renovate the society. The youth, who is the great expectation of the Catholic Church and the catholic community should rise and shine in order to expel the social evils prevailing around us”, said Bp. Jacob Manathodath, the bishop of Diocese of Palghat. He was addressing the participants of the “Youth Parliament” in the concluding ceremony. The program was organized by KCYM Diocese of Palghat on October 1,2,3 at Yuvakshetra Palakkad. Catholic youth who are striving to liberate the world and society through their life based on Christian values are not only the future expectation of the church, they are also the present strength of the church, the Bishop added.

The closing ceremony held at Yuvakshetra was presided by Jinish Kulathinal, President KCYM, Diocese of Palghat. KCYM Diocesean youth director Fr. Anto Thaikkattil, Joint Director Fr. Tom Vadakkekara, Youth Parliament working committee chairman Mr. A. M. Raphael, vice chairman Mr. Francis Kadappara and other diocesan youth leaders addressed the gathering.

More than 200 selected youth from different parishes in the diocese attended the ‘Youth Parliament’ that began on October 1. The Parliament that spanned for three days was notable with the participation of youth and the classes. Experts from the social, cultural, political and spiritual scenario lead the classes and interacted with the youth representatives.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Young People And Families, A Sign Of Hope – Pope Benedict

During the last event of his pastoral visit to Palermo, the Pope met with thousands of young people gathered in the city's Piazza Politeama, to whom he spoke about Chiara Badano, beatified in Rome on 25 September.

Recalling how the blessed died young of an incurable disease, he said: "Nineteen years full of life, of love, of faith. Two years, the last two, also full of suffering but always in love and light, a light she irradiated around her and that came from within, from her heart full of God".

After then highlighting how her parents "lit the flame of faith in their daughter's heart, and helped Chiara keep it alight even in the difficult moments as she was growing up and especially in the long trial of suffering", Benedict XVI noted how "the relationship between parents and children is the torch of faith that is transmitted from generation to generation".

"The family", he went on, "is fundamental because it is here that the first perception of the meaning of life germinates in the human heart. It germinates in the relationship with the mother and father, who are responsible for their children's life but also the first collaborators of God in transmitting the life of faith".

In Sicily too "there are splendid testimonies of young people who [germinate and] grow like beautiful lush plants", said the Holy Father. "Do not to be afraid to contrast evil", he told his audience. "Do not give in to the lure of the mafia, which is the path of death, incompatible with the Gospel, as many of your bishops have said".

Referring then to the theme of the next World Youth Day - "Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith" - the Pope said: "The image of the tree tells us that each of us needs a fertile soil in which to sink our roots, a terrain rich in nutritional substances which make the person grow". These substances "are values, but above all they are love and faith, knowledge of the true face of God and awareness that He loves us infinitely, faithfully, patiently, to the point of giving His life for us.

"In this context", he added, "the family is like a 'little Church', because it transmits God, it transmits the love of Christ by virtue of the Sacrament of Marriage. ... And the family, in order to be a 'little Church', must be well inserted into the 'great Church'; in other words, into the family that Christ came to create".

In closing Benedict XVI referred to the difficulties the people of Sicily have to face. "Where there are young people and families who chose the way of the Gospel, there is hope", he said. "And you are a sign of hope, not only for Sicily but for all Italy.

"I have brought you a witness of sanctity and you have offered me yours: the faces of so many young people of this land who have loved Christ with evangelical radicality. The greatest gift we have received is to be a Church, to be in Christ a sign and instrument of unity, peace and freedom. No-one can take this joy from us. No-one can take this power! Courage, dear young people and families of Sicily! Be saints!"

During his journey by car from Palermo to the city's Falcone e Borsellino airport at Punta Raisi, the Pope paused at Capeci, where an attack in 1992 cost the lives of Judge Giovanni Falcone and his police escort. The Pope descended from his car and placed a bunch of flowers at one of the memorial plaques, then prayed in silence for all the victims of the mafia and of organised crime. He then returned to his car and continued his journey to the airport.

Courtesy: VIS