9 April 2019 - "Here I am, send me": "The Year of Youth in Pakistan will be a time to nourish our future, to take care of young people, to listen to them and to accompany them on their journey of faith and to grow in holiness": as Agenzia Fides learns, this is what Bishop Samson Shukardin said during a meeting of the Youth Commission of the Pakistani Bishops' Conference held yesterday 4 April in St. Patrick's Cathedral, in Karachi. The meeting of the Commission was held a week after Pakistan's Catholic Bishops Conference announced 2020 as the "Year of Youth" for the Catholic Church in Pakistan. Bishop Samson Shukardin, who took part in the Synod of Youth held at the Vatican last autumn, explained: "Our mission is to help young people grow in their faith and live a happy life in society. We are inspired by Jesus who walked , shared and accompanied the disciples of Emmaus".
An ad hoc Committee has been formed to plan and follow the various initiatives of the Year of Youth which will begin with the feast of Christ the King in 2019 and will close on the same feast holiday in 2020. The chosen theme is the biblical verse "Here I am, send me!" (Isaiah 6: 8), chosen precisely in the light of the Synod on young people of 2018. Speaking to Fides, Mgr. Samson Shukardin declares: "The theme set for the Year of Youth wants to help young people recognize, discern and live their missionary vocation, to serve the Church as priests, religious and laity". The Bishop observes: "Young people need a spiritual father, as well as Pastors and lay leaders are needed to work with young people, who can accompany them and help them overcome the challenges they face in their daily lives".
The Bishop concludes: "We must empower and involve young people in the Church by giving them responsibility, trusting them and forming them to spread the Word of God and Christian values also through media, music, arts, games and sport".
The Committee will organize events in all the dioceses of Pakistan, including seminars on the final document of the Synod "Christus Vivit". (AG) (Agenzia Fides, 5/4/2019)