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Monday, October 12, 2009

What went wrong with our Catholic Youths.

Written by Silver Bird (truncated).

I attended the sunset mass and confirmation service of 200 confirmants celebrated by our Archbishop Datuk John Lee at St Michael Church Penampang on 26/9/2009. Well, everything went smoothly until the mass ended. Thereafter, there were 3 speeches delivered by the Penampang Parish Council Chairman, the Rector and his Excellency Archbishop.

To sum up those 3 speeches, I think our Archbishop was not happy with the remarks made by the Penampang Parish Council Chairman in his speech who said that only 30% of the catholic community in Penampang was active church goers for the period 2000 - 2009.

The Archbishop was taken by surprise with the statistics given by the Chairman of PPC. In spite of hundreds of confirmation conducted every year in Penampang Parish, he was appalled by the Penampang Parish council Chairman’s observation that after 9 years only 30% catholic Community was active in Penampang Parish church (itupun recycle), while the rest of the 70% catholic - only God knows – could not be accounted for.

Our Archbishop added that this is a "scandal" (but jangan salah sangka this is nothing to do like ada "affair" scandal). What he meant was: why 70% of Penampang catholic communities are not active in church, particularly the youths? Have the youths in Penampang lost their catholic faith or direction that nobody cares? Do they care only for those active church goers and forget about those ‘lost sheep’?

His Excellency the Archbishop therefore urged the Penampang Parish Council to analyze why, what, which, who and how these problems can be overcome or improved for the good of the catholic community of Penampang Parish.

At the conclusion of those speeches I felt ashamed and told myself that the state of affair with the Penampang Parish Council is alarming - very serious indeed. Why and what happened in our Parish? I suggest that in order to improve our catholic youths participation in catholic faith, revert to the old system i.e. the youth empowerment. Reinstate the Youth section in every kampung level in the 12 zones under Penampang Parish and revert the Christmas caroling activities which are normally run by the Youths, lest they feel sidelined!!

In my view, such activities will encourage potential youth leaders to emerge; talented guitarist, keyboards players, etc, will emerge from their slumber, and the interaction between the kampungs and inter-kampungs will be re-activated; and many, many more that I cannot write in this forum.

In conclusion, I suggest the Penampang Parish Community Chairman to resign because he has failed in his duties, and who has admitted that only 70% catholic community in Penampang go to church.

Linundus says …

Perhaps the following press release by the Vatican may very well awaken those people concerned in the Penampang Parish Council, including the Rector himself.

Vatican Spokesman Addresses Youth's Need for Hope

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 8, 2009 ( Youth today need a great hope capable of unmasking the idolatry of money, career and success, says the Vatican spokesman.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, affirmed this in his editorial on the latest episode of "Octava Dies," in which he commented on Benedict XVI's message for World Youth Day, planned for Palm Sunday.

He explained: "Of course the Pope is returning to his last encyclical, 'Spe Salvi': that is, we are saved in hope; but he is specifically addressing new generations, naturally open to ideals, dreams, plans, those who can and must find a way to translate hope into concrete signs in the course of the years to come."

The priest quoted the Pope, who said, "The question of hope is truly central to our lives as human beings and our mission as Christians, especially in these times." Father Lombardi noted that the Pontiff awakens "the sense of responsibility in young people" by saying that "youth is the time when decisive choices concerning the rest of our lives come to fruition."

The spokesman noted that the Pope is inviting young people to "go beyond little ephemeral hopes to give their hearts to the 'great hope' that gives meaning to existence, the hope founded on Jesus Christ and his Gospel."

He added: "On this solid basis one can learn how to be patient and perseverant, to unmask the idolatry of money, career and success, to put personal abilities at the service of the common good, truth, love for one's neighbor.

"Youth must be the time of joy; but without hope, joy isn't possible. The authentic Christian is never sad -- even if he must face difficult trials -- because the presence and friendship of Christ is the secret of his joy and his peace.

"The Church continues to invite the young people of the world to look ahead."

1 comment:

  1. Correction SJD, should be "..admitted that only 30% catholic community in Penampang go to church."

    FYI, some catholics non-religious NGOs in Penampang especially the children who will be enjoying their one and half months school holidays soon will look forward for the christmas caroling practice this November and of course the house to house christmas caroling in early December 2009.

    I think this is the first step to improve the sense of responsibility in young people as what Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi said that,"Youth must be the time of joy, but without hope, joy isn't possible."

    So we will look what will happen.