Kuching Archdiocesan Youth Commission: We’re Going the Distance

There is an African proverb we see sometimes on our social media which goes “If you want to go fast, go alone.

Mar 13, 2021

KUCHING: There is an African proverb we see sometimes on our social media which goes “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”. Those were the words Fr Ramon Borja, SDB, shared with the servant-leaders of our parish youth ministries, youth groups and young adult ministries in our archdiocese recently.

On the agenda were the projects or programmes to be organised in the year ahead by the Kuching Archdiocesan Youth Commission (KAYC). Through these projects, KAYC seeks to address several priority issues affecting our young people at the archdiocesan level. Priority issues such as ‘lack of desire to know or prioritise God’ and ‘lack of sense of belonging to the Catholic Church’ were identified over the course of several synodal discussions held online via Zoom.

Due to restrictions and safety protocols brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more of our young people have expressed growing feelings of isolation, loneliness and emotional stress. After much discussion among the leaders, it became clear that due to these circumstances with unknown end date, a large majority of the programmes in 2021 would have to continue to be online or virtual.

Among the projects planned was #GodsWordMyWorld, a virtual Bible-sharing challenge. It was held in celebration of the Sunday of the Word of God on January 24. In this project KAYC invited young people to organise Bible Sharing Prayer Moments either in person or online. Then participants would share their moments on social media and nominate others to do the same. It aims to promote more appreciation of the Word of God, especially in the lives of young people.

Monday BLUES, another programme by KAYC,  began on February 1. Monday BLUES aims to deepen the faith of our Catholic youth through ‘watch parties’ with moments of prayer and sharing among friends and family. Organised on a monthly basis, every first Monday of the month at 7.30pm, either online or in person, Monday BLUES focuses on a particular theme portrayed in a video/movie. Then sharing reflections follows. It ends with a prayer blessing for everyone. All, especially the young, are invited to turn their ‘Monday Blues’ into BLUE Mondays. Just Be there; Learn from one another, especially about the Catholic faith; Unite with God, with one another and with your deeper self; get Enriched as God’s beloved; and Share inspirations to more and more persons.

For the season of Lent, SOS (Christ’s Suffering is an Offering for our Salvation) was launched. KAYC hopes that this project will be a reminder to all that, in Jesus’ death, God lovingly chose to Save Our Ship and to Save Our Souls. Beginning on February 20, SOS featured several videos inspired by the Five Sorrowful Mysteries and the Seven Last Words of Jesus, all of which seek to help us all, especially our young people, to appreciate more and get into the spirit of the Lenten season.

Inspired by the Come Alive Advent project of KAYC and by the HOPE virtual Christmas concert of KYCS (Kuching Young Christian Students) both organised in 2020, S.O.S. will also feature prayer moments, songs and sharing from different young people and youth ministers throughout the Kuching Archdiocese.

There are other upcoming programmes lined up. Some are to promote Church celebrations and advocacies like Care for Creation, Marian devotion and vocation promotion.

KAYC intends to continue doing their ongoing projects such as Laksa for our Jiwa and Come Alive. May more and more Catholics, especially the young, get enriched by all these.

At a time as uncertain as the one we live in, the servantleaders of KAYC are reminded that (inspired by the song of Jon Bon Jovi) ‘When we cannot do what we normally do, we just do what we can’… and that surely still means a lot.

With all these in mind, KAYC invites all young people to join us as we move forward into 2021… not worrying about going fast, but keeping our eyes focused on Jesus as together we go the distance… one step at a time, one programme at a time. — Kuching Archdiocesan Youth Commission

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