More than 1,000 celebrate Diocesan Young People Day

MJD Young People Day, the diocesan celebration of World Youth Day for the Diocese of Malacca Johore, took place November 24 to 26 in the vicariates of North Central Johore, South Johore and Malacca with more than 1,000 young people.

Dec 08, 2023

MJD Young People Day, the diocesan celebration of World Youth Day for the Diocese of Malacca Johore, took place November 24 to 26 in the vicariates of North Central Johore, South Johore and Malacca with more than 1,000 young people.

The preparation for the celebration began in January 2023, where the Young People Councils were formed for each vicariate, consisting of the parish youth and young adult leaders and advisors, and also campus leaders and advisors. The vicariate councils prepared and planned based on the six cornerstones of World Youth Day, from the pastoral guidelines given by Pope Francis. They also added their creativity and ideas, with the guidance of the Young People Network team.

Each vicariate’s Young People Day was carried out differently but with the same goal, to invite all the young people of the diocese to come together for a time of community building, through prayer, formation and fellowship on the Feast of Christ the King weekend. Generally, all three celebrations had ice-breaking, talk, group sharing, praise and worship, and Mass celebrated by Bishop Bernard Paul. The programme also prepared to cater for the four main language groups in the diocese — English, Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin and Tamil.

The first was the North Central Johore Vicariate, on November 24 in the Church of St Louis, Kluang. With around 150 participants, the programme kicked off with a welcoming ceremony, with each parish processing with their flags into the parish hall. They were then broken into groups for games, before moving into their respective language rooms for a talk on discovering and living out our vocation in our daily lives, group sharing, and dialogue with the speakers. The invited guests were Sr Evelyn, FdCC, for English, Msgr Peter Ng for Bahasa Malaysia, Fr Paul Wong for Mandarin, and Fr Andrew Arockia Samy for Tamil. There were also exhibitions during lunch where each parish and campus promoted their youth or student groups. This was followed by praise and worship, performance, and another round of fun games, before a time of sharing and prayer. The celebration ended with multilingual Mass animated by young people from the various parishes.

The next day, the South Johore Vicariate celebrated at MAJODI Centre, Plentong, with nearly 400 participants. It began with praise and worship. During the Eucharistic adoration, Rosary was recited and Confessions conducted simultaneously before Mass. After lunch, the participants were broken into groups for games and group activity. Each group discussed the five things that make a young person “young” and created an artwork based on what was shared. Then, the participants left for their respective language rooms for a time of formation on the theme of the celebration, which was Mary Arose and Went With Haste. (Luke 1:39) The invited speakers were Fr Dr Lawrence Ng for English, Fr William Pillai for Bahasa Malaysia, Sr Josephine Thong, OFS, for Mandarin, and Fr James Rajendran for Tamil.

On November 26, nearly 460 youth celebrated in the Malacca Vicariate at the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Krubong. The programme began with the recitation of the Rosary and Mass with the local parishioners, followed by welcoming and ice-breaking in the hall. The participants then moved into the language rooms for session input on vocation, given by Sr Shanti, FdCC, for English (13-17), Fr Neville Arul for English (18-39), Sr Liza Anggie, FSIC, for Bahasa Malaysia (13-17), Sr Maria Magdalena, FSIC, for Bahasa Malaysia (18-39), Sr Mary Tay, FdCC, for Mandarin (13-17), Fr Joseph Heng for Mandarin (18-39), and Fr Alexuchelvam Mariasoosai for Tamil (13-39). After lunch, praise and worship was held before a dialogue session with Bishop Bernard, where the questions asked were taken from the online registration form and from the floor. The participants then enjoyed performances by the various parishes e.g. skit, singing and dancing.

All three vicariate celebrations ended with an announcement of the upcoming Young People Day. Next year, the celebration will take place at diocesan level in Majodi Centre, Plentong. In 2025, it will be held in the respective parishes, and in 2026, the vicariate level celebration will be carried out at the Church of St Henry, Batu Pahat, the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Johor Bahru, and the Church of St Peter, Malacca. This will ensure that the journey of the young people of MJD do not end at this celebration but continues, forming a network of young Catholic apostles towards becoming 4E Catholics, and where the spirit of World Youth Day is to be shared and experienced at all levels.

The highlights of the Young People Day 2023 was the gathering of around 1000 young people from all over Malacca Johore Diocese, that the celebrations were animated by the Young People Councils who learnt to work with each other and with the four language groups.

The MJD Young People Network thanks all parish priests and host parishes for providing the young people with a space to gather. We also thank the vicariate Young People Councils who planned and prepared these celebrations. Thank you dear Bishop, all invited speakers and guests, committees, facilitators and performers for honouring us with your presence and assistance and making this programme a meaningful and exciting one for all. Lastly, to the young people of the vicariates, we pray that each one of you had a good experience meeting other young people and participating in the celebration. May we all be inspired by Mary and go in haste to share the joy and hope received from the celebration with other young people in our family, friends, and parish. Let us meet again next year on November 24, 2024 at Majodi Centre, Plentong.

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