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Indian church official stresses need to accompany youth in their faith journey

Participants of the 6th edition of the animators and chaplain training program in Bangalore Karnataka Southern India on June 2.

A key official of the Indian Bishops’ Conference said the Catholic Church needs to accompany youth in their faith journey. 

The major population of the church in India is youth, and it is important for a youth animator or director to accompany them in faith, said Father Stephen Alathara, deputy secretary-general of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI). 

He was speaking at the 6th edition of the animator’s and chaplain training program, organized by the CCBI Youth Commission at National Biblical Catechetical and Liturgical Centre, Bangalore, Karnataka, southern India, on June 2. 

India has the largest youth population in the world. Around 66 percent of the total population (more than 808 million) is below the age of 35. India’s population is 1.4 billion.

In his message, Father Alathara also emphasized the gravity of youth ministry and the fact that the CCBI Youth Commission has trained more than 500 animators and chaplains across the country.

The program started with the Holy Eucharist, followed by the Inauguration.

The main objective of this training program is to train the leaders, lady animators, lay animators, and newly appointed youth secretaries (directors) to provide resources on faith-related issues.

They need to lead and accompany the young people to be agents of change for a new society, animating and coordinating the Catholic youth movement, and nurturing and encouraging the development of comprehensive youth ministry at all levels. 

Father Chethan Machado, executive secretary to the CCBI Youth Commission, and the host of the event thanked one and all.  

Advocate Antony Judy (Indian Catholic Youth Movement ICYM President), Sister Lidwin Fernandes (CCBI Women’s Commission Secretary), Father Vignan Das (Communio Associate Director), Father Anil D’Sa (International Young Catholic Students Asian Chaplain), Percival Holt, Sagar Gabetta (CCBI Youth Commission Advisors), Abhishek Bhattacharjee (national coordinator Young Catholic Students/Young Student Movement), Jimmy Padang (former International Young Catholic Students Asian coordinator),   and former national executive youth commission official Ms. Shilpa Ekka, Pravin Muthu were present during the inaugural session.

The training program is for 12 days and will end on June 13. -Santosh Dgial


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