13 Youth Pages

posted Jan 9, 2019, 8:45 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jan 9, 2019, 8:47 AM ]

Youth and the Home-bound celebrate Christmas together

Christmas is a time for rejoicing, attending parties, and making memories. Most of the time it involves stepping out to have a good time. In the excitement, the housebound members are left out. So, the youth of St Andrew's Church, Bandra thought of a great idea. If the homebound cannot step out to shake a leg for Christmas, then we will take the Christmas cheer to their homes. And indeed, this selfless act for the past three Advents has not only brought a smile to their faces, but also the joy of the birth of the Baby Jesus.

The Eucharistic Ministers of the parish were a great help in pinpointing about 100 housebound parishioners. What followed was mapping the homes; some were located in posh high-rises and some in lanes that Google Maps could not decipher—the youth had to go 'old school' and ask for directions from locals. However, no matter the economic class, the effect of listening and singing Christmas carols is universal. It exuberates happiness, positivity, love, sense of community and tears of joy.

The few moments spent in singing and talking with them result in Christmas memories. 2018 was the third year the youth organised carol singing, and it was a rocking success with the housebound and their families. Besides their checkups, medical and blood tests, the housebound mark their calendars to greet the youth each December.

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Keep bringing Christ to others, archbishop tells SEEK conference

Denver Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila described the 17,000 mostly college students attending SEEK 2019 in Indianapolis, US as "a great sign of hope for the Church, that the Church is alive and well among young people."

He celebrated Mass on Jan. 6 for the participants in the biennial conference sponsored by the Denver-based Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS). The group, founded in 1998, seeks to nurture the Catholic faith in college students. It currently has nearly 700 missionaries serving on 153 college campuses in 42 states and five international locations. This year's SEEK gathering, Jan. 3-7, was the sixth such conference that Archbishop Aquila has attended.

"Certainly, you can see the deep faith in the young people," he said in an interview after the liturgy. "What their encounter with Christ has brought about is palpable. When you give young people the truth of Christ and Christ as the light and the one who gives meaning to life, it changes everything."

In his homily, the archbishop spoke about the reading from Isaiah where the prophet spoke of darkness covering the earth. He said this darkness today is consumerism, incivility and the "sin by certain members of the clergy.""All of that can, at times, discourage us," he said. "But in the midst of that is the light of Jesus Christ. And it is that light that we must focus on." He spoke about how Capuchin Fr Raniero Cantalamessa told the bishops that society has lost the "sense of eternity" and that "when we look at the darkness of the world, when we look at the darkness within the Church, we have lost the sense of eternity, that we really do not believe in Christ as the light, in Christ as the one who has come to give us eternal life."

Turning to Christ and entering into a relationship with Him, Archbishop Aquila said, can draw people out of this darkness. "Jesus can heal any wound. He can restore any disorder. He can bring light into darkness."

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