Youth Need Help Understanding the Mass

Indian Catechetical Association Calls for Catechesis in Ministry

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BANGALORE, India, FEB. 15, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Catechists in India say that the richness and value of the liturgy has to be presented to youth with creativity and imagination, but in line with Church teaching.

This was a conclusion from the Annual General Body Meeting of the Indian Catechetical Association (ICA) held Feb. 8-10 at Bangalore. The theme under discussion was "New Paradigms for Youth Catechesis."

Youth catechesis needs to respond to the challenges being faced by contemporary youth, the final statement of the ICA declared.

This catechesis needs to be done in the spirit of the new evangelization and also stressing the missionary dimension, as well as using the language and symbols familiar to young people, the ICA concluded.

"Youth catechesis is rightly considered the essence and core of youth ministry and we believe that the new paradigms should guarantee the stable formation of youth progressively," the statement explained.

"Understanding the culture of youth, listening to the languages of youth and appreciating the trends of youth are necessary if we are to propose a catechesis valid for contemporary youth," it commented. 

Many young people complain about dull liturgical practices and preaching, the concluding statement observed. Therefore, youth catechesis needs to help young people participate more fully in liturgical celebrations. 

"The richness and uniqueness of the value of the liturgical celebrations are to be presented creatively and imaginatively, in line with the official teachings of the Church, to the vibrant minds of youth," the statement urged.

Youcat

The participants at the meeting praised the publication of the youth version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Youcat. "It presents the content of our faith in the language of the young. It is a book that stimulates, excites and inspires the young," they declared. 

They also welcomed the emergence of small youth communities in various dioceses and regions, especially due to the charismatic renewal and other movements like Jesus Youth. This, they said, "is a positive shift in the catechesis for the youth."

The statement also urged that those young people who are well-instructed in their faith be more active in transmitting it to other young people and to be "the first apostles of the young."