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APRIL 2009

International Newsletter




OF A MAJOR ENGLISH DAILY IN EUROPE RECENTLY. This real life story of a worker sums up the
impact of the worst economic crisis that the world has seen over the last seven decades. And the
scary fact is, the end does not seem to be anywhere near. What began as a mortgage crisis in the
US has today snowballed into a global recession affecting all major industries and is even threatening
the national economies of several countries. Over the last two quarters, governments have been
busy devising strategies and bailout plans to ensure that the public will stay cushioned in the crisis.
One thing is certain, the downturn doesn’t discriminate - corporate tycoons in mega economies, job
seekers in developing economies and simple factory workers in emerging countries, are all feeling
the crushing impact of this crisis in their lives.
It is Easter time; a time of ‘Rising’. I recently had the privilege of watching the
youth gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Palm Sunday rising up energetically in
response to the powerful words of the Holy Father. The message was very clear -
the HOLY SPIRIT is at work in all of us to empower us to RISE UP. This great work
of the Holy Spirit is reflected in our movement also as we are in a constant
process of being raised up to work in different countries, raised up above our
shortcomings and limitations and raised up to shine, to radiate the light of Christ.
This radical nature of our ministry and spirituality has become our identity today in
the Church and our challenge is to live up to this identity.
Rising up involves constant GROWTH AND FORMATION. In other words, “We cease
to exist as Jesus Youth if we are not ready to keep running our race with our faith
in the RISEN LORD”. Today, looking at the rapid growth of our ministry in 24 years
to over 25 countries, I realise that each one of us has been blessed with the
combination of two precious processes, namely, ‘Christ working in me’ and ‘Christ
working through me’. I would like to share a few thoughts on both these
interdependent processes without which the work of evangelization cannot
happen, in the context of our movement.
‘Christ working in me’ is the key to our lifestyle and is communicated strongly in
our six pillars. I would consider a bold Jesus Youth to be “one who has the courage
to allow Christ to work in him”. We cannot afford to allow this process of daily

reformation within us to stop. And we need to be wary of the two great evils -
discouragement and overconfidence. Both extremes are the result of a lack of
THE CRISIS OF HOPE IS MORE openness to the LORDSHIP OF CHRIST. I praise God for the gift of this call of
LIKELY TO AFFECT THE closely following Christ which is integral to our charism and results in the bold
YOUNGER GENERATIONS. IN proclamation of the Gospel. The lives of numerous leaders testify that this is the
SOCIO-CULTURAL secret of their being lifelong disciples of Christ in this movement.
CERTAINTIES, VALUES OR FIRM ‘Christ working through me’ is integral to our active ministry. To allow Christ to work
POINTS OF REFERENCE, THEY through me is not optional for a Jesus Youth. There is no vacation period or
FIND THEMSELVES FACING commercial break in our call to be Jesus Youth. Where we are today is because of
DIFFICULTIES THAT SEEM the consistent hard work that so many active Jesus Youth have been and are putting
BEYOND THEIR STRENGTH… in daily. Their creative and continuous efforts have been successful because they
BUT HOW CAN WE SPEAK OF were done with love for Christ, in the power of the Spirit, and not by human wisdom
THIS HOPE TO THOSE YOUNG alone. Let us take heed, therefore, for the ones who have taken vacation have
PEOPLE? WE KNOW THAT IT IS sometimes never come back and the ones who have avoided commercial breaks
have contributed the most. We cannot compromise a lifestyle of rising up every day
to do what we are being called to do. Surely what we have to do needs discernment
but it is important that every faith based prayer leads to action, and given the
nature of our ministry, rapid action. The active ministry of our LORD gives us a bench
mark while allowing God to work through us. I cannot begin to imagine the change
we can usher in when thousands of Jesus Youth around the world work day and
night without ceasing to build the Church.
THE TRUE FACE OF GOD, WHO For these two processes to be successful in our movement, it is necessary to have an
IS LOVE. TO YOU YOUNG emphasis on fellowship with reflection. As Jesus Youth is a work of the Holy Spirit in
PEOPLE, WHO ARE IN SEARCH so many different places with different local realities, there is a great need to have
OF A FIRM HOPE, I ADDRESS a dedicated time of reflection in our fellowship gatherings. These reflections with
THE VERY WORDS THAT SAINT proper discernment should guide us to the vision we are heading for. This will form
PAUL WROTE TO THE the guidelines for ‘Christ working in Jesus Youth and working through Jesus Youth’
PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS IN for the future also. Let us pray that God may continue to bless us with the spirit of
ROME AT THAT TIME: “MAY THE unity, so that each one of us may be able to listen carefully, reflect and
GOD OF HOPE FILL YOU WITH communicate what the Spirit is trying to tell the movement through us.
ALL JOY AND PEACE IN The greatest gift we can give to the coming generations of Jesus Youth is a
BELIEVING, SO THAT YOU MAY witnessing lifestyle of being constantly RAISED UP BY THE LORD. Let us pray that
ABOUND IN HOPE BY THE God may give us the humility and confidence to live up to what we are called to be
POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT” as Jesus Youth. The Word of God says “the nations will gather and worship the
(ROM 15:13).

Lord”. So then let Jesus Youth from all the nations gather together in prayer to
worship the Risen Lord who raises us up. Let us be ready to live and die for Him
every moment of our lives.
Message of the Holy Father
Benedict XVI to the young people
of the world on the occasion of
the 24th World Youth Day 2009 George Devassy
Jesus Youth International Co-ordinator
COVER STORY Contd. from page 1

Hope beyond the Darkness

But, as a common man, one is tempted to

ask a very simple question. With business
economics so advanced in today’s world,
how could economic gurus across the
globe miss this approaching storm?
Nobel Laureate and noted economist Paul
Krugman blames it on ‘loosely regulated
financial systems’. “…Bankers
empowered by a quarter-century of
deregulatory zeal,” he goes on to explain
in the New York Times, “led the world in
finding sophisticated ways to enrich
themselves by hiding risk and fooling
investors”. To read it in simpler terms, the
current crisis is a result of insatiable
human greed acknowledged and
applauded by societies and governments
world wide. How else would one explain
the correlation between conservative
praise of the few economic policies 2-3
years ago which today has become an
economic disaster. “Reforms have made
Iceland a Nordic tiger,” declared a paper
from the Cato Institute. “How Ireland
Became the Celtic Tiger” was the title of
A man-made disaster one Heritage Foundation article; “The
Even as you read this, thousands of jobs are being
Estonian Economic Miracle” was the title
cut down around the globe as margins of companies
of another. All these nations, once hailed
keep on shrinking. One of the leading dailies in India
by economists, are in deep crisis now.
has started a column titled ‘Lay off Watcher’ that
tries to bring out the impact of these layoffs on the
lives of individuals. It tries to explore how the From me-me to me-you
slowdown has changed the personal, spiritual, If there is an upside to this downturn, it is
physical and moral aspects of individuals and that the current crisis is mercilessly
families. shattering myths about what are the most
essential things in life. Suddenly,
In a recent survey involving thousands of people in extravagant lifestyles and individualistic
the UK, USA and Canada, almost 60 percent of the attitudes once seen as the norm, are
respondents said that their sleep was affected with beginning to come under scrutiny. The
financial worries. Over a quarter were concerned Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal
about losing their jobs and half were more irritable Cormac Murphy-O’Connor explains in an
than usual, probably due to lack of sleep and interview with The Times, “Let’s face it,
anxiety, with a further 50 percent noticing more we now have a ‘me-me’ society, a more
tension in the head, neck and shoulders than usual. consumerist society, a utilitarian society,
Lee Weber, Community Director of one of the and our values and virtues have become
largest health sites in the world called eHealth diminished… If your worth just depends
Forum claims that there has been a 300% increase on your wealth, that is not healthy. Your
in the traffic to their depression forum and a worth should depend on who you are”.
staggering 400% increase in their anxiety and stress The economic downturn, it seems, could
forums. The site currently has over 2.5 million users be the very thing that brings us to our
world wide. There are research reports of how senses. “It’s the end of a certain kind of
relationships are being ruined and families are selfish capitalism,” said the Archbishop.
disintegrating due to the daily stress levels and “This particular recession is a moment - a
financial woes. When productivity and profits seem Kairos - when we have to reflect as a
to be the only things that occupy our lives, it hardly country on what are the things that
allows us any time to invest in our families and our nourish the values, the virtues, we want
relationships. Desperate to keep their jobs intact, to have ... Capitalism needs to be
young qualified professionals even offer their bodies underpinned with regulation and a moral
to superiors and clients. purpose.” In fact the Archbishop, along


with many religious leaders around the
world seems to be calling our attention
to an opportunity that lies hidden in
this pall of gloom that surrounds us -
an opportunity to take a long hard look DIVERSE
at our priorities in life.
This very angle is something that
emerges across several studies about
the slowdown. According to a global WERE NOW UNITED
study titled ‘Culture of the Recession’
(COR), 70% of the respondents aged
over 21 think the financial crisis is a
result of corporate, individual greed
and 65% of these people believe that
the world economy is going in the
wrong direction.

This realization is also resulting in

people taking charge of how and who
runs their economies. 74% of the
above respondents believe that it’s
never been more important than now to
vote in the general elections thereby
actively deciding to choose who would
take decisions for them and their
future. And the realization just doesn’t
stop at expressing value judgements.
People are taking that extra step to
make sure that they prioritize and take
corrective measures in terms of their
lifestyle and relationships.

A huge 90% of the COR respondents

are considering opting for a simpler life Where does my help come from? losses, increase their profits and reclaim
and 72% believe “my home is my the luxuries and pleasures that they had to
Beyond these peripheral reflections, deeper
castle” and are spending more time at forego due to the recession. Some others
questions about life and eternity too surface
home. Another study revealed that a have seen beyond that - they are the ones
more often nowadays. Where did I go
growing number of teens, as a result of who have let the crisis lead them to a new
wrong? Why only me? Is it the end of my
the current downturn, have realized the lifestyle, a deeper re-alignment with God
dreams? Where do I go from here? Are
importance of the needs of others and and a clearer understanding of the
these things that I toil for really essential?
are volunteering more for charitable purpose of this life. For them, the
The questions keep coming and the answers
causes. downturn becomes a time of hope. The
are nowhere to be found. No economist, no
struggles thus become moments of
books, no motivational classes are sounding
discovery, signposts in the highway of life
realistic enough to provide these answers.
But day by day, there seems to be one thing
that is helping people to cope with this
struggle - FAITH. Right from teens to the
elderly, more and more people are looking
up to their faith to bail them out of their TERMS, THE
professional, personal and emotional
problems. Every three of five in the COR CURRENT CRISIS
study look at faith to seek strength in these
tough times. Irrespective of religion, pilgrim
centres across the globe are seeing a surge INSATIABLE
in the number of people visits and prayers
offered. Media reports indicate growing HUMAN GREED
numbers of people in churches in India and
abroad. But what exactly are these people
expecting from their religion during this AND APPLAUDED
Many are obviously looking at quick fix
solutions as they turn to religion. Often they
expect prayer to help them recover their WORLD WIDE.
and meeting points with God. Which is “The Church has the duty to present a
exactly why when Pope Benedict XVI reasonable and well-argued criticism of the
speaks of the economic crisis, he errors that have led to the current economic
always comes up with one surprising crisis” said Pope Benedict while giving a
expression that stands apart in this preview of his upcoming encyclical focussing on
landscape of depression - hope. the economic crisis. This duty, he said, forms
part of the Church’s mission and must be
No shadow too dark exercised firmly and courageously, avoiding
moralism but explaining matters using concrete
Pope Benedict XVI in his New Year
reasons that may be understood by everyone.
message for 2009 has called upon
He then presented a synthetic overview of the
Christians across the globe “not to be
crisis, analyzing it at two levels. Firstly, he
afraid” in these times of economic
considers the systemic or “macroeconomic”
struggle. “There is no shadow, no
aspects, highlighting the shortcomings of a
matter how dark it is, that is capable
system founded on selfishness and the idolatry
of clouding the light of Christ,” he said.
of money. These motivating passions, according
“Because of this, hope never falters in
to the Pontiff, cast a shadow over man’s reason
those who believe in Christ, not today affected. Very often prayer groups, cells and
and will, and lead him into the ways of error. In
either, faced with the great social and other spiritual networking groups become
his opinion, the Church is called to make her
economic crisis in which humanity finds relevant platforms that support each other
voice heard — nationally and internationally —
itself.” The Holy Father, in his upcoming to get through this crisis. These groups,
in order to help bring about a change of
papal letter has fundamentally apart from offering spiritual support, also
direction and show the path of true reason
stressed upon hope, no matter how address the economic and emotional
illuminated by faith, which is the path of self-
devastating the global financial crisis problems faced by its members.
sacrifice and concern for the needy. Secondly,
becomes. In the letter, the Pope invites
the Holy Father’s analysis concerns the
people to intensify their humble, A greater challenge personal and the local sphere
everyday efforts for the conversion of
Behind every news headline and global trend (“microeconomics”). Large scale projects for
hearts, an undertaking that above all
announcement are the stories of people reform, he said, cannot come about unless
involves parishes whose activity is not
facing uncertainty and the fear of a deep
just limited to the local community but
personal crisis. Conventional mechanisms of
opens up to all humanity. Blaming the
support like consultants and counsellors are
current economic system as founded on
losing ground as their solutions are often
selfishness and the idolatry of money,
the Holy Father said that these
superficial and do not address the purpose of “THERE IS NO
motivating passions cast a shadow
life in a deeper context. People and families
affected by the downturn are also seeking
over man’s reason and will, and lead
him into the ways of error.
genuine platforms of consolation, support
and direction. The challenge for different
What exactly does the Pope mean
movements and individuals of the Church is to DARK IT IS, THAT
when he speaks of rekindling hope and
be able to reach out to these individuals
around the world and engage them on an
intensifying everyday efforts for the
conversion of hearts? Vinod, a nurse
emotional and spiritual level while at the
same time be able to present the true
working in Ireland explains, “Attending
daily Mass has provided a renewed
perspective of the crisis on a global platform. LIGHT OF CHRIST.”
hope in this desperate times not just
for me but for my entire family. From
being an occasional Church-visitor to
being a daily Mass participant, it has
changed the way I look at success and
failure. I’ve understood that HIS grace
is sufficient for me”. He has also been
instrumental in initiating a prayer
group in his community for
professionals and organizes personal
counselling sessions for young
professionals and their families.

In other words, this is a time for not just

being re-aligned in ourselves but also
being sensitive and supportive to the
needs and challenges faced by people
around us and together coping with the
crisis. In the Middle East, which has
seen a huge number of job -losses
among the immigrant workforce,
thousands of families are seriously


individuals alter their ways. If there are it can. To put this question into a practical
no just people, then there can be no perspective, it might be better if we ask
justice. Hence the need for a personal ourselves how we are able to share this
introspection and re-alignment. hope in the places where we live and work
as members of the Church.
There are political, economic and
lifestyle choices to be made today and A time to re-prioritize
the Church needs to bring a thoughtful
On a personal level, if we begin to see the
Christian voice to the debate wherever
recession as a time to listen to the voice of
God and re-prioritize our lives, this crisis
does offer us the perfect opportunity to:
“THE CHURCH HAS Refocus: Over the years, has our focus
THE DUTY TO shifted from the Creator to His creation? Do
PRESENT A we actually need all the things we yearn for
and possess? Do we toil every day to invest
REASONABLE AND more in this short life than in the eternity
that awaits us? Are we ourselves too
WELL-ARGUED overwhelmed by the glitz and the glamour
CRITICISM OF THE that surrounds us to sometimes see the
futility of it all?
ERRORS THAT Reconnect: Are we losing touch with our
HAVE LED TO loved ones? Do we even know who our
THE CURRENT neighbour in need of help is? Are we too
caught up in the virtual culture to have real the society we live in, locked in elite groups
ECONOMIC CRISIS.” human relationships? Are we, dictated by that are only comfortable with like minded
people? When was the last time we shared
Jesus with a stranger? When was the last
time we spent time and resources to help the
poorest of the poor?

Rebuild: When was the last time we took

time to seriously reflect on our relationship
with God? Do we take enough time to study
the Scriptures? Do we know the teachings of
the Church ? Do our families spend time to
learn the Scripture together? Do we ask God
about our personal ministry and the mission
that God wants us to fulfill?

Relive: When was the last time we took

time to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation in
nature? Do we set time aside to worship God
and experience His awesome presence?
When was the last time we read a beautiful
book? Have we forgotten about the beautiful
talents that God has put in our lives? Do we
set time apart to guide, support and lead
others in His way?

Seen in this light, the shadows do not

frighten us but inspire us to seek out the
sunshine behind them; the storms do not
scare us but help us turn to Jesus in our
boat; the whirlwinds never threaten us but
simply reaffirm our rootedness in the Lord.

A member of the JY Newsletter
Editorial Team, Jubie is the Director
of an HR Consultancy firm and is
currently based in Kochi, India.
JESUS YOUTH Words of encouragement from

ICCRS President, Ms. Michelle Moran


have gone away from the Church and are

now speaking against the Church in the
media (Jesus Youth is also an off-shoot of 30th January 2009
the Charismatic Renewal), it didn’t happen Dear Brothers,
to this movement… The Bishops are so
happy with the performance of Jesus Youth Thank you so much for sending us your
so far… [and the Bishops believe] that latest Jesus Youth newsletter. Oreste and
they will continue to gather strength and I join together in giving thanks to the
vitality and become more and more faithful Lord for all the blessings of Jesus Youth.
to the Spirit of God.” His Eminence further Congratulations on receiving your formal
urged the movement to continue its growth approval and recognition from the
by “uniting themselves to the Cross of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India.
“Jesus Youth gives Hope to the Church” Christ” and by “remaining close to the
said His Eminence Varkey Cardinal Mother Church”. We were encouraged to hear about the
Vithayathil, President of the fruitful team meeting which you had in
The gathering was also blessed to have November and we join with you in prayer
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India
with them His Excellency Thomas Chakiath that the Lord will keep you faithful to
(CBCI). His Eminence was speaking to
- Auxiliary Bishop of Ernakulam - Angamaly your mission.
priests, religious and other members of
and Chairman, Charismatic Commission,
the youth movement on the occasion of
Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council - who Here at ICCRS our mandate is to serve all
the thanksgiving gathering organized to
spoke of his joy at this approval and of his the expressions of Catholic Charismatic
celebrate the formal approval of the Jesus
hopes for the movement. Renewal, so we are delighted that you
Youth movement by the CBCI.
Several key animators and leaders of the continue to keep us informed about your
The gathering was organised on 27th January activities and developments. We
movement also addressed the gathering
2009 and was held at the Major Archbishop’s encourage you to keep working in unity
and reminded everyone of the
House in Ernakulam, the residence of His with all the other expressions of CCR so
‘responsibility’ that accompanies this sign
Eminence, who also happens to be one of that in our diversity there can be unity.
of encouragement extended by the Pastors
the key guiding forces for the movement in
of the Church.
the whole process. Please let us know if we can be of any
The occasion was a beautiful time of further service to you.
Speaking to a joyous crowd of Jesus Youth
rejoicing and thanksgiving for the mercy
leaders, animators and pastors, Cardinal
and grace of God that made possible the With prayers and blessings
Vithayathil congratulated the movement
realization of such a long cherished dream.
and expressed optimism at the work and
The programme culminated with a joyful
growth of the movement. His Eminence
celebration of the Holy Eucharist.
said, “In our standing committee meeting
every single Bishop who spoke, spoke Michelle Moran
highly of this movement. I was surprised. Watch the video of Cardinal Vithayathil’s President of ICCRS
While many of the Charismatic movements speech on


Youth Vibes, the official podcast of the Jesus Youth is
back on air, reloaded after a makeover. With the first
Jesus Youth around the
ever episode launched in early 2006, the year end saw
world are getting ready
the rating of Youth Vibes climb to the top 250 bracket at
through the Lenten Now, with a new team and a new
preparation for the 31st of
voice, the latest edition of the podcast promises to be
May. On this day, which will be
equally or even more rejuvenating.
celebrated as the Day of
Pentecost by the Universal Catholic
Working in the realm of Jesus and youth and goodness
Church, Jesus Youth will recommit
and everything else the Holy Spirit stands for, the
themselves to a life of sacrifice
podcast aims to renew the faith of young people through
and prayer; a life led by the
music, reviews, talks, sharings, discussions and various
promptings of the Spirit; a life of
other formats that interest the listeners. It addresses
serving others in need.
current issues and presents Christian perspectives that
help young people confront challenging situations with Prior to the Recommitment Day, the nine-day Novena to the Holy Spirit
courage. Rooted in Catholic spirituality, this fortnightly will be prayed. Additionally, this year will have special prayers being
podcast will also be a common platform for young people offered for those battling in the rifts created by the recession. The
who desire to live a Christ-centered life. movement will also make use of the occasion to pray for the Jubilee
To listen to the latest episode, log on to preparations. The Day of Pentecost is observed annually as the JY Listeners are encouraged to mail in Recommitment Day and is significant to recommitting the movement &
their feedback at So get ready its members to Jesus and His mission. (A booklet containing the special
to tune in and vibe with Jesus. prayers for the Recommitment Day accompanies this newsletter)

Moved by the Holy Spirit, the role of Jesus Youth outside India has been
constantly on the rise. Migrants from India and youth born and brought
up outside India have been reaching out to other communities and
cultures almost on a regular basis and thus was observed the need to
have experienced, dynamic resources. Moreover with the presence of
Jesus Youth in over 25 countries today, there is a pressing need for
quality resource persons to support the various demands such as
initiation programmes, annual gatherings, conferences and other

It is in this context that a Resource Training Programme was held at the

Middle East level from 1st January in UAE. The three-day training was
the first of its kind in the movement and a milestone in the history of JY
Middle East. Nearly 100 people from 5 different countries- UAE, Kuwait,
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar participated in this training, which was
conducted in three different streams- Session handlers, Musicians and
Audiovisual. The training team comprised of JY leaders- Manoj Sunny, C.C.

Joseph, Shelton Pinheiro, Alphons Joseph, Beena Manoj and Leo Thaddeus.

The training proved to be very beneficial in forming the young

participants with the focus of building the Kingdom of God. It is hoped

TRAINING that the future will unfold many more fruits of the training.



8th July - 1st August 2009 THEIR LIVES TO
Contact us at SHARE HIS LOVE



19th July - 1st August 2009 MINISTERING
Contact us at TO FAMILIES.


4th - 18th July 2009 SKILLS.
Contact us at





Being a Catholic has always been a struggle. pretend not to be a Catholic. A discussion about NOT ALONE;
Today there are so many obstacles that stand in homosexuality in my Philosophy class would result in IF HE IS
our way and stop us from reaching our potential everyone thinking I hated the gay population. Any WITH US;
as catholic youth. Many times we feel remark I made against abortion was always shot
depressed, lonely, and helpless. When bitter down by a million other classmates who believed
winds and storms come our way, we often that “abortion was not such a bad thing”. It felt that IF HE IS OUR
succumb to feeling despair. How can we ever life was easier when I just went with the crowd and PRESENT
have hope in a future? agreed with whatever they said. If I didn’t try to AND OUR
swim against the current, getting somewhere was FUTURE, WHY
Yet, in Pope Benedict XVI’s message on the much easier. However, as I read Pope Benedict’s
World Youth Day 2009 at the diocesan level, the message to the youth, I realized that going with the
issue of having hope was beautifully addressed. crowd—a crowd that is often without hope and
Our Pope calls us to trust in one of Saint Paul’s fogged with uncertainty—was not such a good idea.
sayings, “We have set our hope on the living
God” (1 Timothy 4:10). In these times of uncertainty, the message of hope is
extremely relevant to young people, who are the
Personally, it has always been a struggle to set Church of tomorrow. Especially so as we are exposed
my hope in God. It is easier to feel despair and to so many negative perspectives on a daily basis.
blame my problems on something else. Having Often times, I felt upset or depressed because every
hope—the belief that somehow everything will time I turned on the news, there was a horrific
work out in the end—takes more courage than tragedy to be informed of. Every beauty-enhancing
optimism. Many times, it was less painful to commercial reminded me of my imperfections. It was
easy for me to focus on all the evil around. I cannot say that as soon as I put my
However, setting my hope in God called for
AFTER READING THE hope in God, all my problems
a different focus. It called for the need to REST OF THE HOLY disappeared. In fact, I actually felt
remember all the things in life that God FATHER’S MESSAGE they increased. Yet, I learned it is not
made beautiful. It called for the courage to TO THE YOUTH, the magnitude of the problem that we
believe that in the end, everything would I DECIDED I HAD face, but rather how we deal with it
be okay. that makes the difference. And with
SPENT ENOUGH TIME the hope of God, I was able to face
I used to be pessimistic, morose, and SULKING AND my trials with a certain peace and the
cynical as some of my peers can attest. FEELING UTTER knowledge that everything really
When I chose to focus on the bad news, life HOPELESSNESS. would be okay in hindsight.
was dull and hopeless. Beneath the
indifferent façade that I put on, I felt there As I began to let more people know
was this big gaping emptiness inside. I how I really felt about homosexuality,
tried to fill this hole with my friends, with abortion, and not-so-funny religious
Facebook, with music, and anything else I jokes, I lost a couple of “friends”. But
thought could fill up the emptiness in my I didn’t much care about what I lost
life. But I knew at the back of my head, because what I gained was far
where I’d desperately tried to shove all my greater: a deeper understanding of
annoying rational thoughts, that Jesus was what it means to be Catholic and to
the only person who would help make my have a hope in my future.
life whole again. If we looked into
ourselves, each of us would see a Jesus- Our Pope concludes his message with
shaped hollow within - a void where a well-known prayer by St. Bernard,
nothing else fits. Even though I knew that it who faithfully prays that “…In
was God who would be able to give me the dangers, in distress, in perplexities,
hope I needed, I didn’t want to admit it. think on Mary, call on Mary ...
When I read the words of the papal Following her, you will never go
message, I felt he had read my mind: astray; when you implore her aid, you
“Experience shows that personal qualities will never yield to despair; thinking on
and material goods are not enough to her, you will not err; under her
guarantee the hope which the human spirit patronage you will never wander;
is constantly seeking…all other material beneath her protection you will not
resources are not of themselves sufficient fear; she being your guide, you will
to provide the great hope to which we all not be weary; with her assistance, you
aspire. This hope “can only be God, who will arrive safely in the port
encompasses the whole of reality and who (Homilies in Praise of the Virgin
can bestow upon us what we, by ourselves, Mother, 2:17).”
cannot attain”.
As a Catholic youth, I can honestly say
After reading the rest of the Holy Father’s that placing my hope in God, has truly
message to the youth, I decided I had spent therefore to desire “the kingdom of heaven and transformed my outlook on life. I
enough time sulking and feeling utter eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in encourage all of you to take the time
hopelessness. Being hopeless, in a way, Christ’s promises and relying not on our own to read this beautiful and inspiring
was a form of giving up on life. As a youth strength, but on the help of the grace of the message of our Pope, remembering
we have so many things to look forward to: Holy Spirit (Catechism of the Catholic Church, that “True Christians are never sad,
growing up, getting a job, falling in love, 1817).” even if they have to face trials of
raising a family, and glorifying Christ. various kinds, because the presence
Losing my hope would be giving up on all The Pope reminds us how important it is to put of Jesus is the secret of their joy and
the things that God had to offer me. our hope in God. I felt that if we, as Catholic peace.”
youth, can have a strong hope rooted in God, we
Without putting my hope in God and can be a light unto others who are in despair. I I close with this quote as I have
trusting Him, it is easy to be discouraged. I feel it is my responsibility to be hopeful today witnessed this in the lives of the
was often afraid of the clouded future because of the fullness that I have experienced great people of God: Life without
ahead of me and constantly wondered if I in my Jesus for the sake of those who are still Christ is a hopeless end, but with
would ever amount to anything. However, drowning in skepticism, cynicism, and the Christ, it’s an endless hope.
Pope Benedict has an inspiring message to bleakness they are experiencing in their lives.
the youth and calls on us to acknowledge “Make Christ known, among your own age group
that the “living God” is the Risen Christ and beyond, to those who are in search of ‘the
present in our world. He is the true hope: great hope’ that would give meaning to their ANN CHAZHOOR
the Christ who lives with us and in us and lives. If Jesus has become your hope, An active young Jesus Youth
who calls us to share in His eternal life. If leader from Canada, Ann is
communicate this to others with your joy and currently studying in Grade 11
we are not alone; if He is with us; even your spiritual, apostolic and social engagement.” at the Turner Fenton Secondary
more, if He is our present and our future, This is the challenge our dear Pope is calling the School, Toronto.
why be afraid? A Christian’s hope is youth to today.

APRIL 2009 PAGE 11

JY enlivens Cambodian youth
Around 80 Cambodian
teens participated in a
two-day retreat at
Poipet, a town
situated at the border
between Cambodia
and Thailand. The
retreat held from 13th
to 15th March 2009 had powerful sessions taken by International Co-
ordinator, George Devassy and SEA Co-ordinator, Dony Peter. Dony
along with Nimmi Paul, Assistant SEA Co-ordinator, also led a
three-day retreat for the youth under the Phnom Penh diocese
from 20th to 22nd of March. The JY retreat was conducted with the
support from the Diocesan Youth Office. The participants enjoyed
the visit made by Fr. Bruno, Rector of the Major Seminary and Fr. Leo
Ochoa, Rector of the Salesian Fathers of Don Bosco, Phnom Penh. Beginnings in Bangladesh
While visiting Cambodia, George and Dony along with the Fulltime The first Jesus Youth one-day celebration and the time of
Volunteer to Cambodia, Melvin David, introduced the Jesus Youth programme in Bangladesh was Adoration. Rodney Pereira, Jesus
movement to the Bishop of Phnom Penh, His Excellency Emile organised jointly by the Dhaka Youth National Team member,
Destombes and the Vicar General, Fr. Olivier. Dony and Melvin, Youth Commission and the Jesus India, was the main resource
representing the movement, also met with the Bishop of Youth of Bangladesh on 20th person while Fr. Christopher, Co-
Kampong Cham diocese, His Excellency Antonysamy Susairaj. February 2009 at Tejgaon ordinator of the Dhaka Youth
Under Melvin’s leadership, two prayer groups and two ‘Life in the Church, Dhaka. The programme Commission celebrated the Holy
Spirit Seminars’ are being conducted regularly in Phnom Penh. centred on the theme ‘You are Eucharist. Msgr. Kurian Matthew
chosen to build up the Kingdom Vayalunkal, Counsellor of the
of God’ attracted around 125 Vatican Embassy at Dhaka also
participants. addressed the participants and
exhorted them to take a bold step
The programme turned out to be for the Lord. The programme was
the first experience of its kind the fruit of months of prayer,
for most of the participants and hard work and sincere dedication
was highly appreciated for its put in by the Jesus Youth of
lively music, inspiring sessions Bangladesh.
and visuals, Eucharistic JOHN TT.. RO SE

Jesus Youth launched in

With ‘Sonrise’, the Jesus Youth movement has marked its presence
in yet another country - Bahrain. The official launch ceremony was
held on 9th March 2009 at the Sacred Heart Parish, Bahrain. Nearly
1200 parish youth and family members came together to participate
in this momentous beginning. Based on the theme “Feel the
Radiance of Joy” (Ps. 35:5- They looked to Him and were radiant),
‘Sonrise’ comprised of joyful hymns, praise and worship, talks and
panel sharing. This was followed by the much awaited Launch
Ceremony for which His Excellency Dr. George Joseph, the
Ambassador of India to the Kingdom of Bahrain was the honourable
Chief Guest. A thanksgiving Mass was then celebrated by Rev. Fr.
Varghese Chempolly OFM Cap., the Provincial and the Spiritual
Director of Jesus Youth, Middle East. contributed tremendously to ‘Sonrise’ by providing the participants
with a unique experience.
A lot of work and prayers went into making this first gathering a
blessed and memorable one. Encouraging the team in this initiative With this launch, Jesus Youth has become an official youth group in
were Rev. Fr. Thomas Quadros, Parish Priest, Sacred Heart Church the Sacred Heart Parish of Bahrain. Enthused by ‘Sonrise’, the parish
and Rev. Fr. Joy Menachery. Rexband members Shelton Pinheiro and youth are now getting ready to help others rise and touch the Son.
Alphons Joseph together with the Covenant Singers from UAE also SEBASTIAN JOSEPH

‘Amazing Grace II’, Canada Bp. Camillo Balin & new National Team, Kuwait Youth Gathering, UK

CANADA during the month of March 2009. All the was re-constituted with Mano Mathew as Co-
three programmes were based on the theme ordinator, Lincy Scaria as Asst. Co-ordinator
‘Amazing Grace II’
‘Why choose Jesus in our lives?’ and had a and Sunil D’Cruz and Shincy Shafi as
Seeing the Lord’s great blessings and fruits
participation of about 35-50 youth each. Animators. For the first time in JY Kuwait
from the ‘Amazing Grace’ programme
Besides the JY resource team, Sean history, a service team for JY families and
organised for teens last year, a second one
Mansfield also spoke to the youth. youth was also formed with 5 couples and 7
was held in Toronto on 3rd Jan. 2009. The
Ministry Leaders’ Training youth as members respectively. Sinil & Titty
one-day programme with the theme ‘Facing
Nearly 65 leaders from various regional/ are the Co-ordinators for the Family Team and
the Tides: Living as Catholic Youth Today’
zonal teams gathered in Birmingham for a Sanju is the Co-ordinator for the Youth Team.
was attended by over 80 teenagers.
training on 31st Jan. 2009. The training was Mahesh Peter
Parish Outreaches
on the ‘Effective functioning of JY teams’.
The New Year saw the Jesus Youth Canada MALAYSIA
The programme gave a lot of impetus and
Team conduct outreaches to the local focus to various ministry initiatives. Week-long Programmes
parishes in the Toronto area - to the Sibi Joseph From 1st to 8th March 2009, several activities
Epiphany of Our Lord Parish in January and like Praise & Worship sessions, Bible study
most recently to the St. Barnabas Parish in KUWAIT
and personal sharings were conducted for
February. Armed with touching testimonies, Growth Retreat, Ahmadi the students, nurses and professionals living
motivating messages, and uplifting songs, A growth retreat for JY leaders from across in and around Kuala Lumpur. The week long
the team was able to reach out to the small Kuwait was conducted at Our Lady of Arabia activity was an initiative of the South East
group of adults and youth. Church, Ahmadi from 8th to 10th Dec. 2008. Asia Team, under the leadership of Dony
Roy David Rev. Fr. Joseph Anthikattu from India who Peter, SEA Co-ordinator. On the last day, 40
UK led the retreat helped the 120 participants people gathered together for a programme
to renew their relationship with the Lord. in an auditorium at Assumption Church,
Christmas Gatherings Resource Training, Salmiya
To celebrate Christmas amidst JY fellowship, Petaling Jaya. Following this, a committed
A training programme for resource persons team of Jesus Youth has been formed in
four Christmas gatherings were organised from different parts of Kuwait was held on
across Birmingham, Manchester and London Malaysia under the leadership of Simson
26th Feb. 2009 at Don Bosco School, Salmiya. and the guidance of Dr. Aloysius Netto.
during the month of December. Each of the The training animated by Manoj Sunny had
gatherings was attended by about 40 to 60 Simson Thomas
25 participants.
Jesus Youth and comprised of powerful prayer National Team Re-constitution OMAN
sessions, teachings and Christmas festivities. About 80 leaders from various parts of Kuwait ‘Teen’s Grace 2009’, Ghala
Youth Gatherings gathered together on 27th Feb. 2009 for the The Teens Ministry organized a stay-in
Zonal gatherings for the youth of Bolton, discernment of the new JY teams. Under the programme for teenagers, ‘Teen’s Grace
Birmingham and London were organised guidance of Manoj Sunny, the National Team 2009’ from 6th - 7th Feb. 2009 at Ghala. His

‘Teen’s Grace 2009’, Oman Week-long Programmes, Malaysia

APRIL 2008
2009 PAGE 13

National Service Team Gathering, USA Campus Outreach, Illinois, USA Teens’ Retreat, Singapore

Excellency Bishop Paul Hinder inaugurated USA conducted a ‘Vigil for Life’ in the campus.
the event. The programme led by a resource National Service Team Gathering The campus now has Eucharistic Adoration
team from Dubai, was attended by over 30 The National Service Team Gathering took and intercession every Wednesday. JY Prayer
teenagers studying in classes 8 to 11. place from 13th to 16th Feb. 2009 at Belleville, has also started in DePaul University
Leaders’ Training Programme New Jersey and was the first occasion where and Dominican University and an initiation
All Oman Leaders’ Training Programme was all regional teams came together. With the has been made in Milwaukee School of
organized by the National Service Team at purpose of providing the leaders a platform to Engineering and St. Louis School of Pharmacy.
Ghala on three consecutive Fridays (13th, 20th meet and discuss their dreams for this Sunil Nadarajan
& 27th Mar. 2009). Over 70 JY leaders from country, the programme was hosted by the SINGAPORE
the parishes of Sohar, Salalah, Ghala, Ruwi Northeast Regional Service Team and
and Nizwa participated in the training. Teens Retreat 2009
facilitated by Manoj Sunny. Over 70 families JY Singapore organised a teens retreat
Families’ Formation Programmes and 35 youth participated in the various
Under the initiative of the JY Families ‘Every Step Counts’ from 24th to 27th Jan.
sessions. Following this gathering, many small 2009 at St. Antony’s Primary School, Bukit
Ministry, a formation programme for groups have been initiated in New York and
families was organized from 19 th Feb. to Batok. The retreat, led by Dony Peter and
New Jersey. Jose Sebastian, helped the 40 teen
11 th Mar. 2009 . With the theme ‘Called to Campus Prayer Group, Philadelphia
be Holy’, Elvis Kottooran and his wife Priya participants to make a step by step discovery
The very first Jesus Youth prayer group at of themselves in Jesus. The inner healing
led the programme in the parishes of Ghala Temple University, Philadelphia, was started
and Salalah with participation from over 50 session saw the parents of the teens praying
in the month of February 2009. This prayer for them and it was a powerful Spirit-filled
families in each. Sunny Thadathil and group was sparked off after an outreach visit
Augustine Devassy led the programme in experience. Fr. William Goh, Fr. Albert, Fr.
to the campus by Jilu Jacob and Simi Sahu Damian, Fr. Bruno and Fr. Franz celebrated
the other parishes of Sohar and Ruwi from New Jersey.
attended by 20 families and 60 families Holy Mass on different days of the retreat.
Campus Outreach, Illinois Two prayer groups have been initiated for
respectively. A small team comprising of Dr. Sindhu
Discipleship Training Programme (DTP) teens after this retreat.
Subhadra, her three little children, Anjitha Shimy Stephen
Twenty teenage leaders attended the DTP Thomas, Thomas Pulickal, Joe Joseph and
organized by the JY Teens ministry from 14th- Jithin George made a three- week mission IRELAND
18th Mar. 2009. The programme, intended trip to reach out to the students at the ‘Splash’, Clontarf
mainly for teenagers studying in classes 8 - 12 University of Illinois, Urbana, Champaign. ‘Splash’, a two hour programme for teens
was held at Ghala. The sessions were handled Powered by continuous intercession, the and youth was organized in Dublin on 22nd
by Vijay Sebastian from India along with team met many of the students personally Feb. 2009. Over 100 youngsters from Ireland,
Bimesh and Diego from Dubai. and shared about Christ with them. They also Philippines, USA, Brazil, Italy and India had a
Binoy Xavier

Families’ Formation Programmes, Oman ‘Splash’, Ireland


‘Communion ‘09’, India ‘Yes Lord ‘09’ Retreat, Brisbane, Australia

soul stirring time at the St. Anthony’s Parish Retreat for Ministry Leaders, Abu Dhabi the homes of the Jesus Youth members. The
Hall, Clontarf. Besides the music ministry A stay-in retreat was organized from 19th to final gathering was held at Holy Family
and audio visual ministry, Fr. Ben from the 21st Feb. 2009 for the service team and core Parish, Perumbilli from 26th- 29th December.
Blessed Sacrament Community and Jerry Joy team members of Abu Dhabi at St. Joseph’s ‘Oasis ’09’, Bangalore
ministered to the participants and spoke Church. Sixty leaders participated in this Over 350 participants attended the
about their Catholic lifestyle and identity. retreat led by the Jesus Youth UAE Team. Bangalore Campus Meet, ‘Oasis ’09’ held
Family Gathering, Fairview Family Rosary from 24th to 26th January at DVK Hall, Christ
Jesus Youth celebrated Christmas with the This initiative by JY Jebel Ali has been University. The event was blessed by the visit
families of the teenagers in the ministry on steadily growing and has completed one of His Grace Rev. Bernard Moras, the
10th Jan. 2009 in Our Lady of Visitation fruitful year. Once a month, several members Archbishop of Bangalore.
Parish, Fairview, Dublin. This was the first gather together in a house close to the ‘Communion ’09’, North India
initiative of the Family ministry in Ireland Church, to pray the rosary and hear the ‘Communion ’09’ for North India was hosted
and it has helped in building a good sharing of the Word by an elder or priest. at Delhi from 10th to 12th February 2009 with
relationship with the families that gathered. Second Phase of ‘Live Jesus’ around 35 participants from the different
Sijo Jose JY International Animator, Baby Chacko, Northern states. This programme for priests
UAE visited and interacted with the local Jesus and religious supporting the Jesus Youth
Youth groups across the four Emirates for movement in various capacities was for the
Outreach Programme, Dubai two months to help them with the second first time also co-ordinated by them.
The first outreach programme to the youth phase of ‘Live Jesus’ - an ongoing formation ‘Mission Andaman’
of the Arab community was held on 19th Mar. programme. The mission project of the National Campus
2009 at St. Mary’s Church, Dubai. The basic Bejoy Cherian Ministry - Mission Andaman - took place from
aim of the event was to introduce the 19th December 2008 to 3rd January 2009.
movement to them. INDIA
There were 22 participants in all from
All UAE Commitment Meeting Cultural Exchange, Kerala different parts of the country including 14
Nearly 200 second-line JY leaders from The annual Cultural Exchange Programme campus leaders from South India. During their
across UAE gathered together for the held in Kerala this year attracted the stay in the Andaman Islands, the participants
Commitment Meeting held on 13th Feb. 2009 participation of 220 youth from 20 different were involved in meeting the people, making
at St. Francis of Assisi Church, Jebel Ali. dioceses. Continuing with the unique pattern house visits and outreaches. They also
New Prayer Group, Fujairah of the venture, the participants after undertook the construction of toilets for poor
A new prayer group in English has been receiving a grand welcome on 6th Dec. 2008 families. Fr. Jais, Pastor, JY Karnataka also
started at St. Mary’s Church, Fujairah. The attended a week-long retreat at the Divine accompanied the group to Andaman along
official launch of the group was made by the Retreat Centre following which they were with Jose, the Asst. Co-ordinator of JY
Parish Priest, Fr. Stanley on 21st Feb. 2009. welcomed by the different zones to stay in Mumbai, and his wife.

Commitment Meeting, UAE Cultural Exchange, India New JY National Team, Germany

APRIL 2009 PAGE 15


‘Mission Andaman’, India ‘Crossway ’09’, Australia Discipleship Training, Germany

‘Blessings ’09’, Hyderabad Carmel Retreat Centre, Sydney. Forty youth Ratingen. Called ‘Flash’, the programme was
‘Blessings ’09’, a three day initial level participated in this growth retreat conducted conducted with the help of Fr. Fritz May for
retreat was conducted from 23rd to 26th by C. C. Joseph, George Devassy and two classes of 9th Standard. The 45-minute
January at St. Francis College, Begumpet. Fr. George from 27th Feb. to 1st Mar. 2009. programme, based on the theme ‘God’s Love’,
The retreat was primarily for the youth from Mayrose Pius included music, skits, testimonies and
the various parishes of Secunderabad and presentations. A total of 55 students
Hyderabad and received an overwhelming participated in ‘Flash’.
response with around 400 youth gathering Retreat & National Team Re-constitution Talent Day
for the programme. Growth retreat ‘LichtBrennen’ for key With the desire to help individuals to use their
Subin Jacob leaders was organized at St. Carolus in talents for the Lord, a Talent Day was
AUSTRALIA Boppard from 19th- 21st Dec. 2008. The organised on 28th February 2009 for the
retreat was conducted by George Devassy regions of Cologne and Mainz. During the day,
‘Yes Lord ’09’ & Team Re-constitution and Manoj Sunny. Following the retreat, the
Over 50 youth and 14 leaders participated in participants focused and practiced their skills
re-constitution of the National Team took in the two main areas of music and theatre.
the retreat- ‘Yes Lord ’09’ from 13th to 15th place. The new team has 11 members with
March. Facilitated by C. C. Joseph, the Vimal Vattapillil
Fr. Ajy Moolemparampil as Pastor, Josef May
camping retreat was held at Log Cabin, as Animator, Vimal Vattappillil as
Natural Bridge. Following the retreat, the re- Co-ordinator and Saumya Jacob as Asst.
constitution of the JY Brisbane Team took Co-ordinator.
place. Siju Mathew is the new Co-ordinator, ‘LichtSein 2008’, Schermbeck
Nishan Mathew is the Asst. Co-ordinator and
The Discipleship Training Programme
Fr. Thomas Areekuzhy is the team’s Pastor.
‘LichtSein 2008’ held from 26th - 31st
‘Crossway ’09’, Melbourne
December at Kolpinghaus in Schermbeck was
Nearly 50 people participated in a growth
attended by 32 participants from
retreat held at Mt. Evelyn Victoria from 6th-
Switzerland, Austria and Germany. The
9th March 2009. The four-day retreat
week-long retreat cum training had as
conducted by Bishop Christopher Prowse,
resource persons Pastor Hohnemann,
George Devassy and C. C. Joseph helped the
Fr. Fritz May, Fr. Meyer and George Devassy.
participants to have a deeper relationship
Some of the highlights of ‘LichtSein 2008’
with Christ and to become committed
individuals for the Church. included a visit by Msgr. Antony
Re-constitution of JY Sydney Team Kollamparambil from the Vatican who
The new team for JY Sydney was answered the questions put forward by the
reconstituted on 13th Dec. 2008 at Liverpool participants and also a Taizé evening
under the guidance of Fr. George (JY Sydney conducted by the Taizé-group from
Pastor), Rajesh Thalapil (Co-ordinator, JY Schermbeck.
Australia) and Fr. John (Pastor, JY Australia). Project 40/40
The re-constituted team with 12 members February 2009 saw the beginning of Project
has Rodney Malhiers as the Co-ordinator, 40/40 by Jesus Youth Germany. The project
Lejan James as the Asst. Co-ordinator, Noby aims to hold 40-hour Adorations in 40
Joseph and Benny as the Animators, different local parishes by 2011. The first QUEEN OF HEAVEN, REJOICE,
Fr. George as the Pastor and Jaison Thomas 40/40 was conducted from 13th- 15th Feb. at ALLELUIA,
as the Family Co-ordinator. Gemeindezentrum St. Michael in Boppard. FOR HE WHOM YOU WERE WORTHY
‘Christ Ablaze’, Sydney ‘Flash’ School Programme TO BEAR, ALLELUIA,
To nurture the spiritual formation of Sydney On 13th Mar. 2009, JY Germany conducted a HAS RISEN, AS HE FORETOLD,
youth, ‘Christ Ablaze’ was held at Mount programme at Liebfrauenschule School, ALLELUIA,

Printed and Published by Mr. Manoj Sunny on behalf of Jesus Youth International Office, 6F Thadikaran Centre, Palarivattom P.O., Cochin-682 025, Kerala, INDIA, Ph: +91 484-4054870, 4054371, Fax: +91-484-2346084, Email: Editor-in-charge: Shelton Pinheiro Editorial Team: Beena Manoj, Anu Pinheiro, Jubie John & Liss Thomas Cover Design: Jaison Antony Layout: Sanil C.A. Printed by SR Graphics, Kottayam, Ph:+91 481-2301142