Youth urged not to be afraid

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Participants at a photo call with Archbishop Julian Leow and the speakers.

KLANGKarnival Belia 2018 attracted more than 192 youths from 17 different parishes in the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur, including from the Diocese of Penang.

Karnival Belia was held from 28 – 30 September at the Holy Redeemer Church in Klang. The theme of the camp was Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favour with God (Lk 1:30). Karnival Belia was organised by the Archdiocesan Bahasa Malaysia Apostolate (ABMA) led by Charles Eric with another 18 youths from different parishes in the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur as committee members and another six youths from Kuching Archdiocese to serve in the music ministry.

The first day started off with an opening Mass led by Fr Albet Arockiasamy, who is the ABMA Ecclesiastical Assistant, and assisted by Fr Rudolf Joannes who was the main speaker. A session of praise and worship for the first day was ignited to build the spirit to worship God, and to build up self-confidence to express themselves before the “ice-breaking” session where they get to know each other better.

After that, the briefing of the programme was given by the committee. It was followed by a sharing from Br Emmanuel who shared his experience on his journey as a follower of Christ. He shared his beliefs and his experience with Mother Mary. These experiences have strengthened his faith and he added that praying the rosary can bring peace to the soul and mind.

Second day started with a Mass presided by Fr Rudolf Joannes. The first session of the day entitled “Proud to be a Catholic” was given by Fr Rudolf, who gave the participants two questions: “What is Catholic?” and “Why are they proud to be a Catholic?” for small group disccusions. All the participants were very persistent in answering the questions and gave some very interesting answers. For example, to the first question, most of them answered that Catholic is universal. Meanwhile for the second question, most youths answered that Catholic has 7 Sacraments compared to other churches. Fr Rudolf also gave a little history check of the Catholic Church.

Fr Rudolf continued the second session “You and Me” in which he explained the same sex attraction; what we should do as a Catholic to understand their situation.

Third session was given by Mabel and Meldrick who were from Kuching, Sarawak. They were also part of the music ministry for the Karnival Belia. They shared how music can help the youth to get closer to God. The participants were taught on what and how many types of praises and worships. Mabel and Meldrick also demonstrated on how to give praise and worship. Lastly, they shared that all the youths must be immersed deeply and praise God from the bottom of their hearts.

Next session was a session of dialogue with a theme of “Hearing the Voice of the Lord”. Br Raj Manikam SG, Fr Clement Lim, Fr Alberto Irenus SJ, and Sr Roseling Siaw Chen FSP joined the session as the panellists with Allesandra Andrew as the dialogue’s moderator. The panellists shared their personal story on their journey of faith and their calling to serve the Lord. During the Q&A session, one of the youths asked the panellists whether they ever  regretted their choices to be a priest or religious, and all the panellists answered that they felt no regret except peace and joy in their serving.

The next activity continued with games that brought out their sweats in a “Team Building” session, in which the participants built a stronger relationship within their groups.

The night session was a special session called U-NITE where the participants were invited to be one with Christ through the Blessed Sacrament. The U-NITE started off with the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Adoration. Fr Rudolf gave his reflection and explanation on the purpose and the history of the Sacred Blessing of the Sacrament. This is followed by the Sacrament of Reconciliation together with counselling. As a thanksgiving for the blessing and gifts received, the participants ended the session with praise and worship. Some participants shared that during the Adoration, they could really take their time to talk privately and spent time with the Lord in silence.

The fifth session was given by Dr Walton Wider which is called “Emerging Adults”. His topics covered “Marriage of Adults”, “Instability”, “A Sense of Possibilities”, and “Feeling in Between”. Dr Walton displayed the age range of youths from different countries. He compared the current generation and the past generation, that the current generation has less empathy from the previous generation. This was an eye opener to the youths.

The sixth session on “Becoming a Witness of Christ” was given by Fr Rudolf, where the participants enhanced their knowledge on Jesus Christ and their responsibility to the society.

The last session for Karnival Belia was a session of dialogue on the camp theme, “Do not be afraid to seek the Kingdom of God first”, adapted from Luke 1:30 and Matthew 6:33. The panellists were Dr Walton Wider, Mabel and Meldrick who are successful in their chosen careers. The panellists shared their experiences as a Christian from their university days to their present day. Meldrick stressed that the youths must do what they love while give praises to God so that they will not stray away from God.

Karnival Belia 2018 ended with Holy Mass presided by Archbishop Julian Leow, assisted by Fr Albet Arockiasamy. At the Mass, the Archbishop commissioned the youths as they prepared to leave the camp. In his homily, the Archbishop reminded the youths not be afraid to be a witness and ambassador of Christ in their daily lives.

The committee expressed their gratitude and appreciation to all who are involved, especially Archbishop Julian Leow, Fr Albet Arockiasamy, Fr Clement Lim, Fr Alberto Irenus SJ, Fr Rudolf Joannes, Br Raj Manikan SG, Sr Irene SSFS, Sr Roseling FSP, Sr Delicia FSP, Sr Anita FSIC, Sr Stella Gilbert FSIC, the parish office of the Holy Redeemer Church of Klang, especially the Service Team, and Property Management and all the people of KUBM in the Holy Redeemer Church, Klang.

Stefan & Mary

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