SANDAKAN — Helen Keller said, “Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much.” In the same spirit, youth ministers of the Malaysian Catholic Youth Ministers Committee (MCYMC) from all the Catholic dioceses in Malaysia, convened for their annual meeting and retreat in Sandakan from the 23-28 September.
The meeting started with a 2-day retreat focusing on Pope Francis’ exhortation to the young people: “Christus Vivit” and the servant leadership of youth and campus ministers.
The Episcopal Commission MCYMC comprising full time youth and campus ministers are directly responsible for pastoral care and faith formation of the young people and their respective dioceses. With the increasing number of higher education institutions in Malaysia, the ministry in the campus has become even more urgent and pressing.
Thus, this annual meeting sought to strengthen solidarity and collaboration between the dioceses, evaluating past programmes to address and respond to the needs of our young people today.
In this meeting each diocese shared on programmes conducted in the past year, faith and leadership formation camps, youth forums and outreach programmes’ mission trips to communities in need. We learned from each other and were enriched by one another’s best practices for journeying with our young people.
MCYMC evaluated the 3rd Malaysian Catholic Campus Student’s Day (MCCSD3), held this year from the 3-8 June in the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu, participated by 700 young Catholic students from higher education institutions all over the country.
MCYMC also discussed organising the first Malaysian Youth Day (MYD) for all young people, together with the 4th Malaysian Catholic Student’s Day, slated to take place in 2021. Both events will be part of the journey for young people towards the envisioned national Pan Malaysian Pastoral Convention scheduled in 2026.
Archbishop Simon Poh from Kuching, as the Bishop-in-charge of youth and campus in Malaysia, encouraged the MCYMC youth and campus ministers to bring Pope Francis’ words in “Christus Vivit” to all young people that “Christ is alive and he wants you to be alive!” (CV #1) and that our “young people are the NOW of God!” (CV#64).