06/09/2012 07:13

Wewak out of school youth cry for friendship, education, spirituality

By Fr Giorgio Licini. “Call to Holiness in the spirit of Communion – Serving like Christ” was the team of the Catholic youth gathering at the Wirui Cathedral compound in Wewak on 26 August – 2 September this year. About 300 out of school youth, aged 14-25, came together from parishes in the city and surrounding centers. The program of formation and activities was tight with talks on life resource management, cultural changes, communication, Christian initiation; sports activities; video and movie showing; fellowship, daily Mass and prayers… On Thursday afternoon, 30 August the participants gathered for an Open Forum where they voiced their requests to youth leaders, pastoral workers and diocesan Bishop Toni Burgess, sitting among them. They said they want programs beyond the yearly gatherings. Since they are mostly out of school youth, they feel the need to acquire knowledge in different fields: social life, media communication, religion… They said that education, coupled with a deeper spiritual life, will help them find meaning and refrain from antisocial behavior such as marijuana smoking and home brew addiction. Some appealed to their peers not to only attend annual gatherings, but to be active in parishes and local communities. Youth programs must also aim at self-reliance, since family and Church support is frequently lacking for the Sepik youth. (CBC Communications 040912 – giorgiolicini@yahoo.com)