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Youth Commission
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Bp. Joseph Mar Thomas

Bp. Mar George Madathikandathil
Vice Chairman

Bp. Christudas R
Vice Chairman

Rev. Fr. Stephen Thomas

Rev. Fr. Joseph Alencherry
Joint Secretary

Rev. Fr. Paul Sunny
Joint Secretary

Rev. Fr. Sebastian John Kizhakkethil
Joint Secretary

Untitled Document

Sri. Immanuel Michael
Kerala Catholic Youth Movement

Sri. Ebin Kanivayalil
General Secretary
Kerala Catholic Youth Movement

Rev. Fr. Geo Thekkineth

Mr. Jaison Sebastian

Shoby K Paul

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Accompanying youth and helping them to understand the meaning of life is one of the important ministries of the Church. It is a way helping them to live true discipleship, following the footsteps of Jesus and to respond to the modern challenges of Humanity. To express their dreams, visions and talents, Young people need sufficient Space and Time in the Church and Society. They should feel that they are counted and accepted in the important decisions and changes taking place in and around them. Hence, Youth Ministry is a great task of the Church and it needs dedicated persons, who can carefully read the pulse of the time and the life of young people.

Responding to the challenges of the time, Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council (KCBC) gives much significance to the Youth Ministry and thus to the integral development of young people. KCBC Youth Commission is responsible to animate all the youth missions panning across thirty-one Dioceses in Kerala on a single platform and targeting spiritual, intellectual and socio-cultural formation of Catholic youth by providing proper expertise and guidance. Hence it is entrusted to animate the activities of the young people in the three sui iuris Churches -- the Latin, the Syro-Malabar and the Syro-Malankara.

 All Catholic youth movements in Kerala – including its official organisations like KCYM (the confederation of the LCYM, MCYM and SMYM), and Christian Life Community (CLC), and co-ordination of the activities of CML, Jesus Youth, Don Bosco Youth, Vincent De Paul Youth, Idente Youth, MIJARC, FIMCAP and AICUF -- comes under the Youth Commission. Through various formation programs and social activities, the Commission aims to empower the Catholic youth to live as young disciples of Jesus Christ through their responsible participation in the life and mission of the Church. Hence, the Commission strengthens the fraternity and solidarity among those involve in youth ministry in the 31 Dioceses in the region of Kerala, India.

At present, the Commission is headed by His Excellency Mar Joseph Pandarasseril, as the Chairman and His Excellency Rt. Rev. Dr. Vincent Samuel and His Excellency Dr. Philipose Mar Stephanos, as the Vice-Chairmen. KCBC Youth Commission extends sincere gratitude to His Excellency Dr. Thomas Mar Anthonios OIC, who was the predecessor of Bishop Dr. Philipose Mar Stephanos, for the timely guidance and support extended during his tenure. Moreover, the Commission whole-heartedly welcomes Bishop Mar Stephanos and congratulate Bishop Dr. Thomas Mar Anthonios for his new assignment as the first Bishop for the Kirkee-Pune Malankara Exharchate. Rev. Dr. Mathew Jacob Thiruvalil OIC is the Secretary for the KCBC Youth Commission. In the year 2014, Rev. Fr. Paul Sunny (Latin Rite), Rev. Fr. Sebastian Kaippanplackal (Malabar Rite) and Rev. Fr. Thomas Kayyalackal (Malankara Rite), representing the three sui iuris Churches were appointed as the Joint-Secretaries of the KCBC Youth Commission.

As part of giving more attention in youth ministry, at present, all the three sui iuris Churches and most of their respective Dioceses have their own Youth Commissions. With the collaboration between the KCBC Youth Commission and the Commissions of the three sui iuris Churches along with the Diocesan youth Commissions, can help to carry out the recommendations given in KCBC with regards to youth, allowing the voice of the young to be heard and for creating more channels for their participation in the Church and society.

Theme for the year 2015: Pravāchaka Yuvathvavum Samarpitha Chaithnyavum

The year 2015 is marked as the Year of the Consecrated Life. Hence, the Commission proposed a theme entitled, Pravāchaka Yuvathvavum Samarpitha Chaithnyavum (Prophetic Youth and Grace of Consecration) and has been incorporated in the action plan for the year 2015. Through various formation programs, based on this theme, organizing in the Parish, Forane, Diocesan and State level, the Commission fosters the integral growth of each young person. The sub titles of the main theme are environmental protection, drug and alcohol free society and religious tolerance.



Ministry with youth is a special task and it is one of the important ministries of the Church. Empowering youth and accompanying them make the Church vibrant and renewed. Youth Ministryof the Church in Kerala, is not an optional pastoral care of the Church, but a ministry that functions under a collective and collaborative mind of all those who love young people and the Church.
KCBC Commission for Youth (KCBC-CY)
Youth Ministry is not a destination but a journey. Understanding the urgent need of youth accompaniment in their day today lives, the Catholic Church in Kerala gives special attention to accompany all young people, without any exception. The KCBC Commission for Youth, which was officially installed in the year 1973, functions under the able guidance and blessings of the Kerala Catholic Bishop’s Council (KCBC).
KCBC President His Grace Dr.SoosaPakiam is the Patron of this Commission. At present, the commission is headed by His Grace Dr. Joseph Mar Thomas as the Chairman and Bishops George Madathikandathil and Chirstudas R as vice-Chairmen. Rev. Dr. Mathew Jacob Thiruvalil OIC has been serving as the Secretary of KCBC-CY for the last six years. Along with the state level coordination, the Commission represents Kerala region in the national and international meetings such as, World Youth Day (WYD), Asian Youth Day (AYD), National Youth Day (NYD), National and International Councils, etc. The office of KCBC-CY is situated at the Secretariat of KCBC, at POC, Cochin.
The youth directors of the three Sui Iuris Churches, Rev. Frs. Paul Sunny from Latin, Joseph Alancheery from Syro-Malabar and Sebastian Kizhakkethil from Syro-Malankara Churches are the joint-secretaries of the Commission, during their tenure at their respective posts. State level office bearers of the different ten youth organizations, and a team of thirty-two Directors and thirty-two Animators with a team of Youth Leaders from their respective dioceses implement the vision and mission of the Youth Ministry ofKCBCthrough the Commission for Youth. This team, representing the mind of KCBC, reachesto the grass-root level of each ecclesial districts/Feronasand Church units.
Considering the ecclesial diversity, geographical distance and the need of a constant contact with every single youth, each diocese in Kerala gives special attention to their ownyouth formation. It helps them to identify and promote the budding young people of a particular diocese. Hence, in order to organize the diocesan level animation of all youth movements exist in aparticular diocese;keeping in mind the mission and vision of KCBC-CY, each diocese in Kerala has its own Youth Commission under the direct guidance of their respective hierarchical heads. 
Vision and Mission of KCBC-CY
In the year 2016, Youth Commission published its Statutes, which was approved by KCBCafter serious studies and discussions. Even though KCBC-CY has been functioning well for more than four decades, the Commission felt the vital need of a Statute, and later a Youth Policy, which is applicable for all youth movements and which helps the coordination under one umbrella of KCBC-CY. Hence, KCBC entrusted the Commission to prepare and present a Youth Policy during its December 2017 session. An initial draft, in discussion with all youth organizations, prepared and presented by KCBC Youth Commission in the June 2018 session, is ready to publish with the amendments proposed by KCBC. 
The KCBC-CY Statute clearly states the vision and mission,which gives proper direction of the function of this Commission. It is a common platform for all the youth activities organizing under the Youth Ministry in the thirty-two dioceses in Kerala (as it is now), in the three Sui Iuris Churches, the Latin, Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara. The commission unites all the youth activities towards the unique mission of the Church, establishing the Kingdom of God, through various faces of youth ministry. In a wider sense of the aims and objectives of the Commission, it can either work by itself or in collaboration with any other Government or non-government organization. 
KCBC-CY: A Common Platform for Different Youth Movements
The Statutes and the Youth Policy, which are prepared in this period, give more clarity to the mission and relevance of KCBC-CY. The effective implementation of these documents can effectively create a common platform for all those who work in Youth Ministry in the Church in Kerala. Twice in a year the commission organizes a common gathering of all the Youth Movements to exchange their vision and their updates in the field of Youth Ministry.
Considering the importance of the KCBC Year of Youth, KCBC-CY organized five state level meetings of different youth organizations, which have been doing their ministry among young people. Each meeting was enriched by fruitful discussions, such as, the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, the relevance of KCBC-CY, the importance of KCBC Year of Youth, the recent challenges in the Church in Kerala, significance of ecumenical youth gatherings, contemporary issues that threaten the faith life of youth, etc.
Including the official Youth wing of KCBC, the Kerala Catholic Youth Movement (KCYM), there are eleven various youth organizations working in the field of Youth Ministry in this region. It incorporates KCYM, Christian Life Community (CLC), the International Catholic Agricultural and Rural Youth Movement (MIJARC) , AICUF, Jesus Youth, Idente Youth, Don Bosco youth, Eucharistia Youth Group, the official youth wings of the three Sui Iuris Churches, such as MCYM, SMYM and LCYM. KCYM, the common platform of the 32 dioceses, representing the official youth wings of the three Sui IurisChurches is also known as ICYM Kerala Region, in the national level and MIJARC Kerala, at the international level. Each movement helps the young people to become fruitful disciples of Jesus and to effectively witness their Christian faith and values in a multi-religious and multi-cultural scenario in Kerala.
KCBC-CY and the Areas of Youth Ministry
KCBC-CY ensures a comprehensive ministry, which comprises every one and every aspect of the life of young people and reaches out every single youth, without avoiding any one. Along with the state, national and international faces of action plans, each movement in the KCBC-CY addresses the need of youth at the local level, but in line with the needs of each diocese and the Sui Iuris Church. Hence, the mission of KCBC-CY varies from place to place and movement to movement. 
Some important events organized by different youth organizations are: Campus ministry, evangelization programs, formation programs, ecumenical youth meets, study camps, music ministry, cultural activities, debates, writers’ forum, health awareness camps, hair donation, blood donation, youth pilgrimages, picnics, study tour, sports and games competitions, conventions, retreats, protests, youth assemblies etc.Along with the state level or diocesan level common programs animated under KCBC-CY, the three Sui Iuris Churches organize their own faith formation and life orientation programs. Each program organized under the leadership of the Commissions of each diocese, families, parishes, youth centres, schools, colleges, youth clubs, prayer groups, social media etc. are playing vital roles in the Youth Ministry of the Church in Kerala.
As a part of total youth ministry of the Church, different commissions working under the KCBC, such as Jesus Fraternity, Vigilant commission, Media, Bible, Catechism, Health, Sarathy– a team working for the welfare of downtrodden -- are also directly involved in guiding and supporting the youth in their own areas of ministry. Hence, the Youth Ministry in Kerala is a collective and collaborative ministry of the Church, which embraces every pulse of day-to-day life.
KCBC Year of Youth (6 January 2018-6 January 2019)
In the history of the Youth Ministry, the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops and its theme, “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment” mark the year 2018 a special one. Considering the importance of the Synod of Bishops and the occasion of the Ruby Jubilee Year of KCYM, KCBC-CY, proposed the relevance of observing Youth Year in Kerala, a period of one-year, starting from 6 January 2018 to 6 January 2019. Hence, on 30 December 2017, on the occasion of the first State level Youth Assembly held at Mar Baselios Engineering College, Trivandrum,the KCBC President His Grace Dr.SoosaPakiamofficially announced the decision of KCBC to observe the KCBC Year of Youth in the Church in Kerala.
A Joint Pastoral Letter
Soon after the declaration of the Year of Youth, a joint pastoral letter was prepared by the KCBC President and the Chairman of the KCBC-CY, and sent to all the Bishops, Dioceses, Youth Directors and Animators of all youth groups, Directors and Animators of all the 32 dioceses. Through the diocesan offices it was sent to all the parishes,to parish youth and to all other organizations to read and explain the importance of the year and its theology and praxis. Based on this each dioceseprepared their yearly program on the bases of the decision of KCBC. The joint letter explains the decision of KCBC to celebrate the Year of Youth in Kerala, its background, importance of a special year, its theology, the mode of observation of the Youth Year, etc., on the occasion of the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops and the Ruby Jubilee of KCYM.
Inauguration of the KCBC Year of Youth
On 21st January 2018, in the presence of the KCBC-CY Chairman, the commission members, youth directors and youth representatives from all the 32 dioceses and representatives of all youth movements, the KCBC President His Grace Dr.SoosaPakiam inaugurated the Year of Youth. The President of KCBC instructed all youth leaders and the gathering to observe this year with its seriousness and proper planning. Soon after the inauguration, there was a special meeting of the leaders directors and animators of all the youth movements, in which the team discussed and agreed the responsibility of each movement to ensure at least one state level program in favour of the KCBC Year of Youth.
Theme of the Year 2018: Faith and the Vocational Discernment
On the basis of the theme of the15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, the KCBC-CY decided to keep the title ‘Faith and Vocations Discernment’, as the basic theme of the action plans and studies of all the youth activates of the year 2018. A basic text, explaining the details of the theme, its theology and proposed action plans in the parish, feronaand state level was written and published by the Secretary of KCBC-CY, Fr. Dr. Mathew Jacob Thiruvalil OIC. KCYM took the text as a basic study material for the KCBC Year of Youth and conducted study camps and formation programs in all the dioceses.
Year of Youth Emblem 
Along with the prayer, a youth emblem was prepared for each parish and all our institutions, which can be displayed in public and visible to. Most of the parishes put it at the front side near the Holy Alter, so that youth will be specially remembered in all Holy Masses and Prayers. The flag depicts the theme of the year, youth, Holy Spirit, Holy Bible, the Church in Kerala. The emblem of this special year was designed by two physically challenged young girls, Miss Simi and Sini from Mananthavadi, who depend wheelchair from childhood, but fight to smile at life with their strong faith and positive outlook.
Year of Youth Prayer
A special prayer of KCBC Year of Youth was prepared and distributed to everyone.Each diocese printed it according to their local needs. It was printed in handy way so that youth can carry it even during their travel time and in meetings. All youth meetings in this year start with this prayer and in became a part of the family prayer too.During the Inauguration of the KCBC Year of Youth at MavelikaraJeevaram Mar Ivanios Animation Centre, the Chairman Bishop Dr. Joseph Mar Thomas officially initiated the Youth Year was.
Directors’-Animators’ Meet
The Directors’-Animators’ meet, representing all the 32 dioceses, and all the youth organizations took place twice in a year and it provided timely updatingofthe decisions of KCBC-CY and the developments in the field of youth ministry. It increased the Koinonia and fraternal co-operation among the directors and animators, which strengthened the total youth ministry of the Church. This year the first meeting was held at Bathery and the second at POC, Cochin.Moreover, such meetings were held at the diocesan and Sui Iuris level too. With the normal procedures of the directors-animators meet, this years’ meeting mainly discussed the promotion and observation of the KCBC Year of Youth in the diocesan and different youth movements’ level. Based on the decisions of these gatherings, each youth movements and directors decided to promote the celebration of KCBC Year of Youth in all levels of youth ministry in the Church in Kerala.
Regional Youth Conventions 
As part of KCBC Year of Youth, in the month of July, ‘Malabar Youth Convention’ was held at Nilambur. ‘Malabar Youth Convention’ was a first time attempt in the history of youth ministry in Kerala. With the blessings and guidance of the Bishops of this region, the youth leaders, directors and the animators took leadership in making this joint venture a big success.
The regional youth convention was a good attempt in promoting the regional youth leaders, which empowered the units and local youth. KCBC-CY extends our sincere thanks to the Bishops of Malabar region, directors, animators, young people and the faithful who supported in many ways to make this event a successful one. Because of the unexpected flood and the natural calamities, KCBC-CY decided to cancel the other proposed regional youth conventions, suppose to be held in Kottayam and Trivandrum.
Bhala Samrudhi(Prosperity of Fruits)
As part of KCBC Year of Youth, KCBC-CY organized a one-year green world campaign. This project, BhalaSamrudhi (Prosperity of Fruits), is organized under the leadership of MIJARC Kerala. It helps to spread the message of Laudato Siand to support families to self-sufficiency though agriculture, especially through the promotion of fruit trees. In collaboration with Home Grown and Deepika daily, MIJARC Kerala coordinator Mr.CyriacChazhikkadan coordinated this project through KCYM, the regional youth wing of MIJARC. All dioceses welcomed this project and it was well accepted by everyone.
Flood-Based Youth Ministry
The recent flood in Kerala badly affected thousands of people and many of them lost whatever theyhave earned in their lives. The immediate and spontaneous relief work done by the common people, especially by the young fishermen was well appreciated and it saved the lives of thousands. 
The helping presence and the selfless service of Catholic Youth in the first and immediate face, the rescue operations and addressing the basic need in relief camps, the second face, were well appreciated and was a model for other groups too. In the third part of the flood relief program, youth volunteers were divided in to small groups and reconstructed or cleaned the houses, which were partially or completely destroyed. State, Diocesan, ferona and parish level team rendered their selfless support in the rescue operations and the follow up programs.
To support the flood affected people, under each youth movements, the young people collected dress, food items, medicine, household articles, and money and distributed among the needy. Small youth groups were formed to motivate the families and individuals who were afraid and totally lost their hope. The real fruit of the faith life and the youth formation they have received were the basic strength of our youngsters. Even the government officials appreciated the service of Catholic Youth, which was an influential model for other social groups. Special appreciation goes to the youth directors, animators, young leaders and youth volunteers, especially the youth at sea shore for their Christian witness during the disaster time.
State Youth Festival 2018
State Youth festival of the year 2018 was decided to held at Trichur Diocese. Since the unexpected flood destroyed the normal life of many people, youth decided to support the suffering with the money collected for the youth festival and to work among suffering people in the diocesan level, where they could easily identify the real situation and needy ones. As they did during the Ochi time in 2017, youth decided to cancel even the diocesan level and state level the youth festivals and spend the money for the relief work. The Kerala model Youth Ministry was also well appreciated by all, even in the national youth gatherings. For youth, the flood time and the later decisions were occasions to reflect on and rededicate their Catholic faith and role as a Catholic youth.
Seminar and Camps on KCBC Year of Youth and the 15th Ordinary General
Assembly of the Synod of Bishops
Seminars on the KCBC Year Youth, the theme of the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, ‘Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment’, and related documents were conducted in all dioceses in different levels. Seminars for priests, youth directors and animators, religious congregations, seminaries, formation houses, pastoral council members, schools and colleges, youth directors and animators, youth leaders etc. were done in different occasions. Some dioceses declared this occasion as their regional Youth Year, which helped them to organize and implement the vision of KCBC-CY thought this Year of Youth. Most of the diocese emphasised the formation programs and made statistical study of their youth power in their particular diocese, than organizing big budget public programs, which may not address the real need of youth. In many dioceses and religious communities, KCBC-CY Secretary and different commission secretariesthemselves could lead the classes and discussions, in which the sharing of youth, explaining their expectations, worries and anxiety about the Church and Youth Ministry became a special focus. The Preparatory Document of the Synod, InstrumentumLaboris, the pastoral letter of KCBC President regarding the Year of Youth and the study text prepared for the Year of Youth were the basic texts for seminars and discussions.
Conclusion of KCBC Year of Youth
As decided in KCBC June session, the Commission is planning to conduct the conclusion of KCBC Year of Youth on 5th January 2019 at POC, the centre of the Catholic Church in Kerala.Four important preparatory meetings of all the youth organizations were held, in which two of them, one at the Bishops’ House, Bathery and the second one at POC, Cochin mainly discussed the concluding program on 5 January.Each youth movement agreed to do the arrangements connected with this gathering, such as; invitation, registration, food and stay, stage arrangements, traffic control, publicity, stage management, etc. In the presence of all commission Bishops and leaders, an immediatepreparatory meeting is scheduled at POC on 4th December 2018.
A Word of Thanks
The real life of the Church lies in the heart of our young people. The real life of youth ministry lies in the small units where we can we find budding young people who accompany us and close to Church throughout their lives. It was a pleasant journey for me to walk along with young people who really have dreams for a better tomorrow.
In the name of KCBC Commission for Youth I sincerely thank all the Bishops, especially the heads of the three Sui Iuris churches, the KCBC President His Grace Dr.SoosaPakiam, the commission bishops, His Grace Dr. Joseph Mar Thomas as the Chairman and Bishops George Madathikandathil and Chirstudas R, KCBC Deputy Secretary and the Director of POC, Rev. Dr. Varghese Vallikkat, the joint secretaries of the Commission, the Directors and Animators ofthe dioceses, different youth organizations and youth leaderswho helped me to my service in a better way.
Very specially, I thank the head of the Malankara Catholic Church, His Beatitude Baselios Cardinal CleemisCatholikosand the Malankara Hierarchy who gave me an opportunity to serve the Church for the last six years in a more widerplatform, beyond the boundaries of the rites and dioceses. The former Commission heads the Chairman His Excellency Mar Joseph Pandarasseril, vice-Chairmen, His Excellency Rt. Rev. Dr. Vincent Samuel,His Excellency Mar Anthonios, His Excellency Dr.Philipos Mar Stephanos, the present Chairman His Excellency Joseph Mar Thomas, the vice chairmen, His Grace George Madathikandathil, Christudas R, for their passionate fraternal accompaniment and timely guidance.Above all, I bow down my head before God almighty for his continues accompaniment in each and every moment in my life.

Fr. Dr. Mathew Jacob Thiruvalil OIC
Secretary, KCBC Commission for Youth
State Director, KCYM