During the month of August, the Holy Father has mandated a special intention for young people to actively live their faith and spread the Gospel’s message in their daily lives. This intention coincided with the 38th World Youth Day (WYD) event in Lisbon, Portugal, which took from 1 – 6 August 2023. In his message, the Pope asked young people to joyfully bear witness to the Gospel and encouraged them to embark on this path without hesitation. Pope Francis emphasised the significance of young people for the Church and highlighted that the Church’s survival is dependent on their involvement.
Our Parish Youth Ministry of Saint Thomas in Kuantan hosted several activities throughout August to commemorate WYD and carry out Pope Francis’ intention and mission. On 6 August, a group of eight individuals performed a liturgical dance with the theme song from the WYD in Lisbon. The youth also sold cookies and cupcakes to raise funds for their future activities. They have expressed their gratitude to all Parishioners for their continuous support in helping them achieve their goals.
We have scheduled two significant events to take place before the end of the month. The first is a two-day camp with the theme “You, Him, and I,” which will be organised by the Chinese-speaking youth. It will take place this weekend (Saturday, 26 Aug - Sunday, 27 Aug) at the Assunta Retreat Center in Kuantan. The camp’s objective is to bring everyone together and foster a stronger relationship with God and each other. There are 29 participants registered.
In line with the Holy Father’s intention for this month, the Parish Youth will be hosting a Eucharistic Adoration on 30 August - the evening before National Day. The celebration will begin with Mass, followed by Holy Hour that includes Vespers (Evening Prayer), a Youth Message, a Video Clip, and ends with Adoration and Benediction. We strongly encourage all youth, including past and present Post-Confirmation students, to be present for this Eucharistic Adoration.
During this time, we invite our Parish Youth to gather and participate in prayer and reflection on the message of the Holy Father, which is directed towards them. Our goal is to provide an opportunity for young people to experience the living Christ by spending meaningful time with the Lord in front of the Blessed Sacrament.
While the Pope led the young people in prayer with the Rosary at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, a young girl who participated in the WYD regained her sight perfectly after receiving Holy Communion. She had been experiencing very blurry vision for two and a half years. From this miracle, it is important for young people to have faith and embrace the Eucharist as a transformative moment in their spiritual journey with God. This is a time to fully dedicate themselves to living for the Eucharist.
Many young people are distancing themselves from the Church and showing little interest in their faith in Christ. It is important to recognise our unique talents and actively engage in the Church through various formations and activities. The Church warmly welcomes teenagers and young adults and encourages them to invite other young people to encounter Christ, enriching them through communion, participation and mission.