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YOUTH UNITED FOR CHRIST

Introduction

Youth United for Christ (hereinafter referred to as YU4C) is the Youth Ministry of the National Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (NCCRS), which is officially recognized by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), for the service, promotion and coordination of all Catholic Charismatic Renewal activities in India. The CBCI also has appointed an Episcopal Advisor to the NCCRS.

The National Service Team (NST) aware of the need for a national level youth ministry that is based on the principle of “Passing on Leadership to the Young Generation”. We have the guidance of the Word of God also in this regard. In the Old Testament, we find Joshua being groomed by Moses by sharing life with him, teaching him everything he knew himself, delegating responsibilities and helping him to face real life situations. Joshua was able to enter the Promised Land, fight and win the victory and lead the whole tribe of Israel. In the same way, in the New Testament, we find Paul training Timothy, Silas, Aquila, Priscilla and Apollos by being with them and guiding them to take leadership of the Corinthian Church.

At the World Youth Day, 1995, Pope John Paul II said: “What is needed today is a Church which knows how to respond to the expectations of young people. Jesus wants to enter into dialogue with them and, through His body, which is the Church, to propose the possibility of a choice, which will require a commitment of their lives. As Jesus with the disciples of Emmaus, so the Church must become the traveling companion of young people”.

History

The Youth Ministry of the NCCRS is not a new idea. Such an initiative was in operation as early as in 1980’s. Then it was known as the National Youth Pastoral Team (NYPT). This was a central team in which faith formation, leadership training, prayer life, Word of God, Sacramental life and commitment were given priorities and the youth were being formed. They in turn worked in the regions and brought up many more youth and they were responsible for organizing a national level Youth Convention in 1989.

In May 1996, a National Youth Consultation took place in Cochin wherein youth leaders from different parts of the country participated together with their pastors and animators. In that consultation, it was decided to start a Youth Council to have a wider base, both in participation and outlook and thus the National Catholic Charismatic Youth Council (NCCYC) was formed. The NCCYC tried to coordinate the regional youth initiatives in the Charismatic Renewal and in the process was responsible for organizing three National Youth Conventions, viz. in October 2002 in Bangalore, December 2005 in Chennai and December 2008 in Mumbai.

Youth ministries were formed in some of the prominent regions in India like The Torchbearers for Christ in Mumbai (1978), Hosanna Youth in Bangalore, Youth for Christ in Delhi, Young Christian Shepherds in Goa, etc., However, the National Service Team has been sensing for quite some time the need for a national level youth ministry that is networked throughout the country. The NCCYC, with its mandate for service and promotion of the Renewal among the youth, was not actually intended to establish itself as a ministry or to set up its branches in the regions. Subsequently after consultations with the youth representatives from the regions, the NCCYC came up with a proposal for starting a national youth ministry with a common name acceptable to all regions.

After prayer and discernment during two meetings of the NST and consultation with the chairpersons and regional contact persons and coordinators of NCCYC who were present at Nagpur for the Conference of Directors of Retreat Centers and Teams from 1 to 5 December 2008, it was decided to start Youth United for Christ as the youth ministry of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in India. This ministry was officially launched at the inaugural session of KAIROS 2008, the National Youth Convention in Mumbai held from 27 to 29 December, 2008.

 
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