“We need models and examples for our lives. Let us look at the life stories and mission of saints during the Year of Youth. Saints are our ‘superheroes’ and will help us to become stronger,” said Cardinal Joseph Coutts, Archbishop of Karachi, addressing young people during the inaugural ceremony of the Year of Youth, proclaimed by the entire Pakistani Church for 2020.
The Cardinal showed a large poster with the images of 13 saints including John Paul II, Francis of Assisi, Teresa of the Child Jesus, Domenico Savio, Giovanna d’Arco, St. Sebastiano, Kateri Tekakwitha, reported Fides News Agency.
Together with each image, a special “QR code” will help young people to scan it, with their mobile phone or tablet, to quickly see details on the lives of these saints. The poster, specially created, will tour the parishes of the archdiocese to help young people trace the life, stories, and mission of these saints, to make them a source of inspiration. “During this year, we will learn more about these saints, be inspired by their lives and follow their example”, said the Cardinal who, lighting a candle, declared the Year of Youth open in the Archdiocese of Karachi. The Commission young people of the archdiocese will be responsible for all pastoral and evangelization activities at a local level.
As Fides learns, Bishop Samson Shukardin, at the head of the diocese of Hyderabad and head of the Commission for the laity in the Bishops’ Conference, said: “Pope Francis thinks and prays for the young people of Pakistan, and we Catholic Bishops in Pakistan are aware of the challenges that young people in Pakistan are facing. The Catholic Church in Pakistan is fully committed to serving young people in Pakistan.”
Mgr. Samson further said: “Young people are very important for the Church, we consider them as a backbone of the Church and we want our young people to be highly qualified, with professional education and rooted in the Catholic faith”. The Bishop urged priests, nuns, and catechists to make every possible effort to support young people. And he said: “If we listen to young people, we will be able to help them and communicate the love of Christ”.
Finally, the Bishop invited the young people “to come forward and take on their responsibilities to serve the Church, attend training programs and discern their vocations to consecrated life, to priesthood or to married life”, always remembering that they are “baptized and for this reason missionaries.”
The Catholic Church in Pakistan announced the Year of Youth with a celebration held on November 16 in the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Lahore. All the bishops of Pakistan announced the event in front of an assembly of over a thousand faithful, especially young people who came from all the dioceses. In each diocese, specific youth pastoral activities are planned as well as the proclamation of the Christian faith.