Nearly 4000 youth to attend annual ‘National Catholic Youth Forum’

Close to 4000 representatives of young people from nine dioceses in the Catholic Church in Rwanda are due to attend a National Catholic Youth Forum, which will take place from 23-27 August in Kigali.

The forum will also attract some young people from neighbouring countries including Burundi, Congo and Uganda according to the organisers.

National Catholic Youth Forum marks its 20th edition since 2000 when it was launched at national level. Globally, the Catholic forum was initiated by Pope Paul II back in 1983 when he met with hundreds of thousands of youths in Rome, and two years later, the event was declared to run annually as a platform for young people to meet with the Pope.

This year’s edition will be held under the theme retrieved from the book of Luke 1:39, where the scripture says, “And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda.”

Father Alex Ndagijimana, the Secretary General of the Episcopal Commission for Education and Youth in Rwanda, elaborated the theme saying Mary’s visit to Elisabeth symbolises love. He said that nowadays most of the young people are busy with technology and have become weak when it comes to physical interactions.

“WhatsApp is not enough to sustain friendship and show love. There are people who need care and love face-to-face. So, we need to encourage our young generation to stand up and improve face-to-face interactions,” Ndagijimana noted.

During the forum, young people will go through different topics such as acquiring knowledge on how to pray, studying the word of God, lectures on Christian values and evangelism.

In addition, some of the pressing issues facing young people like unemployment and certain ‘bad behaviours’ will be discussed.

Ndagijimana added that the forum serves as an opportunity for young people to share, entertain and connect.

He explained that although most of the activities will take place at Regina Pacis in Remera, there are other sites at various parishes in Kigali where participants will gather.

The participants will be accommodated in families of Catholic faithful in order to create more space for families to empower and educate young people.

While sharing a message to the young generation in general, Ndagijimana’s focus was on believing in God and abiding in His word, working hard, time management and discipline.

The Catholic Church in Rwanda is made up with nine dioceses: Nyundo, Ruhengeri, Byumba, Kigali, Kabgayi, Kibungo, Butare, Gikongoro, and Cyangugu.


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