AFRICA/KENYA - Young Africans embraced by the Church

Friday, 1 March 2019


Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) - "Young people need people who can inspire them through their lifestyle, not just people who give them instructions". This is what Sr. Lucia Muthini Nderi, of the Congregation of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, said to the participants of the Symposium "The Church listens to young Africans" held from 18 to 19 February, at Tangaza University College (TUC).
As reported to Fides, the nun spoke to young people about missionary discipleship. "Even in Africa we do not need teachers but people who walk with us. We need priests who are close to us, someone who helps us to question our lives, who stimulate our sense of life", recalled Sister Lucy, referring to the request of young people who, last October, had taken part in the Synod of Bishops dedicated to the vocational discernment of young people (see Fides 6/10/2018). "The adult Church and the young Church cannot be dissociated. If we work together, if we listen to each other, if we dialogue and discern together, then we can be a more authentic Church, a more coherent Church and a missionary Church", added Sister Lucia. Noting the need to "meet someone who inspires their lives", Sister Lucy clarified that they wish to have "the Church as a true traveling companion but in many situations they feel judged and condemned".
"Every young person has a mission to accomplish in the world", she explained. "Therefore it is important to cultivate the spirit of accompaniment in our ecclesial communities, to create a favorable atmosphere in which vocational discernment is facilitated. The Church must recognize that every young person can give a positive contribution in the construction of a world permeated by love".
Among the speakers of the Symposium, Father John Bosco Onyalla echoed the words of Pope Francis reporting that "in the document on the Synod, published in January this year, the Bishops recognized online social networks as the reality in which young people spend most of their time and where they interface more easily with others". Despite numerous challenges such as loneliness, manipulation, dependence, exploitation and even violence, Father John Bosco reiterated that "social media can be a 'place' to spread the values of the Gospel. The task of the Church remains to promote responsible use". (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 1/3/2019)