Melaka (Agenzia Fides) - Integrating youth and women in the work of evangelization of the Church is the fundamental orientation adopted by the diocesan synodal assembly of the Church of Melaka-Johor. As Fides learned, the diocesan assembly which ended on May 3 at the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, welcomed 40 Tamil-speaking young people in Johor Bahru, who came from the Church of Saint Francis Javier, from the Chapel of Sant'Anna in Alor Gajah, from the Chapel of St. James in Merlimau and from the Church of the Holy Spirit in Jasin. The meeting began with Eucharistic Adoration led by Fr. Cyril Manayagam, and after the prayer, Father Moses Rayappan, head of the Melaka-Johor diocese synodal team, expressed his appreciation and gratitude to the young people for their presence at the meeting of faithful, and for showing their willingness to listen and reflect on how they can work for evangelization by improving every day.
Fr. Moses reminded the participants that they should focus not only on the liturgical aspect, but on their knowledge and testimony of faith in life, and discern "if they are living as authentic disciples of Jesus." The young people evaluated and answered the synod's questionnaire, which included questions about strengths, weaknesses and dreams for their future as missionaries. During the group discussion, young people enthusiastically shared their views and concerns, calling for more inter-parish meetings to improve cooperation and share resources, after two years of pandemic that prevented all of this. "Young people are the future of the Church, they need to be guided to be faithful heralds of the Gospel", said Fr. Cyril, noting that the shared pastoral objective is inclusion and making young people more and more protagonists in the work of proclamation of the Good News in a wounded society, especially among the marginalized and desperate people, and to be missionaries of Christ among their peers, in all study environments, in the family and at work.
The diocese of Melaka-Johor is part of the ecclesiastical province of Kuala Lumpur. It is located in the southern region of Peninsular Malaysia, and covers the territory of the federal states of Melaka and Johor. Out of a population of more than 6 million people, there are 44,000 Catholics in 21 parishes in the diocese. (SD/PA) (Agenzia Fides, 4/5/2022)