Catholic Church in Pakistan officially declared year 2020 as “Year of Youth”
Lahore (Danish George): On Saturday 16, 2019 the Inaugural Ceremony of the Year of Youth 2020 took place in the light of Bishops’ Synod which was held in 2018. The Holy Mass was presided over by His Eminence Cardinal Joseph Coutts, along with him other celebrants including were; Apostolic Nuncio to Pakistan His Excellency Archbishop Christophe Zakia El Kasis, His Grace Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw OFM (Chairman National Youth Commission), His Grace Archbishop Joseph Arshad (President Catholic Bishops’ Conference Pakistan), His Lordship Bishop Samson Shukardin (Program Coordinator for the Year of Youth 2020), His Lordship Bishop Benny Travis, and His Lordship Bishop Victor Ganapragasm. A large number of priests, sisters and laity were available to attend the Mass of the Year of Youth 2020.
In the second part of the program, the participants (Youth) from various parishes and schools of Archdiocese of Lahore were assembled in St. Anthony’s School 3 Lawrence Road Lahore and welcomed the honorable guests by showering rose petals, and dancing on the Dhol rhythm towards St. Anthony’s School Hall. The stalls were decorated with souvenirs and pan flexes by different congregations of sisters and priests for the vocational promotion. The attendees looked so joyful and delighted wearing different colorful clothes with smiling faces.
The Hall was full jam packed with the enthusiastic youth of various parishes,around 2000 participants were there altogether. Guests from other diocese were also present there to witness the Inaugural Ceremony of the Year of Youth 2020. With huge round of applause, the distinguished guests were welcomed with traditional shawls, turbans and garlands. Then again the guests were invited to lit the candle of the Year of Youth as Jesus said: I am the Light of the world. His Grace Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw and His Lordship Bishop Samson Shukardin were presented with the scroll and they both officially declared 2020 as the Year of Youth.
Children from Sacred Heart Cathedral Girls School performed a welcome dance for our honorable guests and the audience which was cheered by all the participants in the hall. His Lordship Bishop Samson Shukardin was invited to share his valuable words to encourage our youth to rise up in every field professionally by gaining education. Rector Capuchin House Fr. Ashfaq Anthony produced and directed a drama with the theme: “Youth the Hope of the Church” which was beautifully presented by the Capuchin brothers, adored by everyone sitting in the hall. His Excellency Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Christophe Zakia El Kasis was invited on the stage to read the letter of His Holiness Pope Francis for the Youth of Pakistan which was then translated and read in the Urdu by Fr. Robinson for the audience. His Excellency Apostolic Nuncio admired the preparation of the program.
At last a song was presented by Shafaqat John and his soulful band. The song was written by Fr. Francis Tanveer OFM Cap specifically for youth, which was later composed and sung by Shafaqat John and his band. The entire audience enjoyed the song by waving flags in their hands. In the End His Grace Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw OFM (Chairman National Youth Commission) as a host of Inaugural Ceremony, gave away his ending remarks by thanking all the distinguished guests and the participants with his inspirational words on focusing youth.
In the end Fr. Yousaf Yaqoob (Director Catholic Youth Commission) thanked the entire team of coordinators and everyone who was involved, participated and helped in any way in making this event successful. Program hosting was done by Mr. Danish George (Youth Coordinator), Ms. Sarah, Ms. Jessica, Mr. Aftab and Ms. Selina. The program was followed by the lunch for sisters and priests and the participants (youth). Everybody enjoyed the delicious food. Also the event was covered by local Catholic TV of the Archdiocese of Lahore and its team we appreciate their cooperation.