Sunday, May 25, 2014
Korean Youth Sunday
In Korea, Youth Sunday is celebrated on the last Sunday of May. Pope John Paul II started the Youth Day in 1984 for Palm Sunday, and the Korean Church in 1989 moved it to the last Sunday of May: wanting to fortify the young peoples' desire for fellowship, justice and peace.
This year is the 29th Youth Sunday, and one of the two editorials in our Catholic papers mentions that the pastoral work with the youth is blurred. The numbers of the young people at the Sunday Masses continue to decrease. In last year's statistics those under 19 years of age numbered 650 thousand; this number has decreased 20 percent from ten years earlier. The numbers of those that go from elementary to middle Sunday school dropped 10 percent. When the young people are not coming out to church, there is little that can be done.
There is a need to be concerned. All those who have made a study of the situation are agreed that the big problem is parents. All depends on whether parents are naturally able to bequeath their religious faith to their children. This is where the first interest and concern of the Church should be in addressing the problems with the youth.
The bishop president of the committee for youth in his message for the Youth Day mentions three points: remember the importance of our faith, read the Scriptures and pray before the Eucharist, and thirdly, look at the world with a larger vision and prepare for God's kingdom.
Pope Francis will be in Korea, August 14-18, on the occasion of the sixth Asian Youth Day. The theme of the event is ' Asian Youth: Wake Up! The Glory of the Martyrs shines on You.'
There is the hope that the visit of the pope to Korea will be a help to kindle a new fire among our Christians and his presence at the Asian Youth Day as an occasion to lead our young people to a more mature faith life.