By Jacinta Claire Fernandez (ASAYO KL)

July 26 2022

MIRI  The Malaysian Catholic Youth Ministers’ Committee (MCYMC) hosted by the MiDYC (Miri Diocese Youth Council) met in the Church of Mater Dei, Lutong from 27 June – 2 July 2022. It was a time of great joy to be able to meet physically after more than two years of meeting virtually. The Bishop in-charge of the Episcopal Commission for Youth & Campus Ministry of Malaysia, Archbishop of Kuching Simon Poh expressed his appreciation for the youth ministers for continuing their mission to serve and accompany young people everywhere.

The MCYMC members were welcomed on 25 June 2022 with an Opening Mass celebrated by Bishop Richard Ng of the Diocese of Miri in the Church of Mater Dei followed by fellowship with the young people (MiDYC). The meeting this year focused primarily on the journey towards the Malaysian Young People’s Assembly in 2025. 

Over the next two years, in 2023–2024, (arch)dioceses will plan and implement outreach initiatives to understand the realities of their young people, especially minority groups and those that have been overlooked. The hope is that through the platform of MCYMC, youth ministers will be able to learn from the realities in various dioceses in order to serve the young people better. 

Apart from the meeting proper, Fr Henry Salleh and the MiDYC team arranged for the youth ministers to be part of various community events in and around the diocese. Among the highlights were the Ngiling Tikai celebrations held at the Church of St Dominic and the Rosary in Taman Tunku. The MCYMC was also invited to communities in Ulu Niah where the Eucharistic Celebrations were presided by Archbishop Simon Poh. The MCYMC members were also invited to be part of the closing of Gawai, Ngiling Bidai celebrations held in Rumah Changgai, Ulu Niah. 

The annual MCYMC meeting is an avenue for youth ministers to experience formation and growth together. As part of the programme this year, Sr Shanti Mariadass, FdCC from MJDYPN conducted a session on “Self Care for Youth Pastoral Workers”. In addition to that, Fr S. K. Selvan, CMF of the Diocese of Miri took the ministers on a journey inward to reflect and assess their lives in ministry and as persons. 

Andrian Enggkin, from MiDYC, Diocese of Miri shared, “I feel very fortunate to know the existence of MCYMC and even become one of the MCYMC members. It opened my eyes, my mind, to see the challenges faced in addressing the needs. I hope our relationship in MCYMC can be further strengthened in the future to carry out our mission”. Fr Michel Dass from ASAYO KL, who joined us this year for the first time shared, “It was Enhancing… Empowering… Energising”. 

There were some inspiring young people who were invited to be part of the week’s events, one of which, Eleanor Faith Dan from the Diocese of Miri shared, “I didn’t know what to expect out of MCYMC, as an observer but I did prepare myself with the thought—if it’s anything related to God and the church, it will always be good. God, yet again, never failed to show me where He wanted to meet me in my life, even at the messiest parts of it, to tell me “Eleanor, I still love you”. MCYMC has shown me that even priests, the religious and youth ministers go through the same struggles as I do, God still gives them everything they need to serve Him and they do it with all their heart, and that touched my soul.”

Joan Lau Hui Sing from the Kuching Archdiocese Youth Commission shared, “This is my first MCYMC AGM. The thing that impressed me the most is the hospitality and friendliness of all the people. Although it was only a short five days, it felt like we shared a lot (ministry work and life directions) and got to know each other well. I realised that there are many people also like me, and we share similar struggles and that I am not alone. Support and encouragement from the senior youth ministers gave me a sense of hope and direction on how to navigate as a youth minister. I hope that at the next AGM, I can become the senior to lead and journey together with the new youth ministers.”

Fr S. K. Selvan, CMF, also expressed, “Being with young people is a time to energise ourselves and being with those who animate the young people is a time of definite Synergy. Spending a few days with the MCYMC was life-enriching and eye opening for me. I could personally realise the strength of the MCYMC through this meeting. I could understand how powerful, humble, resourceful and faithful our youth animators are in Malaysia. I could experience to the fullest the accompaniment of the Lord and Lordship which enabled this meeting to be very successful. Let’s spread the Divine Sparks by all means possible.”

If you would like to be part of and know more about the various initiatives happening in Malaysia, please reach out to the youth offices, commissions, apostolates and ministries in your (arch)diocese. We invite young people who are starting new semesters on campus, or moving to a new place for work to contact your nearest youth office/commission. Better still, follow them on the various social media platforms to discover the many initiatives you can be part of. 

Today’s Catholic