Commitment to ‘Live Pure’
Fr Ambrose Pereira sdb
Boroko, Port Moresby:
‘Called to the fullness of Life and Love’, is the theme of the Pastoral Letter to young people in this Year of Youth 2018. It was the theme of the National Youth Animators Seminar (NYAS) held at Emmaus Conference Centre, Port Moresby from 9th to 23rd March 2018. The NYAS brought together 22 participants from 13 dioceses, who prayed, reflected and discussed on how to animate the young in their dioceses highlighting ‘Life’ and ‘Love’.
An important session on the third day was entitled, ‘True Love Waits’. It highlighted the different types of relationships in Life. “These relationships need to be clearly understood by our young people. It is unfortunate that many people equate friendship with a sexual relationship. As animators we need to help our young people understand the variety of relationships and the gradual build up to a committed and total love that commences with the Sacrament of Marriage,” said Fr. Ambrose Pereira sdb.
Preparing our young people for committed Love, was beautifully presented by Sheryll Isoaimo. In her very informative and grounded session entitled, “Youth Ministry and Marriage”, she presented a survey and highlighted the need for the church to prepare young people for marriage. “The church and above all Youth Ministry should fill the gap where today's families are inadequate”, said Sheryll. Youth programs need to include the remote, proximate and immediate preparation for marriage. This should enable young people enter into a positive celebration of their marriage. Her presentation concluded with the ‘Live Pure’ program that challenged young people not to engage in sexual relationships with the one they love till their love is sealed in the Sacrament of Matrimony. It was wonderful to note that a commitment to live pure was made at the commitment session.
“I commit myself to ‘Live Pure”, said Tamarah Munjin as she held aloft her lit candle at the commitment session. Speaking about her relationship, she said that she is friendly with a young man who is now studying at University. The two of them have been childhood friends, are in their early twenties and share about the values they hold dear. As the Vice President of the Archdiocese of Port Moresby, she hopes that there will be other young people who will make similar commitments. Tamarah was one of the few youth leaders present at the program, the others were priests, religious and lay persons immersed in youth ministry in their respective dioceses.
“It is wonderful to know that young people are ready to take on radical commitments”, said Sheryll when she was told about the commitment.
Sessions at the program also included reflections on the Strenna of the Rector Major with its two important aspects on Listening and Accompanying the young.