The Catholic youth in Malawi have been urged to stand up and fight corruption that has engulfed the world today, Malawi inclusive, arguing that the youth have the energy and ability to do things differently in order to change the world.
These were the remarks of the Rt. Rev. Montfort Stima, the Bishop for the Diocese of Mangochi in the eastern part of Malawi, during the official opening ceremony for the Annual General Meeting (AGM) for the Young Christian Workers (YCW) movement at Montfort Lake House on Friday, 23rd February 2018.
“Most youth today are just good at seeing things, but they are afraid of judging what they have seen because they don’t have the courage to take action. You should be different and be courageous to speak out against evil. There is a lot of corruption at your work places and in society where you are living, but you are afraid to speak out against such malpractices for fear of losing your jobs or being sidelined by your friends. You should know that it’s a sin not to speak out against evil things,” the Bishop said in reference to the YCW motto of See, Judge and Act where the members of the YCW movement are encouraged to see what is going on around them, judge the situation and then take action based on their judgement while putting Jesus Christ at the centre of very action that is being taken.
Bishop Stima, who is also Bishop Vice Chairman for the Pastoral Commission under the ECM, further encouraged the Catholic youth to come forward and take up leadership positions in the Catholic Church, arguing that the youth are the leaders of today and not tomorrow.
“You are all welcome to priesthood, sisterhood and even brotherhood, especially those youth that have not yet gotten married. Some young people think that after going through tertiary education they cannot join the religious groupings. That is not true, you are all welcome to serve Christ as the religious (priests, nuns and brothers),”he said.
The AGM started from Thursday, 22nd to Sunday, 25th February 2018.
Speaking prior to the official opening remarks at the AGM, the YCW National President Augustine Mulomole welcomed all the delegates and outlined the main agenda items for the AGM.
“This is a very important gathering where we are all expected to deliberate on preparations for the forthcoming international meeting where Malawi is hosting the East Africa Regional Commission meeting comprising countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Malawi as the hosts from 27th August – 1st September; discussions on ammendments to the YCW National Constitution; discussions on the YCW National Strategic Plan for the year 2018 – 2022; and discussions on the role of the Catholic youth on public affairs issues. All these agenda items need our active participation,” he said.
The YCW movement is run by the Catholic youth, with close supervision from the Diocesan Youth Chaplains. The National Youth Chaplaincy in Malawi has its headquarters at the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) and is headed by Rev. Fr. Valerian Mtseka as the National Youth Chaplain.
In his remarks during the opening ceremony, Fr. Mtseka thanked all the YCW members for having made it to the AGM, and further encouraged the members seriously discuss the future of the movement in Malawi.
“We are relying on you as the leaders of today. Make the most out of this meeting to agree on the resolutions that will be deliberated upon during this AGM. Let’s continue with this hard working spirit for the benefit of the movement in Malawi but also for the benefit of the Catholic Church,” he said.
Up to 60 YCW members and Diocesan Youth Chaplains from all the 8 dioceses in Malawi attended the 2018 AGM. The YCW movement has been in existence in Malawi since 1956, following its establishment globally in 1924 by a Belgian born Catholic Priest, Rev. Fr. Joseph Cardijn. The movement is existent in all the 8 dioceses in Malawi, with an estimated total membership of 1, 500.