With the World Youth Day, the Jesus Youth International Gathering, formation of thenew International Team, and three training programmes for Fulltime Volunteers,Leaders and Animators, the last few months have been a time of hectic activity,salient change and great blessing for the movement.I am so proud of the new International Team comprising of 12 elected members, 5 ex-officio members (the co-ordinators of Europe, India, Middle East, South East Asia andthe former International Co-ordinator), 3 animators and a Pastor. We have the rightblend of experienced and young leaders in the team, including 4 women and twonon–Indians.We have George Devassy, a very young and committed man as the new co-ordinator of Jesus Youth. George, who has a Master’s degree in Business Administration, wasworking with an MNC for the last few years, and has recently registered for hisdoctoral studies. His parents have been actively involved in the CCR for years, andtheir home has housed several batches of JY fulltime volunteers. His brother, a formerfulltime volunteer, is completing his seminary formation, and his sister is an activeJesus Youth. From the moment I first met George in Thailand a few years back in hisresidence named ‘Jesus Youth House’, I was struck by his faithfulness to his call andhis commitment, and he soon became a dear brother to me. Looking at him today, Ibelieve that the scripture on being “faithful in little things” has come true...Undoubtedly, God has raised him to lead the movement. The new Asst. Co-ordinatorNavin Thomas is another very committed leader, who after resigning his job had beenworking as a part of the International office, heading different projects like the WYDand Formation programmes, particularly that of the Fulltime Volunteers. I am sure thatthis duo will do us proud in the coming years.As I retrace my steps while writing this my last ‘Heart talk,’ I am simply amazed atthe way the Spirit has been at work, building up the movement, particularly over thepast decade. How things have changed from the time when I had to sell my computerto make one of my first international trips, and the many days when I survived onbread alone, especially while travelling in Europe. What a transformation from the timewhen the first International team was formed and Jesus Youth had a presence in just acouple of countries, to the present, when the number has grown to 22 countries...I want to take this opportunity to thank the International team members, the countryco-ordinators and many other leaders who worked tirelessly to build the movement. Ispecially thank two persons from outside the Jesus Youth, who have played a veryimportant role in making this movement an International one – Msgr. AntonyKollamparampil from Rome and Henry Cappello from USA. Msgr. Antony was pivotal inguiding and helping us to build a relationship with the hierarchy of the Church.Henry, being the President of Youth Arise International, created a platform for us toknow and work with other international movements. I especially thank all my brothersand sisters for their support and love over the last 6 years. During this period I havestayed in many of your families for more days than I have spent with my own family.You received me as your elder brother with love – a gift that I shall cherish always.Above all, I bow my head to the Spirit, for the numerous times I have witnessed Hispower in action (particularly when we had no resources, no money, no contacts),creating from nothing! He is the Lord of impossible things. And I look forward toseeing the same action of the Spirit in the movement in the years to come...
DEAR FRIENDS, INYOUR HOMES, SCHOOLS ANDUNIVERSITIES, IN YOURPLACES OF WORK ANDRECREATION, REMEMBERTHAT YOU ARE A NEWCREATION! AS CHRISTIANSYOU STAND IN THIS WORLDKNOWING THAT GOD HAS AHUMAN FACE - JESUSCHRIST - THE “WAY” WHOSATISFIES ALL HUMANYEARNING, AND THE “LIFE”TO WHICH WE ARE CALLEDTO BEAR WITNESS, WALKINGALWAYS IN HIS LIGHT.
ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESSBENEDICT XVI AT THEWELCOMING CELEBRATIONBY THE YOUNG PEOPLE,
Barangaroo, Sydney Harbour,17 July 2008
As I write my first words after our receiving this responsibility of serving the movement, I would like to start byrequesting your continual intercession for me and for the new team. I pray that the Holy Spirit who has beenguiding this movement may bless us with all the gifts and wisdom we need to steer the mission.Looking back at how the Almighty God has blessed us over the years, I praise Him for being with us and thankMother Mary for her powerful intercession. And the fact that the Mighty One is with us reminds me of the wordsof Pope John Paul II, “Do not be afraid.”So let us give Jesus with all that we have. I would go to the extent of hoping that as we spread like fire to moreand more areas of the world, our missionary zeal will form this movement to be a “Factory of Saints” in thismodern world. We pray together as a team that the Mercy of our Lord may always be with us to help us do ourbest to serve this holy mission for the glory of God.
Jesus Youth International Co-ordinator