Vellore Diocese Vellore Diocese -Pastoral Message
Pastoral Message
OCTOBER - 2018
Dear Fathers, Brothers and sisters in Christ!
May the Holy Spirit be upon the Church and in a special way upon the synodal meeting that takes place around the Holy Father. May our Blessed Mother guide the members and be with them.
October, 3 – 28, 2018 are very important days for our Church. The entire Church is accompanying the youth and helps them to open their hearts to the divine. The 15 Ordinary Synod of Bishops, 2018 will be on “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment”.
The main concern of the synod is about the personality of young people in the world today. There is a crisis of identity. The Holy Father places this formation of young people at the centre of each family. They are in conflict with traditional ideologies on the one hand and at the same time the urge to be more original. Hence the responsibility of the Church is to support families and their formation.
A sense of belonging is a significant factor to the shaping of one’s identity. Social exclusion is a contributing factor to the loss of self – worth and identity experienced by many. In some parts of the world young people are obliged to convert to other religions in order to be accepted by their peers and their surroundings dominant culture. Further their identity is also shaped by our external interaction and membership with in specific groups, associations and movements which are also active outside the Church. Sometimes, parishes are no longer places of connection. Critical moment of our identity include deciding our course of study, choosing our profession, deciding our beliefs, discovering our sexuality and making life changing commitments.
Several components that determine our young people are:
  1. 1.Relationship with other people. They live in a very complicated and diverse world. There is a struggle between preserving our cultural identity and avoiding uniformity and a through away culture.
  2.  
  3. 2. Young people dream of safety, stability and fulfillment. They hope for a better life for their families. Besides this, many young people are experiencing great traumas in a variety of ways like mental illness and physical disabilities.
  4.  
  5. 3. The relationship with technology another reality that young people come in conflict. He is confronted with the duality of its application. While modern advancements in technology have greatly improved our lives, all must be prudent with its usage. A reckless application can have negative consequences. Social media is a significant part of young people’s identity and way of life. We must be aware of good effects and bad effects.
The other and the more important aspects of life of youth cannot be neglected. Their Faith, Vocation Discernment and Accompaniment must be deeply addressed young people and their relationship with Jesus and the Church. They have to be given proper image of Jesus and avoid false image.
We should have to inculcate a vocational sense of life and its discernment. The call of God in their lives is very precious and we need to accompany them and help them to discern to accept the call to become priests and religious. With these anxieties, the Church is gathering around the Holy Father. Let us pray personally and make our people to pray. I am sure the prayer cards are given and let us encourage our people to pray.
May our Lady of Rosary guide us and protect our young people.
+ Most Rev. Dr P. Soundararaju, SDB.,
Bishop of Vellore