Around the World

Voices of the people. These are items sent in by our advisors, partners and friends from around the world. Signs of hope and stories that they want to share with all of us. Activities they have participated in. Initiatives they have taken. Ways they have walked. Turns they have taken. Where they have stood and walked in solidarity, in prayer, in seaking and searching.


 

Meeting Schedules

Dear Young Seekers,

Greetings with the hope that you are having a great weekend. A quick reminder about our 1st September online gathering that is coming up soon. I want to thank all of you for committing and dedicating time to our online gatherings. Our next online gathering will be on 1st September 2022. Join Zoom Meeting

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/86345194432?pwd=MFZraXRBZDRnNFZmaGJVS1dGbDBEQT09
Meeting ID: 863 4519 4432
Passcode: seekers

 Agenda

  1. Opening prayer
  2. What should be the true identity of our online gatherings?
  3. Facilitator for September 15th gathering
  4. New business
  5. Closing prayer

Please take time to pray and meditate on agenda number 2 for the Holy Spirit to guide us in finding a clear path in our searching journey. You can also use the case studies of other groups that you belong to. Looking forward to our Thursday gathering.

Blessings,
Alloys

These are the corresponding times for your meeting:

Location

Local Time

Time Zone

UTC Offset

San Francisco (USA – California)

Thursday, August 15, 2022, at 8:00 am

PDT

UTC-7 hours

Chicago (USA – Illinois)

Thursday, August 15, 2022, at 10:00 am

CDT

UTC-5 hours

New York (USA – New York)

Thursday, August 15, 2022, at 11:00 am

EDT

UTC-4 hours

Mexico City (Mexico – Ciudad de México)

Thursday, August 15, 2022, at 10:00 am

CDT

UTC-5 hours

Rio de Janeiro (Brazil – Rio de Janeiro)

Thursday, August 15, 2022, at 12:00 

BRT

UTC-3 hours

Karachi (Pakistan – Sindh)

Thursday, August 15, 2022, at 8:00 pm

PKT

UTC+5 hours

Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania

Thursday, August 15, 2022, at 6:00 pm

EAT

UTC+3 hours

Dublin (Ireland)

Thursday, August 15, 2022, at 4:00 pm

IST

UTC+1 hour

Paris (France – Île-de-France)

Thursday, August 15, 2022, at 5: 00 pm

CEST

UTC+2 hours

Amsterdam (Netherlands)

Thursday, August 15, 2022, at 6:00 pm

CEST

UTC+2 hours

Auckland (New Zealand – Auckland)

Friday, August 16, 2022, at 3:00 am

NZST

UTC+12 hours


 

Alloys Nyakundi is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/86345194432?pwd=MFZraXRBZDRnNFZmaGJVS1dGbDBEQT09

Meeting ID: 863 4519 4432
Passcode: seekers
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When

Every 2 weeks from 8am to 9:30am on Thursday from Thursday Aug 4 to Thursday Dec 22 (Pacific Time - Los Angeles)

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Guests

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1st report on Young People Seekers

The first meeting for the young seekers' community held on Thursday 16th June at 5:00 pm (EAT) via skype acted as an avenue for the introduction of members and a way of building a meaningful relationship among the members. The purpose of the meeting was to bring young people together and connect globally so that we can know the kind of projects undertaken in our local communities and the social issues affecting us and look for a workable solution to these issues.

Alloys Nyakundi played a key role in the moderation of the session. We had four young members from Kenya, one from the New York state, six from Pakistan, and two from Uganda, and in attendance was the Father Joseph Healey.

Fr. Healey encouraged the members by reminding them about Pope Francis’ visit to Brazil when he had a meeting with young people on the beach and asked them to make a mess, cause trouble, think outside the box, and do it differently…. He also touched on a crucial point reminding us about what cardinal Michael from Canada once shared that the biggest challenge in the church today is the gap between the young people in the institutional church. He added further that young people find nourishment and their support in small faith sharing communities. He left us with two proverbs: We create the path by walking (Spanish) and if you want to walk fast walk alone, if you want to walk far walk together (Agaw, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso)

What stood out from the discussion is that young people feel disconnected from the church they love, for instance, one of the members who shared her feeling of being disconnected in presence of forty young people in Albany, Diocese who were in a session of Synodal process. She didn’t connect at all with the young man who said we have to go back to the Catholic church of Western civilization. Another member shared about a friend who was very active in the Catholic church on the KU campus including being an acolyte. But on going back to her home parish she felt out of place and ended up joining Pentecostal denomination where she felt her expectations were being met.

Another member shared about a friend who was very active in the church while still on the campus but upon going back to his home parish, he felt out of place ending up joining another denomination because that’s where he felt his expectations are met.

There is also an outcry from several members who are discouraged by the church and from the church because of her silence when injustices are perpetrated in front of their eyes and no one speaks against such. Young people are not even given the necessary attention contrary to their expectations that they should be supported and empowered rather than being left in the cold. 

Another crucial point that was shared was on expanding leadership among young people. When young people are well-formed through the church and given an opportunity to seek leadership positions, automatically we can visualize a future filled with peace and fairness.

Young people yearn for worthy accompaniment because they undergo lots of challenges, for example, things to do with sexuality, drug and substance abuse, depression, etc. not forgetting their transitions in life. Most young people find the church being a place where they find criticism which discourages making the look for consolation elsewhere. If an analogy of the family could be embraced by our churches, it could help in a big way because finding a place where one is guided and listened to attracts those seeking a place to call home.

It was also encouraging to note that some members are passionate about caring for the environment and looking for creative ways like not having a cake for the celebration but trees to plant to commemorate the celebration.

 

A REPORT ON YOUNG SEEKERS ENCOUNTER

HELD ON THURSDAY 23RD JUNE 2022.

Prepared by Collins Ongoma

The meeting began with a word of prayer from AshiK and then an introduction of members.

The following members were present: Alloys Nyakundi- Kenya, Rebecca – Uganda, Joshua- Uganda, Gerald- Kenya, Jennipher- Uganda, Collins- Kenya, Ashik-Pakistan, Staicy- Kenya, Redemptah – Kenya, Meg –  USA gave an apology

 

The encounter started with the members presenting o the image of Jesus Christ that the members have in mind and can relate to. Below are the responses from young people:

Ashik - Shared that he visualizes Jesus as a farmer who provides food, water, and shelter for his people.

Collins - Allegorically compared Jesus with a ‘Donkey’ that despite how the ‘load of salvation’ was, he never bolted out but persevered it all.

Joshua – Savior because Jesus sacrificed his life for our sake

Becky – Jesus is her savior, protector, and guide in her life

Alloys - Considers Jesus as a sister. Her three sisters played an important role in his life and gave him the accompaniment when he had ups and downs with life.

Staicy - Considers Jesus as an unconditional friend. She loves having a conversation with Jesus as a friend.

Gerald - Sees Jesus as a Safari-park guide. The park is where Jesus Christ lives while the safari is the journey of life young people are making.

Fr. Joseph - Considers Jesus as the eldest brother and chief intercessor which is an image widely used by the Sukuma people in Tanzania.

 

The second session was a reflection on what connects us as young people and below are some of the responses received.

Alloys -  We are connected by our common challenges such as unemployment and so many other social issues.

Collins – As young people, we are always looking for a place to belong, feel appreciated, and be accepted.

Gerald - Shared that our personal experiences and challenges as young people bring us together.

Staicy – We are connected as young people so as to learn from our common experiences because through sharing we get insights on how to handle different challenges. We also connect and grow as young people.

Jenipher – It's the problems that connect us and the online seekers' encounters that have given her an opportunity to share and get solutions from other young people.

Ashik - it’s the common challenges and the progress we are making that brings us together.

 

The final segment of this encounter was based on suggestions to make our gatherings more effective.

Collins - Noted that we take a long time to introduce ourselves leaving less time to discuss the agenda of the day therefore, the leader should just introduce new people briefly or they do so in our chat room.

Ashik - Recommended that we allow protestants to come and join us and also, we should connect on Facebook.

Gerald – wanted to know how we are going to come up with the topics and members suggested that everyone should identify the challenges young people are facing in their local communities and make them our topics of discussion.

Staicy - Emphasized addressing the issues affecting young people in our localities especially when it comes to addressing issues like for example, depression. If possible, we can invite speakers to give a talk on different issues of concern to young people.

Alloys urged members to ensure that before joining the gathering there’s no background noise to avoid disturbance witnessed during the meeting. He also requested we have rotational leadership for our meetings.

 

The next meeting will be on 7th June 2022.

 

Promoting Online Young People Seekers Small Christian Communities

By Alloys Nyakundi, MPS

       Having realized that many young people are drifting away from the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has been calling on church leaders to walk the extra mile to reach out to young people where they are and not wait for them. The Catholic Church Reform International (CCRI) responded to this call by appreciating the importance of reaching out to young people by financing the Online Young People Seekers Small Christian Communities that offer young people a safe place to share their concerns and find support for the challenges they face.

       This virtual community of about 15 people meet twice a month on Zoom. It’s also an international and diverse group that comprises young people from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Pakistan, and the USA. They are not limited only to the above countries but they welcome young people from other parts of the world who want to journey with them. This community is committed to growing together and seeking to find its rightful place within the Catholic community.

         Through our encounters, the young people have been able to speak on different issues like:

  1. They feel disconnected from the church because they no longer feel welcome and are discouraged by the church because of the silence when injustices are perpetuated in front of their eyes and no one speaks against them.
  2. Young people want to be included in the leadership of the church and they don’t want to be mere spectators. They want to be part of the decision-makers.
  3. Young people want accompaniment and help in understanding issues like: sexuality, drug and substance abuse, depression and transitions in life.
  4. Injustices to the environment.
  5. Some said that there is a lot of criticism in church and they avoid going to church because they don’t want to be criticized.
  6. The impact of social media on their lives.

            In one of our encounters, Meg McCarthy from the USA highlighted how she felt disconnected from the church in one of the Synodal Gatherings that had been organized by the Albany Diocese. She said, “what stood out from the discussion is that young people feel disconnected from the church they love. For instance, I shared my feeling of being disconnected in the presence of 40 young people who had attended that session of the Synodal Process. I didn’t connect at all with the young man who said that the Catholic Church has to return to being the backbone of Western civilization.”

             Collins Ongoma from Kenya shared about a friend who was very active in Christ the Teacher Catholic Parish in Kenyatta University in Nairobi including being an acolyte. But on going back to her home parish she felt out of place and ended up joining a Pentecostal denomination where she felt her expectations were being met.

           Staicy Wandiema from Kenya gave a testimony on how the online encounter with other young people has transformed her life. She said, “I knew I wanted to belong. I was looking for a family, a place to call home, and people who understand me. I’m glad that I found it in my online Small Christian Community. I saw people who looked like me and had an idea of the common issues affecting us in general. There was no problem that was overlooked and everything was anchored in Christ. My faith in Christ grew, and I had the confidence to let the past go and accept God. I am looking at my life right now. Without my family, I feel I am incomplete. These are people whom I look up to and they also look up to me. We nurture each other, and we have made a lifelong friendship. Above all we let Christ be the anchor of every situation.”

         Jenipher Tumuhaise from Uganda said, “some young people feel demotivated when their parents are not committed to attending mass. This also discourages them because they don’t have someone to accompany them nor have a role model. These online encounters with other young people is my new motivation because of the encouragement I get from other young people.”

         They also engage in different activities that expand their understanding of the church's teachings. For example, in one of their encounters, the facilitator asked the young people to come up with an image of Jesus that comes to their mind or reflects the work that they do. Everyone was given two minutes to interpret the image and how it reflects on them. It was exciting to see the different types of images young people have about Jesus Christ. Some of the images they gave are: Jesus as a donkey, friend, safari park guide, eldest brother chief intercessor and a farmer.

         In summary, our online Young People Seekers Small Christian Community meet young people where they are. They meet globally hence giving them a global view of life. Young people also get an opportunity to discuss with other young people from different parts of the world the kind of projects they are doing with their local communities. 

         People who want to learn more about the Young People Small Christian Communities (YPSCCs) ministry can get free, online materials by visiting the Small Christian Communities Global Collaborative Website GO»

 In addition, two Facebook Pages offer more information:

  • Small Christian Communities GO»
  • Young People Small Christian Communities GO»

 

For more information and if you want to join a Online Young People Seekers Small Christian Community please contact the Facilitator:

 Alloys M. Nyakundi, MPS

Kisii, Kenya

+254742309289 (Kenya)

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Emmah’s Garden (https://emmahsgarden.org/)

Member of Catholic Church Reform International (CCRI)  

Items of interest sent in to us by our friends:

Germany How is the church doing at the grass roots? The cover story of the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reports on a new study on how parishes are doing. The Divided Parish 4/20/2014

Turkey First Christian woman mayor wants to fight patriarchy and domestic violence. She is member of the Aramaic ethnic group. Go here to read the story.
4/1/2014

France If he didn't have the pressure of the previous popes . . . Interview on French TV with Jean-Louis Schlegel, French philosopher and sociologist. 4/1/2014

U.S.A. Vatican punishments continue: Wisconsin Franciscan Fr. Jerry Zawada has been removed from public ministry for concelebrating Mass with a woman priest in 2011. 3/28/2014

U.S.A. An excellent example of the use of nonviolent action to oppose systemic injustice: Read Marjorie Cohn's article on BDS: Non-Violent Resistance to Israeli Occupation BDS: Non-Violent Resistance to Israeli Occupation. 3/25/2014

Australia The cover up of child abuse was ordered by six popes since 1922 says lawywer Kieran Tapsell. 3/24/2014

Italy Rockin' Nun floors audience on TV Show. Watch Sr. Cristina Scuccia belt out Alicia Key's "No One". 3/21/2014

Ireland The Spirit of God's openness won – Irish bishops release results of survey on family. 3/16/2014

U.S.A. Again! When will it stop? Sr. Teresa Forcades has been banned by the local bishop from speaking at the Religious Education Congress in Los Angeles. Please sign the petition. Click here to watch a video of the Harvard-educated, Catalan nun saying that women are called to a fullness that is not second to men's 3/13 - 3/16/2014

Germany Has the Catholic Church in Germany become a Church of well-to-do best agers? asks the German weekly Die Zeit. Read an excerpt. 2/23/2014

U.S.A. The Curia, a creature of the 11th century, is the chief obstacle to any real reform of the Catholic Church, to any honest ecumenical reconciliation, and to any critical, constructive coming-to-terms with the modern world – argues Hans Küng in the English edition of his book Can We Save The Church? An excerpt.2/7/2014

Germany The moral teaching of the church needs to change, says Bishop Stephan Ackermann. 2/6/2014

Switzerland Swiss Bishops release results of Survey on the Family 2/4/2014

Germany A church closer to the people, not ruling in splendor from above but a living part of them, less doctrine, more pastoral care. Interview with Cardinal Maradiaga, in a German newspaper. 1/20/2014