KOTA KINABALU: A briefing on the Boys’ Brigade Ministry and its impact on young people in the parish was given by St Simon Catholic Church Likas rector Fr Cosmas Lee, here, on Dec 9, 2017.
Organised by ministry leader Godfrey Moay, among the topics covered were the declining number of young people attending Church activities and the challenges in getting them to serve in the parish ministries.
According to the rector, youths leave the Church or become lapsed Catholics because they have not personally encountered Christ’s love, adding that young people are looking for love.
“The young adults who do drop out of Church often lacked a first-hand faith – a faith of their own – and a relationship with Christ that matters deeply in their own personal life .
“Gone are the days when young adults attended Church because they’re supposed to… Secularisation has declined the importance of religion,” Fr Cosmas said, adding that there are many reasons why the number of church-attending young adults had dwindled, because their faith just wasn’t personally meaningful to them.
“They have grown up in Church, and perhaps, faced pressure from parents and even peers to be involved in Church. But it wasn’t a first-hand faith. We cannot pressure the youngsters to think like, and act like, a four-year-old holding a plate of pizza.
“Instead, we need to prepare young adults for the spiritual challenges that will come and the uncertainty in faith they will face. First-hand faith leads to life changes and life-long commitment,” he said.
After the brainstorming session, the participants concluded that children were more obedient in the yester-years when parents were authoritatve role models.
In today’s day and age, things have changed and faith formation in the family is weak, which leads to the loss of faith and morality, whereby most parents have lost the family values.
Hence, getting young people to go to Church has become a challenge as the worldly pull seemed to be more attractive to them.
Fr Cosmas hoped the Boys’ Brigade would attract more youths to join parish activities.
With various fun and adventurous programmes organised by trained leaders, Boys’ Brigade has been proven to be an effective ministry to help the Church attract more youths to return.
“When they are in uniform, they take pride, they are disciplined,” he said, adding that the uniform encourages a sense of community and designed to teach each person to take pride in themselves and their appearances.
Fr Cosmas also said that apart from uniformed group, sports (like football) may also attract the youngsters . – by Tracy Lim
*** Last updated: Jan 8, 2018 – graphic added