Young Catholics “work for the transformation of society, filling it with the values of the Gospel, despite the numerous challenges, among them unemployment, difficulty of access to education centres, insecurity and violence, especially in the East of the Democratic Republic of the Congo”. That is how Bishop Timothée Bodika, President of the Commission for the Lay Apostolate within the Bishops’ Conference, introduced the reality of young generations to Pope Francis, during his meeting in “Martyrs” Stadium in Kinshasa, on Thursday, 2 February.
“Young people represent the large majority of lay Catholics in the Congo”, said the bishop, adding that “they are not only the future, but also the present of the Church, the today of God”. Furthermore, he said, “these young people are all involved in ecclesial movements and associations, and some will be at World Youth Day in Lisbon”. The bishop then explained that “the group of catechists is made up, on the one hand, of young people and adults in parishes dedicated to the initiation of children into the Christian faith, and, on the other hand, of those who lead the Christian communities in the villages.
A point of reference for everyone, he concluded, is Blessed Isidore Bakanja, “patron of Congolese lay and young people, and a catechist. He used to teach his co-workers and his village neighbours the fundamental truths of the faith, in particular, the Rosary prayer”.