Udupi Diocese

Rekindling the Founding Fire Reviving YCS/YSM in Archdiocese of Bangalore

23rd June, 2018:

Young Christian Students/ Young Students Movement (YCS/YSM) has a long standing history in Bangalore, in fact the movement in India began with study sessions that took place in Bangalore and Chennai simultaneously in 1966. Due to various reasons the movement had gone almost silent in the archdiocese for almost 10 years and the desire to revive the students’ movement in Bangalore became more and more fervent in recent times. To take this forward, the secretary - Fr.Joseph Susainathan along with the joint secretaries of the movement under the astute leadership of our beloved archbishop Most Rev. Dr. Peter Machado and the support of the YCS/YSM alumni have taken the initiative to revive the movement and as the first step organised the Beginners Session on 23 June, 2018 at Palana Bhavana.

The beginners’ session was a resounding success and was attended by more than 300 students and 47 animators from 27 schools, 6 alumni members, in the presence of the Secretary, Joint secretaries, Fr.Anil D’ Sa the Regional Director and also as a great source of encouragement - Most Rev. Dr. Peter Machado who joined us for the concluding ceremony.

The day began with a soulful prayer service with the invocation by the dynamic choir of Gulabi Girls High School and scripture readings from all major scriptures by students from Sacred Heart’s Girls High School, Our Lady of Bon Secours and Maria Niketan High School. The inaugural ceremony presided over by Fr.Joseph Susainathan - the Secretary of YCS/YSM Bangalore and Fr. Anil D’ Sa the Regional Director of YCS/YSM Karnataka. The chaplains urged students to participate with full zeal and enthusiasm.

Beginners program started with an interesting round of Ice Breakers facilitated by Mrs. Saranya Francis (Ex National EXCO) and a set of delightful action songs by Mr. Francis Prithvi (Ex National EXCO) this was followed by an in-depth session on the status of youth and the need for social awareness among young people.

Session 2 was on the history of the movement. This session started with an impromptu skit by the students on the origins of the movement and the life of Cardinal Joseph Cardijn – our inspiration. The movement’s history, structure and current status was discussed in detail using an interesting audio visual presentation. This was followed by Session 3 on the aims, objectives, vision and mission of the movement, delivered by Srujan and Ashirwad from Maria Niketa High School and the same was moderated by Mrs. Saranya Francis. The session continued with some interesting discussions on why YCS/YSM is so relevant to the current scenario. Saranya spoke on the methodology of the movement and this was complemented by a case study and group discussion on applying the methodology in the cell meetings.

Simultaneously the animators were trained by Fr. Anil D’Sa on the role of the animators in shaping student leaders and their importance in serving as guides to the students. The director and joint secretaries addressed the animators as well. The plan to divide the archdiocese into zones to facilitate better interaction and revive the cells at schools and parish levels was shared by Fr.Joseph Susainathan. The secretaries then chose the Diocesan Team of Animators.

The afternoon paced excitingly as the Diocesan Team of Students (DTS) was elected in a session moderated by Saranya, Sam Emmanuel (EX DTS member) and Melwyn Amritharaj (Youth Animator from the Archdiocese). A team of 22 students comprising of zonal and diocesan leaders was elected.

A sumptuous lunch followed post which the animators and students reassembled for the concluding program. A brief prayer service followed. The students and animators then together welcomed the new archbishop Most Rev Dr.Peter Machado to the archdiocese and in their midst. The Archbishop in his message reminded students of the three relationships they must take care of namely: “relationship with self, relationship with others and relationship with God.” His anecdote using interesting animal characters was well received by the audience. The Archbishop urged students to “honour parents and elders and work with commitment for the revival of the movement in the archdiocese.”

The names of the Diocesan Team of Students and Diocesan Team of Animators were then announced. The DTS and DTA were handed over a scroll of congratulations and badges followed by a solemn oath taking ceremony complete with candles and commitment notes. The students and animators wrote down their commitments to social change on post it notes and put them up on the stage as a symbol of their commitment towards the revival of the movement. The YCS/YSM oath was administered to the office bearers and the YCS/YSM anthem was sung with full gusto. The session concluded with tea and a new found sense of purpose in the hearts of all those present.