Cardinal to youth: You have a vocation!


During his homily at Mini World Youth Day Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban has called on young Catholics to answer the call to their vocations which will help them cope in today’s world.

Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban has called on young Catholics to answer the call to their vocations – something which everyone has as it is informed by the spirit of the Lord.

The cardinal was talking to more than 4,000 young Catholics gathered at Mini World Youth Day (MWYD) in the Archdiocese of Durban, a crowd and context “very different” to his own youth. Speaking fondly of technology, the internet and selfies, Napier said there were tools the youth of today could use in their lives, but there were also contemporary challenges the youth were faced with. “Part of the context is you – your faith and your formation,” he explained. “Mini World Youth Day is about sharing how we cope with our challenges of our contexts.”

Today’s world, he said, sees alcohol, drugs and sex become extreme conditions robbing people of the feeling of living. “16 Days of Activism: why it is only 16 Days? It should be 365 days in order to deal with the issues affecting especially women, children and other vulnerable people in our society today.”  He also asked about the child in the womb and why she was not being protected under the umbrella of the campaign.

In an interview with Spotlight Africa, the cardinal said he believed the youth in Southern Africa needed Church leadership. Inspired by Pope Francis, who has called on the Church to sit, listen and talk to the youth. He said next year’s Synod of Bishops is one such example of this approach. The meeting theme Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment will see youth from around the world descend on Rome to discuss their desires, hopes and needs. Napier added that “this is exactly what [MWYD] is helping us to do” – the Church in Southern Africa wants to learn from and engage with the youth as the pope has called for.

The cardinal told Spotlight Africa that MWYD had far exceeded his expectations, describing it as “out of this world,” and adding that his dream would be to see World Youth Day hosted in South Africa. “The initiative has to come from us; I think we will make an inquiry”.

Before World Youth Day will come to the country, the cardinal said there would be more youth events organised by local dioceses. “There are going to be more of these sorts of events in the future,” he said adding that the investment in the youth was worthwhile for the Church. He encouraged young Catholics who had missed out on MWYD to make an effort to attend an event in the future, considering it an investment in their faith.

“There’s nothing more affirming than hearing other young people speaking about what difference God has made in their life through their faith.”

He said his wish for the participants was that they would return home to families, parishes and communities knowing that God had given them a vocation and to be fired up by MWYD to cope with the challenges in today’s world. SA.

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* The opinions expressed here by Spotlight.Africa contributors and editors are their own and not official statements of the Society of Jesus in South Africa or of the Catholic Church unless explicitly stated.


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Cardinal to youth: You have a vocation!