03/17/2016, 11.26
NEPAL
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Young Catholics of Nepal: We want to be "models" of hope for society

by Christopher Sharma

AsiaNews meets Ravin, Angel and Alisa, some of the young Catholics participating in a retreat. They want to be a "good example for their peers." Angel says that the secret of her joy "are the teachings of Jesus." Participants include young people of different faith, a young man confesses: "My Catholic friends live in a dignified way and do not ruin their lives with drugs".

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - Although a small minority, Nepal’s young Catholics are determined to be models for the whole society. They want to be "guide for the thousands of people who are arid from a spiritual point of view and without hope". Ravin, Angel and Alisa are among the young people who AsiaNews met at the retreat led by Fr. Ignatius, pastor of Assumption Cathedral in Kathmandu.

The retreats organized by the Catholic Church welcome people of faith and those with none, who are attracted by the "dignified” lifestyle of Catholics and the Christian youths resistance to drug addiction". For the latter, the secret of their happiness lies exclusively in the teaching of Jesus.

Fr. Ignatius highlights the value of these young people: "Young Catholics are serious and their teaching is important for society. They are few in number but great in significance”.

The church retreats welcome hundreds of young people and their families every year. Participants also include several catechumens that explain the reason that prompted them to conversion.

Sudarshan Poudel has a different faith, but participates in the retreat and says: "I see that many of my Catholic friends live dignified lives and have never been dependent on the consumption of drugs. Instead I saw many people's lives ruined by drugs or a miserable existence. Catholics are educated, competent and that’s why I joined the retreat". Finally he confesses that parents allowed him to participate because "my mother knows that my Catholic friends are good people".

Speaking to AsiaNews, Ravin Shrestha says: "We young Catholics are different from the rest because we believe that we must first introduce ourselves as models of education, professionalism, spirituality, and work for the needy and oppressed people. We are being educated and trained to commit ourselves [to building] a better society”.

Angel Tamang, a high school student, says: "Young Catholics have always attracted the interest of the people, who then want to copy us. This is because we are able to live better lives. When people ask me the secret of my joy, I answer that comes from the teachings of Jesus. I read the Bible and I know the life of Jesus, who always encourages me to be honest and to work tirelessly for the community. " Some of her friends, she says, "have started to read the Bible and try to follow my example. Although it will take some time, little by little we will be able to help guide society".

Alisa, another young participant in the retreat, says: "We must be faithful to God and to ourselves. In this way God will guide us to success". And then she warns. "If we are thirsty from the spiritual point of view, we can do nothing. The divine teachings must have meaning in our practical life".

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