Syro-Malabar youth excited for 2016
By Matthew Biddle
THE first official Syro-Malabar youth group in Australia is planning big things for 2016.
Syro-Malabar Youth Movement (SMYM) was formed in July last year, and while its first few months were largely spent on administrative tasks and planning, the group is about to launch a number of programs and initiatives for youth.
One of the group’s leaders, 18-year-old Franklin Wilson, told Catholic Voice the SMYM already have about 10 events planned for the year ahead.
“One of our main priorities is mission, so we will have a blood donation camp in March, and we’re thinking of going out and helping the Sisters of Charity later this year,” he said.
“Another one of our focuses was to pass down our culture and the Malayalam language, so we will be holding weekly Malayalam classes for children.”
The classes kicked off with a week-long introduction beginning on January 25, with almost 50 children taking part.
Fr Varghese Vavolil, parish priest of the St Alphonsa Syro-Malabar Parish of Canberra and coordinator of the Australian Syro-Malabar Eparchy youth movements, said the SMYM places a strong importance on active means of expressing one’s faith.
“Our highest priority is the social commitment, service through the Church for the wider community for others, Catholics, non-Catholics, the poor and the marginalised,” he said.
“The presence of this youth group will benefit the Syro-Malabar community and the whole Catholic Archdiocese.”
For Franklin, involvement in the SMYM was an attractive option from the moment the prospect was first discussed within the parish.
“It was a pretty captivating idea because we would be able to do something other than just coming to Mass,” he said.
“We could give our input to the community, help others and help the wider community as well.
“Within two or three years we will have a strong foundation, and hopefully about 30 or 40 people, and who knows what we can do.”