Kochi: Fr. Gilbert Choondal SDB, belonging to the Salesian Province of Bangalore, addressed the members of KCBC (Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Conference) on 7 August 2017 at Kakkanad, the Head Quarters of Syro-Malabar Bishops’ Synod. The Meeting was the annual Theological Colloquium of KCBC organised by POC (Pastoral Orientation Centre) that belongs to all the three ritual Churches of Kerala. The Topic of the gathering was the theme of the Synod 2018, namely, “Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment”. Fr. Gilbert presented a paper on the Preparatory Document (lineamenta) of the Synod 2018 with a focus on its pastoral implications for the Church in Kerala.
In his presentation entitled, “10 Key points of Synod 2018 and 10 Pastoral Impactions,” Fr. Gilbert emphasised the need for planning a youth ministry that reaches out all kinds of youth where none is excluded. He said, “The Church has to reach out to non-Churchy youth in every parish. For this purpose, Pope Francis challenges every pastor to go out and meet them in in their context.” The day was inaugurated by Cardinal Alencheril and welcomed by Bishop Varghese Chakalakal, the Chairman of KCBC Theological Forum. Bishop Susai Pakiam set the tone of the theme with his Key Note address. A Panel of youth and youth animators discussed the need of a total youth ministry that includes various dimensions of the Church. Fr. Stanley Mathirappilly, the secretary of Theological Commission of KCBC, thanked the participants and resource persons for their active presence and contribution.