Church points teens in right direction
Retreat exposes young people to religious life and helps them address social problems
ucanews.com reporter, Ragama
May 17, 2011
Some 220 teenagers took part in the two day retreat last weekend organized by the Joseph Vaz Mantram Association on a rubber estate at the National Basilica on the outskirts of Colombo.
It was held to mark the World Day of Prayer for Vocations and included meditation, Bible studies, singing and learning about Church life and roles.
“Many problems can prevent students performing religious and social duties," according to Good Shepherd nun Sister Mabel Fernandopulle, rector of St Ann’s Mahavidyalaya school in Colombo.
Children develop an insatiable appetite for television, video games and cricket and also experience the bad effects of poverty, she said, adding that drug and child abuse were common problems.
"What we offered here were some ways of coping with these problems and the possibility for them to adopt a new way of life within the Church," she explained.
“There are many obstacles preventing children accepting religious life, including poor discipline,” said Aneston Fernando, 37, the association’s vice-president.
This retreat, and weekly or monthly programs for children at parish level, help them grow and develop a genuine and affectionate friendship with Jesus, he said.
Sri Lankan minister thanks Caritas for help
Caritas agencies plan Sri Lanka reconstruction
Often confined at home, Augustinian order seeks to allow the disabled to contribute to society
Law will reduce instances of corruption and promote good governance, says priest from Colombo Archdiocese
Manila Archdiocese accepts two US-donated mobile clinics to help care for street children
Authorizes in Xinjiang have forced halal restaurants to open during the day in Ramadan
Catholics step in to stem potential shortage while Muslims abstain from donating during holy month