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Youth body celebrates golden jubilee

Special seminar reflects on movements past and what the future has in store

Father Kim In-kwon is explaining about the present of Korea Young Catholic Students (KYCS) Father Kim In-kwon is explaining about the present of Korea Young Catholic Students (KYCS)
  • John Won, Seoul
  • Korea
  • March 25, 2011
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A Catholic youth group has celebrated its golden jubilee with a seminar exploring the past, the present and the future.

The Korea Young Catholic Students (KYCS) of Seoul archdiocese gathered yesterday for the 50th anniversary seminar called, "Let us be Glad and Joyful and Give Praise to God [Rev 19: 7]."

The KYCS began in Seoul in May 1961, and as of 2010, 82 youths from five high schools and four youth centers were active in the Catholic students' movement.

"Catholic education has a great effect on the lives of youths. In that sense, the role and the mission of KYCS and Sunday schools in parishes are important," said Auxiliary Bishop Basil Cho Kyu-man, episcopal vicar for youths, in his welcoming address,

Looking back on its history, Nam Young-jin, an alumni of KYCS, said: "What the KYCS has contributed to the Church the most is numerous priests and Religious."

The Kyungmin University professor named Bishop Lucas Kim Un-hoe of Chunchon, an early member of the movement, as an example.

On a darker note however, Father Joseph Kim In-kwon, the KYCS chaplain, lamented that the number of students joining the movement has decreased since a 1996 high when 1,812 young people were part of the organization.

He pointed to the trend of concentrating on academic results and pursuing places in universities as the main reasons for the decline.

To help revive the movement, Father Kim said the KYCS is producing textbooks for members to remind students of social issues and is offering programs on youth development.

"By sharing, students can spread the values of the Church to other friends and eventually evangelize their environment. That's the goal of KYCS," he added.

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