IYCS International  Newsletter - February 2017 - N°1 - English
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February 2017 - N°1 - English

Dear friends

Fraternal greetings from the international Secretariat of IYCS!

We are happy to bring to you once again the IYCS Newsletter, this time in online format basically in response to our climate commitment to reduce the use of papers, however in the future; we might be able to send printed copies to those who have no possibility of having internet access at the moment.

We are sincerely grateful to Teresa Gutiérrez Montero (JEC Spain), Cecile Annick Sagna (JEC Paris) and the Resource and Publication Commission (YCS/YSM Indian) for the effort in collating this information.

In this February 2017 edition, we share with you stories and
the  different  actions  being  implemented  by National Movements and regions to “Actionalize” Laudato Si; the Papal Encyclical on the protection of our common home which is gradually being destroyed by the consumeric and unethical actions of human beings themselves.

Each one of us has got a role to play in building a safe and healthy environment. While the global commitment is important, it also needs the individual commitment to yield the urgent and rapid change that is required to restore the climate to a considerably normal position for ourselves and the future generation. In this edition, we share with you one of such personal commitment from Ryan Kelly who became a Vegetarian in order to save the earth, want to know why and how? Read on.

While we wish you good time reading these articles, we would also like to share your stories, articles and opinions.
Email us at or as we wait to hear from you soon.
God bless
Richard Francis, APEH
Secretary General
What happened at International level?

"Friendship and love are the only things that grow when they are shared"... This quote reminds us our commitment as Catholic youth, to make a difference for a better world, a world that needs to be protected from human absurdity. The Last IYCS Global Training Session/International Committee held in Madrid from 6 to 15th August 2016, focused on the theme "PROTECTING OUR COMMON HOME".

At this Committee, the representatives and actors of IYCS were able to redefine their actions in the light of the encyclical "Laudato Si" and were also able to make an evaluation of the orientations taken during the last World Council which was held in the Philippines in July 2015. 
For us YCS members it is important to discover the realities of the world, to see through the faces, the way of life of each to be able to understand and respond appropriately to each reality. Through the priorities that you set through your representatives at the last World Council, it will be important for each Movement to propose a Review of Life or rather a review of our lifestyle to make things happen and especially to propose themes for reflection on Education, Environment and Peace and Conflicts in a platform to exchange about what should be done.

Here are the 3 videos produced by the participants during the Session:
What will happen soon at International level?

 WYD Preparat
ory meeting:


The Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, in collaboration with the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, is organizing an International Meeting in Rome from 5 to 9 April 2017 on the theme: From Krakow to Panama −The Synod Journeying with Young People.

During this meeting, there will be the customary evaluation and launch by devoting Wednesday to a brief assessment of WYD Krakow 2016 and Saturday to initiating the joint collaboration in the pastoral and logistic preparation of WYD Panama 2019. It will also be an opportunity to make contribution to preparations for the next Synod of Bishops which is targeted on Youth

Each international Movement is specifically requested to send two delegates, one of whom is the international coordinator of youth pastoral ministry. The second delegate should be a young lay person between the ages of 18 and 28 who has been actively involved for some time in the area of youth ministry on a national or international scale, we therefore ask interested IYCS members within 18 – 28 to contact us via on or before February 20th 2017. Please note that only accommodation and feeding will be covered by the organizer, each participants will be responsible for their own travel expenses.

Young People at the

Heart of the Church

The youth has and continues to be an important asset for the Church; this is affirmed by the Holy Father, Pope Francis’ decision in convoking the next ordinary session of the Synod of Bishops to address the youth and YOUTH questions. Earlier in October 2016, the Pope announced the theme of the October 2018 Synod of Bishops to be “Young People, the Faith and the Discernment of Vocation.” The preparatory document called Lineamenta has just been published and sent to the whole church with some questionnaires.

“…the Church has decided to examine herself on how she can lead young people to recognize and accept the call to the fullness of life and love, and to ask young people to help her in identifying the most effective ways to announce the Good News today.”

The Church wishes to hear from you, it is an opportunity therefore to make your voice heard at the highest level, because the Holy Catholic Church respects, and accepts your opinion.
The IYCS wishes to take special steps in collating your voices and opinions for the purpose of submitting them to the synod fathers. We will send specific guidelines on how to go about it, but in the meantime, we encourage all YCSers and YCS Movements to study the preparatory document:  link for Preparatory Document
IYCS and Laudato Si
An exemple of self transformation:

Ryan's decision

Following the release of Laudato Si and many effort to promote sustainable lifestyles, the IYCS has initiated special campaigns to promote eco-lifestyles and mobilize young people to take action towards the protection of our common home; the earth.
Ryan Kelly; a student of environmental science in the Netherlands in this 1 minute video shares his motivation for becoming a vegetarian after having studied the Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si which made him to reflect on “not only the environmental impact of meat consumption but also the humanitarian impact that follows” 

After these reflective moments, he said to himself, “…I couldn’t call myself a practicing Christian if I was contributing to the conditions which were making the world grow worse and worse if I was pledging to protect it.” and so
resolved to become a vegetarian.

What is your own commitment? We will like to hear and share your stories...

Watch the video:

 The Earthkeeper  


 in the Philippines!

In response to the call of our Holy Father from his encyclical, Laudato Si and in caring for our common home, the Student Catholic Action of the Philippines, celebrating its 80th year anniversary (Oak Celebration) and the Diocese of Tagbilaran in their 75th Diamond Jubilee Year of Foundation, committed themselves to a mission in forming Christian Youth Leaders today towards sustainable development: the SCA Earthkeepers Summit.
The Summit began with an exposure in various situations that different communities are facing due to the rapid rate at which climate is changing and the abuses done in nature. It was then followed with inputs from various experts in studying and reflecting on what is going on with our Common Home. The inputs from the exposure and talks were then reflected upon by the participants. Then the workshops helped realizing how to push through the environmental campaign in various ways possible and the outputs were showcased afterwards.
It was a wonderful process because it guided the participants from seeing the problem in its entirety, evaluating the present factors in favor or against the goal of protecting our common home, and reflecting as to what can be done to address the situation. The workshops also geared the participants with the skills that they need to further develop better approaches in spreading the campaign about environment and in approaching the problem in different angles.
Some of the YCS members who participated at the summit has these to say... This is one of the testimonies:

“I was depressed upon knowing that our Mother Earth is slowly dying due to our irresponsible actions. I was guilty enough because I am aware; I also contributed to the different factors which caused our Mother Earth’s downfall. I am challenged to change my reckless actions. I realized that even a simple action like abusing the usage of paper could create an impact on our environment. As an SCA leader, I can share these insights I’ve gained in the conference by telling and spreading awareness among my community. Taking an immediate response is important. I and my companions made an action plan towards this situation. We planned to conduct a workshop or program that may help in maintaining a healthy environment. It will be a program that will educate the importance of 3R’s namely, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle including maintaining a clean environment. We also plan to enhance the system in the implementation of CLAYGO (Clear as You Go) policy in our school since it was ignored once in a while. We will encourage other youth to be part of these activities to be fruitful.”

Bea Marie Ganarias, SCA member from University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos
Laudato Si  in Rwanda!

JEC Rwanda organized a National Camp from 27th to 29th December 2016 at Gikondo, Kigali, Rwanda under the theme: “Caring for our Common Home “The Earth” Students give contribution to protect the environment and build our faith - our future towards sustainable development”.
The Holy Father Pope Francis’ Encyclical letter “on care for our common home “Laudato Si” was addressed and well explained to every participant in the camp and they were requested to be the best teacher to everyone living on this planet inviting them to enter into dialogue with all people about “our common home” by inviting young people and adults at all levels to join hands and actively participate in the “Care for our Common Home.
There were also discussions on other 3 important topics: God’s plan for Creation and the Role of humanity, Holistic Quality Education and the future of JEC/YCS RWANDA.
The facilitator discussed God’s plan for Creation base on the Genesis 1:28, account and encouraged YCS members to accompany their prayers with actions guided by the methodology of See, Judge, Act in order to live in harmony with God’s creation.
The camp was officially closed by tree planting exercise launched by Odongo Innocent, the Pan African Coordinator and IZABAYO Jean claude the National President JEC Rwanda.
Laudato Si in Gambia!
The African regional coordination as part of the IYCS Laudato si campaign organized a sub-regional training session for English and French Speaking West African Countries bringing together students from twelve (12) African Countriesnamely; The Gambia, Togo, Nigeria, Mali, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Liberia, Niger, Guinea Conakry, Benin, Burkina Faso and Cote D’Ivoire. This session took place at the centre of the Catholic Organization for the Promotion of Humanity (OCPA) in Lambanyi (Conakry) from the 4th to 10th of December, 2016 under the the theme; “Protecting our Common Home; African Students in Action” with the primary objective of equipping students with skills and providing them the platform to take action to protect creation and transform their living environment in to the light of the Gospel by restoring the value and welfare of man from a perspective of contribution to the protection of the environment.
During this session, we identified some major environmental problems affecting our planet especially Africa such as Soil degradation, Pollution, Drought, Flooding, Climate Change, Proliferation of Plastic Waste etc and acknowledged that these problems have serious negative implication for the whole of humanity. We reflected on the call of the Holy Father in his encyclical “Laudato Si” on the urgent need for  a new dialogue on how we are building the future of the planet therefore emphasizing the need for a conversion that unites us all, because the environmental challenge we are facing and our human roots concern us and and the future generation (Laudato Si 14).
We also acknowledged that human activity of subduing the earth over time which are increasingly greed driven has become an increased injustice towards human beings themselves and others creations hence threatening the sustainability of creation and destroying the good that God saw when he created the universe and that irrespective of our  age and gender, we all suffer the negative consequences of these human actions.
We highlighted and discussed various conventions related to the protection of the environment, in particular the resolution of COP 21 and 22 calling on the countries of the world for solidarity action on the emission of greenhouse.
we felt convinced about the role of the Church and by extension, our role as YCS members in Africa in promoting the principles of sustainable development and so affirmed our commitment to work for the preservation of the environment which we expressed through Tree planting and Environmental awareness walk in the city of Conakry and at the end of the session, we worked on elaborated Country Action plan for the protection of the environment.
Joseph Ndeckey
YCS Gambia
Focus on a Movement of IYCS

The Young Christian Students Movement in Catholic Archdiocese of Khartoum Sudan is waxing stronger with several activities organized for the benefit of young people in Sudan. In April 2016, we organized a workshop under theme Peace and Reconciliation among us and community which is in line with our 2015 – 2016 Strategic Action Plan; Peace; Catholic Students in Action. This session emphasized the importance of peace and the need for students to not just be onlookers but to partake in the work for peace through the promotion of actions that guarantee peaceful co-existence.

As a follow up to this Strategic plan, the secretariat of YCS Khartoum Archdiocese plans to organise several leadership programs through the two levels of the Archdiocese namely Khartoum and El--Obied and to carry out formation programs in all parishes.
We are also promoting through newsletters, the review of life methodology of YCS; See, Judge, Act and we are putting measure to ensure that every member of YCS Khartoum have information about the review of life methodology and how to apply it in their daily life.
We are also organizing formation and enrollment ceremony for the newly recruited members of YCS Khartoum who are between the ages of 14 – 24. 

The office of YCS Khartoum Archdiocese has already initiated the process for the creation of National Coordination office for Sudan and we hope yield success within the nearest future which will hope foster visibility and the smooth running of our great Movement Sudan.
In solidarity with our fellow YCSers all around the world, we commemorated the IYCS World Day (November 13)  in Khartoum Sudan with a Thanksgiving Mass and a ground reception on the 26th of November at Saint Martyr's Barona Center.

We encourage you to pray for young Christian students as they seek to live and speak for Jesus in basic secondary schools and universities across the country and we pray that the saving and sanctifying power of God's grace strengthen each of you to stand firm in the faith

Amos Modi, Coordinator YCS Sudan Khartoum 
News & Opportunities
We congratulate Carlos Chana Seco of YCS Palencia for his recent appointment as Delegate for University Pastoral Care of the Diocese of Palencia, in Spain.
Undoubtedly, it is recognition of the pastoral work with university students from the entire JEC of Palencia, and especially Carlos for his trajectory in the accompaniment of faith, life and commitment processes in so many young people.
We are also grateful to his bishop, Don Manuel Herrero Fernández for this recognition and for his concern, interest and desire to energize an area as important in the mission of the Church as the world of university and culture. 
!! Congratulations!!

Young leaders



  A new word in YCSers’ vocabulary!
  Great news and an opportunity for your simple but             impactful acts to be rewarded.
You all know, or rather heard of the history of Princess   DIANA, who left us too early, but remains in our hearts.  Her name still resonates because she had the ability,  just with a smile, to illuminate sad faces and transform  the lives of the people she met.
This year, in the Month of March, a day has been dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the death of the Princess of the Heart, as she was affectionately known. On this day, twenty young leaders from around the world (ages 9-18 years) will be selected and awarded, if they present their project with a social purpose.
Acknowledging the number of incredible heroes that we have in YCS, we invite you to grab this opportunity to present your proposals and innovations in any of the four categories namely; leadership, community development, social entrepreneurship and technology.
“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.” Lady Diana
Log on to for more information and participation
About IYCS World Day (13/11/2016)
On the 13th of November, for the Second edition of the International Day of YCS, all movements and all members of YCS in the world were to implement at least one action or activity to show love and solidarity towards our fellow youths in Syria and other war zone areas in the world. Here are some of the reactions...
And many other reactions at: #IYCS4Syria
or on twitter page

A video from AUC Chile
(Asociación de Universitarios Católicos)

For private use only
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