The Catholic community, specifically the youth community, is already setting the stage for its Antilles Episcopal Youth Assembly next year.
Dominica will be hosting 400 visiting youths plus 400 residents along with adults and members of the clergy.
Last week, six visitors from the AEC Youth Secretariat were on island conducting site visits to finalize planning for the anticipated event.
Arch Bishop Kenneth Richards headed the delegation and spoke with the press on Friday, January 17th.
He says the headline message is that youth should be more involved in evangelism.
“The theme is ‘Youth the Face of Christ Alive’ and this came out of the document by the Holy Father, Christus Vivit. The essence of that document is to call young people to recognize that the church is depending on them and expecting their leadership in church evangelism.”
He outlined the priorities for the two-week conference.
“A large part of it will be catechesis which will be exploring…and deepening their faith with respect to catholic teachings and spirituality and understanding the scripture.
It will also provide an encounter for social outreach.
The archbishop revealed, “An element of this will be including the environment.”
He referenced Laudato si, the second encyclical of Pope Francis. The encyclical has the subtitle “on care for our common home”. In it, the pope critiques consumerism and irresponsible development, laments environmental degradation and global warming, and calls all people of the world to take “swift and unified global action.
“If we look at the document…and the recent synod on the Amazon,” Archbishop Richards said, “They want us to have a heightened understanding of the environment and the impact that we have on it…”
He believes Dominica is the ideal place to host the event as a backdrop for the conversation about environmental consciousness.