Monday, August 23, 2010

Challenges facing young people in 21st century

Colleagues Home & Abroad Regional News





John Paul II evangelizing parish team workshop entered it second day in Nakuru with special mass dedicated to the slain human rights activist Fr John Anthony Kaiser. JP2 Spiritual Director, Fr Richard Quinn ruled out that Kaiser killed himself.

Fr Quinn explains to the congregation in Nakuru St Mary’s pastoral centre’s chapel how Fr Kaiser was a dedicated human rights activist and servant of God-PHOTO/ Fr Omolo, AJ

Fr Quinn who was the main celebrant said he worked with Kaiser in Kisii and the way he knew him he would have not killed himself. Father Quinn was refuting the FBI’s report in 2001 that referred several times to circumstantial evidence indicating Kaiser, a member of the Mill Hill Missionaries, had suffered from manic depression, thus leading to his suicidal act.

The workshop began exactly at 9 am on varieties of topics and themes which included going through the resolutions of the second Africa n synod, the just passed Kenya constitution and reports from parish teams.

In the afternoon Fr Quinn took the participants through challenges of young people today in the world of secularism and humanism, especially in schools and institutions of higher learning. Among the participants include Kenyatta University students who also shared their experiences on such challenges.

Rebecca Kemunto (left) and Catherine Kimani (right) explain to the participants how secularism is slowly deeply entering young people in Kenya, especially in schools and institutions of higher learning- PHOTO/ Fr Omolo, AJ

Secularism as best understood is process slowly gathering momentum, not only in the West but other continents as well. It is the world where the scientific method looks at the universe to see what can be measured and quantified and brought under the control of man-The world in which God is kept out of the picture.

The world in which there is a conviction that dogmas, ideologies and traditions, whether religious, political or social, must be weighed and tested by each individual and not simply accepted on faith.

It is the world committed to the use of critical reason, factual evidence, and scientific methods of inquiry, rather than faith and mysticism, in seeking solutions to human problems and answers to important human questions.

A conviction that with reason, an open marketplace of ideas, good will, and tolerance, progress can be made in building a better world for ourselves and our children without depending on God’s mercy and divine providence.

Thus, secular humanists do not rely upon gods or other supernatural forces to solve their problems or provide guidance for their conduct. Instead they rely upon the application of reason, the lessons of history, and personal experience to form an ethical/moral foundation and to create meaning in life.

The world in which secular humanists look to the methodology of science as the most reliable source of information about what is factual or true about the universe and new discoveries.

According to the latest "Barna Report" issued in October 2007 a disturbing trend is noted among American youth between the ages of 16 and 29. The report says that this group is less inclined to see Christianity as a viable and attractive religion. Some of the reasons stated are that Christianity is old fashioned, hypocritical, too judgmental and overly involved in politics.

It explains why in America today the call for personal responsibility has nearly been replaced by a demand for personal "rights" rather than communion-everyone wants to be alone.

Father Quinn also expressed how this trend has affected the value of marriage. Many young people today do not want to stay in marriage or do not want get involved. That is why there have been a lot of divorce cases, especially in USA and Europe .

People for Peace in Africa (PPA)
P O Box 14877
00800 , Westlands

Tel 254-20-4441372
Website :

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