The International Youth year 1985 was the catalyst that generated forces of awareness
in organizing the youth of India at both the parish and national level. As a preparation,
significant meeting was held in June 1984 which delineated clear outlines for youth
work in India. With the impetus given by this meeting and the initiative taken by
the Commission for Laity and Justice. Peace and Development, a number of activities
were held in 1985 at the diocesan, regional and national levels.
The significant event of 1985 was the International Meeting held by the TAIZE brothers
at Madras in collaboration with the CBCI. It was the first time in the history of
the Church in India that so many young people were gathered together. A natural
outcome of this meeting was the renewal of youth activity everywhere. It was then,
that a need was felt at both the diocesan and regional levels for a co-coordinating
body. Hence there was an appeal to the CBCI for setting up the Youth Commission.
In response to this felt need, the CBCI at the General Body Meeting held in Goa
in 1986 established the Youth Commission.
The National Youth Director’s Seminar was held in Mumbai in 1987. The areas of main
thrust in the Youth Apostolate were identified by the Diocesan Youth Directors,
drawing from their experience in the field.
After prioritizing the specific needs of youth, it was decided that the National
Network Youth Apostolate needs to focus on the following:
- National Training for the Youth Leaders
- The need for Regional Youth Commissions
- CBCI Youth Commission at the National level
- National News Letter
- CBCI Youth Secretariat
Another important milestone was the formation of the NCBYC or the National Consultation
of Regional Youth Chaplains and representatives held at Bangalore from the in 1987,
participants unanimously felt the need for setting up the NCBYC. The formation of
this core group is an important development for the Youth apostolate. It became
possible now, to see that the national thrust needed to be more concentrated and
specific in order to have maximum efficiency and to reach a wider group of youths.