On Youth Day in South Africa, Catholic Bishop Calls for Bravery among Young People

Credit: Kroonstad Diocese/Facebook

A Catholic Bishop in South Africa has, on the occasion of the annual National Youth Day, encouraged young people to foster the virtue of bravery.

In a Thursday, June 16 message addressed to young people, Bishop Peter Holiday of South Africa’s Kroonstad Diocese asks youth to be among the promoters of “democracy, justice, and peace”.

“I write this message to you as we celebrate in South Africa the 16th of June. It is a day of remembrance of the brave and courageous young people who demonstrated and gave their lives in 1976 for a democratic South Africa we enjoy today,” Bishop Holiday says.

The South African Bishop adds, “I encourage the young people to continue to be brave and promote democracy, justice, and peace.”

“The South Africa young people experience today is really challenging in many ways. Yet I believe you have the will power, strength, and courage to overcome these if you live each day with a positive mind,” the Bishop of Kroonstad says in his June 16 message.


He continues, “We can and we will overcome the challenges of life. We will make our lives a success through education and hard work. Determination and never give up attitude.”

“Dear young people, there are many of your peers who have made it through this approach to life. I speak to you as the Shepherd of the Diocese of Kroonstad that there is the treasure of your Christian/ Catholic faith, hope and love in Jesus, that shall help and support you, if you hold onto him our hope and joy,” Bishop Holiday says.

The 70-year-old South African Bishop who has been at the helm of Kroonstad Diocese since his Episcopal Ordination in June 2011 challenges the youth in his Diocese to establish and maintain a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, witnessing him in their daily lives.

“As youth and young people of the church of the Diocese of Kroonstad you are called to be witnesses to your faith in Jesus. To know Jesus and to be filled with Jesus in your life. Without being filled with Jesus and having a personal relationship with him, a true friend will be missing that we all need in the difficulties and the joys of life today,” he says.

“Pope Francis has a real love for you, the youth and young people of the church,” the Bishop further says, and adds in reference to the Holy Father, “He wrote a special letter for you called 'Christus Vivit' which means 'Christ Lives' Christ is alive in your young lives, he gives meaning and purpose to the whole experience of each day that you wake up and go to sleep.”

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He underscores the need for young people to practice their faith, saying, “I call on you the young people to live your faith and to enjoy being young. The Diocese welcomes your presence in the various parish communities of the church.”

“I call on you to be active in various ways in the parish. It is yourselves that must make it happen with the help of the parish and diocese,” Bishop Holiday says.

He adds, “We must remember Jesus who lived in this world was once young. He too gave his life on the cross as a young adult at the age of 33. He faced challenges but never gave up. Jesus' life of hope in his loving Father and daily prayer kept him focused on his mission to proclaim the Gospel.”

“To the young people, do the same,” Bishop Holiday says in his June 16 message.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.