Above: Young participants at the event held at the Church of the Divine Mercy. Below: Fr Lionel Thomas addressed issues affecting youths.

More than 650 youths gathered at the Church of the Divine Mercy to celebrate the East District Youth Day (EDYD), an event held every two years. This was the second EDYD held for the Confirmation 3 youths.

Participants, helpers and organisers came from all six parishes in the east: Church of the Divine Mercy, Holy Trinity, Holy Family, Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Queen of Peace and St Stephen.

The theme for the Aug 27 event, Rooted in Christ, was based on this year’s World Youth Day theme. It focused on knowing what it means to be a Disciple of Christ.

The evening rally started with a play by Walk on Water Productions which focused on finding one’s Christian identity.

Following that was an input session by final year seminarian Br Samuel Lim, who reinforced the importance of knowing one’s identity.

Three youths then shared their conversion experiences and how God touched them deeply. They also shared how they decided to stay rooted in Christ.

The event ended with Mass by Fr Lionel Thomas from Melaka-Johor diocese.

In his homily, he addressed many real life issues affecting youths today and focused on how to live as a disciple of Christ.

He also captured the attention of the youths with his sense of humour.

“The event was awesome and I really enjoyed myself,” said Stephanie Lee, 15, from Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace. “I learnt that I have to take ownership of my faith and recognise that God is in me and in everyone I meet.”

“The event made me reflect on who I am”, a sinner loved and called by God, said Michael Gabriel Raphael, from the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour.

The event also helped him strengthen his “resolve to serve God with all my heart”, he added.

Lydia Teo, from the Church of Divine Mercy, remarked: “I enjoyed this year’s EDYD … the most enjoyable part was the homily as it really inspired me!”

By Charlene Siow and David Wong