VATICAN CITY – The Jesus Youth movement, which is present in Singapore, has received a decree of recognition as an international association of the faithful.
Jesus Youth is a Catholic lay movement that began in Kerala, India, in the early 1980s and has now spread to 35 countries around the world.
The new status, conferred by Bishop Josef Clemens, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity on May 20, gives the organisation the official status of a global Church organisation, allowing it to continue to function with autonomy as a lay movement.
The same decree gave approval to its statutes.
Jesus Youth is the first movement in the history of the Catholic Church in India and the second in Asia to receive such a pontifical approval.
Couples for Christ, which is based in the Philippines, is the other lay movement. The Vatican approved it as a private international association of lay faithful in 2000.
This year, Jesus Youth Singapore is celebrating 15 years of active ministry. With humble beginnings through young Indians who came to study or work in Singapore, the movement has today taken up a wider presence in the local Church with around 300 members from different walks of life.
According to the Singapore organisers, Jesus Youth members seek to grow as faithful disciples of Christ, through the six pillars of the movement – daily prayer, word of God, sacraments, fellowship, service and evangelisation.