Waste time to form connections with young people

Bishops should waste time to connect with young people, 54 year-old Archbishop Anthony Muheria of Kenya says.

Speaking to his fellow bishops at the synod on youth, Mulheria noted: “There’s a lot of fury that goes on in discussing what we should do for the young people, what we should propose to them, what do young people seemingly want to say.

“We as bishops must interact more with young people, must be with young people. We must waste time with young people, hang around them and they must be at ease with us.”

Muheria says he is convinced, once interaction between young people and bishops takes place, it will allow opportunities for young people to challenge bishops and present “uncomfortable questions” that otherwise they wouldn’t ask.

He says he meets young people by holding “youth walks” in his diocese. In these, he walks for over 13 miles (about 21 kilometers) with them.

“They see the bishop getting tired, having muscle cramps, struggling. And in that vulnerability, they’re able to say, ‘Hey bishop, we’ll help you.’ And you create a connection,” he says.

The last time they had one of these walks, in preparation for the Synod of Bishops, three people approached him to talk about a vocation, he says.

Muheria says if there’s no connection between the bishop and the young people, they won’t listen.

It’s as necessary to win young people’s hearts today as it was in the past, he says.


Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: ,