“Covid-19 pandemic, closure of schools has discouraged many youth who have slowed down their Christian journey and growth”.

This was a statement of Rt. Rev. Joseph Franzelli Bishop-emeritus of Lira Diocese in his message addressed to the youth of Lira Diocese on the occasion of the 16th Diocesan youth conference of Lira Diocese held at the Marian shrine of our Lady Mother of the Church in Iceme Parish from the 9th/ 12 /2021-12th/12/ 2021.

He said, closure of schools and many other difficulties experienced during the past year have not only stopped the usual activities but also discouraged and made young people to become hopeless.

During Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdowns, said Bishop Franzelli, many youth have become desperate. However, he observes that even though some may find themselves unable to return back to school as a result of challenges associated with lockdowns like teenage pregnancy, child marriage among others, it should not be the reason for them to relent.

The Bishop-emeritus encouraged the youth to forget about their past mistakes, even if because of their own weaknesses or wrong advice from other people but that they should continue working and keeping the hopes alive to see that they attain a better future.

Reflecting on the theme of the conference, “Stand up, I appoint you as witness of what you have seen”, a theme drawn from Acts of the Apostles (Acts26:16), the Bishop implored the youth to be true witnesses of the Gospel to others.

He further appealed to the youth to be exemplary and embrace the mission and work of Jesus entrusted to them, just as he did with St Paul.

“Jesus appoints you to be his “ministers”, sending you to all the youths you know, to be a witness and to share with them the light you have seen in your life”, he said.

He then asked the participants to pray through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary mother of God to help them first deepen and strengthen their personal relationship with Jesus to love him more than before.

In the period of Covid19 lock downs, many young people in Uganda have encountered challenges associated to moral and spiritual growth, rendering some to become desperate.



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