The Diocesan Youth Apostolate (DYA) is a communion of youth groups and ministries united as a Church of Christ following the SyroMalabar traditions. This Apostolate was constituted in 2009 to strategically plan and collaborate with Diocesan Leadership, pastors, youth coordinators/animators, and youth groups "to know, to love, and to serve His Church".
The mission of the Diocesan Youth Apostolate - is to unite all young people of the Diocese in response to the Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ by encouraging the formation of a deep interior life that overflows into genuine service to the Church and to the world.
In the past 6 years, DYA has produced many fruits in our St. Thomas SyroMalabar Diocese of Chicago with the joint efforts of Bishop, our Youth Apostolate Director-Fr. Vinod Madathiparambil, National Teams, Regional Teams, Parish/Mission Youth Coordinators, and other initiatives and ministries. Two of the initiatives that we have taken on are regional conferences and a young adult ministry.
Every 2-3 years, each of the six DYA regions host a regional conference, which focuses on the growth of our interior souls. These conferences build upon each other and hold a common topic across the nation. The topic of our first wave of conferences centered on Syro Identity, whereas wave 2 focused on the St. Thomas Encounter: the journey from MY to OUR.
As DYA, we recognize that the universal call to holiness is a call to live life in its fullness. In response to this call, we desire the holistic growth of each person and every community, one of which is justice and service. This year, our Northeast region hosted their second regional conference, SYNC (SyroMalabar Youth Northeast Conference). During the four days, over 250 youth, working along with Stop Hunger Now (a non-profit organization) raised over $10,500 to package 30,000 meals to be sent across the world.
This past summer along with SYNC, our Midwest region had their first ever regional conference, EMERGENCE. Over 100 youth from Detroit and Chicago joined in Rockford, IL to explore and deepen their relationship to Christ, his Holy Church and our communities.
In view of the ongoing cultural and generational challenges that young adults and young couples face in the SyroMalabar Church, DYA in cooperation with the Bishops and Vinod Achan took the first steps in developing a young adult and young couple initiative in our Church-St. Thomas Adult Faith Fellowship (STAFF). This past Columbus Day weekend, over 70 young adult leaders from across the diocese gathered in Chicago to pray, discern and discuss an authentic role for young adults and young couples in the SyroMalabar Church.