Bengaluru: The Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) has appointed Maria Francis from the Archdiocese of Bangalore as the new National Director of YOUCAT India. She will coordinate at the national level the ministries of the YOUCAT India Missionary Movement and will guide its members.
Maria Francis is an engineer by profession and a young lay missionary from Holy Redeemer Parish, Hennur, Bangalore. She is a Technical Leader of Nokia Networks in India. She was the school topper at St Michael's Academy, Chennai in 2004 and scored 98 per cent marks. She holds an engineering degree in Electronics and Communications from the College of Engineering, Guindy. She is a Visiting Professor in more than six colleges, including RV College in Bangalore and SJC in Mysore.
She came to know about the YOUCAT movement from some of her youth group friends who had attended the 2011 World Youth Day in Madrid, Spain. Later she attended various YOUCAT training programmes at the headquarters of YOUCAT International in Germany. She was invited to participate in the YOUDEPRO (YOUCAT Development Project) with five other young people from different countries. Together with them, she developed the tools for the new evangelization which is being used by young people all over the world.
Currently, she is heading various YOUCAT national projects such as the Faith Hope Love study modules, YOUCAT ASAP, YOUDEPRO India, YOUCAT and DOCAT study groups, YOUCAT Love Chastity Series, YOUCAT Tandem and YOUCAT ADVENTure and also heads international projects such as YOUCAT Daily, YOUCAT Love, YOUCAT Love Webinars, YOUDEPRO International, and the YOUCAT International social media Bootcamp.
YOUCAT India is a part of the YOUCAT International Foundation, a lay missionary movement which promotes evangelization and catechesis. It works under the aegis of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization to support missionary and catechetical works worldwide.
The YOUCAT India Missionary Movement is approved by the National Episcopal Conference and works under the CCBI Commission for Catechetics. It also works in close collaboration with the CCBI Commission for Youth to enhance the missionary as well as the catechetical apostolate of the Church in India. There are more than 2000 YOUCAT collaborators spread across 12 Indian states, 30 YOUCAT Volunteers and 23 YOUCAT Missionaries spearheading initiatives across India.
YOUCAT, published in 2011, stands for Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is a manual of faith that speaks the language of the youth. Pope Benedict XVI personally endorsed the book as a tool for evangelization among youth. Inspired by the YOCAT Catechism textbook, a group of young people in Germany founded the YOUCAT International Foundation to promote faith formation and evangelization apostolates.
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