New Delhi: ICYM present National Executive Committee (NEXCO) members together with its former members bid farewell to Fr Franklin D’Souza who served as ICYM National Youth Director from 2011 to 2014 and welcomed newly appointed director, Fr Deepak K J Thomas OCD.
The youth expressed their gratitude and sentiments for the tireless services of Fr Franklin, for his enthusiasm, motivation, love and spiritual leadership. From the batches of 2010-2012, President Ravi Robin Ronak expressed his sentiments. He said, “Fr Franklin’s smile and positive thinking as well as spirituality motivated me. Fr Franklin welcomes every one with open heart.” Expressing his sentiments Prashanth, who served as ICYM National Office staff, said that Fr Franklin is a priest who loves everyone equally. “His trust in me inspired me. I am really blessed to serve in ICYM National Office under his leadership. He manages and balances his ministry and mission with utmost love for youth and the Church,” he said.
ICYM First NYD Fr Joel D’Cunha applauded the yeomen service of Fr Franklin. He acknowledged that Fr Franklin really brought spiritual touch to the ICYM movement. He thanked God for giving ICYM a priest like Fr Franklin. First ICYM NYLA, Sr. Mary Lobo expressed her gratitude for the services of Fr Franklin. ICYM first president Roshan Alexander expressed his joy and gratitude for Fr Franklin leading the movement with enthusiasm. He said, “He is man of conviction and deep faith in Jesus. He brought in the faith aspect very convincingly in the movement.” ICYM former president Olima Minj expressed her sentiments and gratitude by saying that Fr Franklin was “a real father for all of us. He spent maximum time for us whenever we needed to sit and talk with him individually. His advice and prayers helped us to attain success in our lives.”
From the present batch, Julia Joseph thanked God for Fr Franklin. She said that it is because of his motivation that she is what she is today. “He relies on God in all situations,” she said. She thanked Fr Franklin for his love and patience in forming and leading ICYM.
Fr Joel felicitated Fr Franklin and presented a memento on behalf of the youth.
Accepting the felicitation, Fr Franklin expressed his sentiments thanking God for what he has done in his life. He said, “The credit goes to my Lord Jesus. His Word inspired me, what you see in me is not I but Christ in me. The Word of God changed my life. Jesus teaches us to love unconditionally.” He said that he was motivated by the unconditional love of Jesus and His Word. He said that position and chair doesn’t matter in the ministry. “We are chosen and called to do His will. I have satisfaction in my mission because Lord Jesus guided and also guarded me. I have one desire, that is to proclaim his love till my last breath.” He also said that with this first meet of ICYM NEXCOs alumni, his dream of forming the alumni came true. He thanked CBCI for their trust in him. He also thanked all those who accompanied him in his four years of Youth Ministry.
The team also welcomed Fr Deepak KJ Thomas OCD with full gusto to come forward and take up the post of National Youth Director for ICYM. The team promised him of their support in every possible way to elevate ICYM to greater heights. Sr Mary Lobo felicitated Fr Deepak and welcomed him warmly. Fr Deepak KJ Thomas OCD shared his testimony and said, “I accept this appointment as God’s will.” He also sought help from everyone to carry forward the mission of ICYM. He thanked Fr Franklin’s selfless service to ICYM.
Julia Joseph, ICYM National Joint Treasurer and Editor of Apna Yuva Spandan, compered the program.