ROME: Spend Time with the Youth, Archbishop Muheria Urges Prelates

VATICAN CITY, OCTOBER 16, 2018 (CISA)-Archbishop Anthony Muheria of the Catholic Archdiocese of Nyeri — Kenya, while attending the Synod on Young People at the Vatican, has urged bishops to spend more time with young people and be relatable to them.

“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,” Archbishop Muheria told CRUX on the side-lines of the ongoing synod.

According to the prelate, once interaction takes place, it opens up the opportunity for young people to challenge bishops and present, “Uncomfortable questions,” that otherwise they wouldn’t ask.

Giving an example of how he connects with youth, he confided that he holds occasional “Youth walks” in his diocese, where he treks over 13 miles with young people.

“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 said.

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

“If there’s no connection between the bishop and the young people, he said, young people won’t listen. Winning a space in the hearts of youth, is something as necessary today as it was in the past,” he added.

Besides the walks, Archbishop Muheria also has a digital-world initiative, through which young people can reach him via WhatsApp. From time to time, his office sends messages to all those who are on the service and then each of them can respond personally to the prelate through a direct line away from the public platform.