The new biblical project, LectioYouth.net, for Africa and Madagascar has been officially launched. The program aims at bringing people to experience God’s closeness through an encounter with His Word. As the name suggests, the project is intended primarily, but not exclusively, for the youth. The primary goal of Lectio Youth is to facilitate the encounter with the Word of God through Bible study groups. It is devoted to systematic and regular study and reflection on the Word of God, for young people to be guided and trans- formed by it on the personal and the local community level.
Starting with the first Sunday of Advent, the program is available online at www.lectioyouth.net, on Facebook, and also through the smartphone app. The initiative comes from the Catholic Biblical Federation, but effectively the program is developed by the Divine Word Missionaries from AFRAM. At the moment it is available in English and French, with the Portuguese version expected soon.
The general editor and AFRAM Biblical Pastoral Ministry zonal coordinator, Fr. Wojciech Szypula of the Divine Word Missionaries (SVD), expressed his hope for the program: “I believe it has great potential for expanding our biblical outreach because it has some unique and useful features...As SVDs, this new initiative offers us a new possibility to focus and reinvigorate our biblical apostolate.”
Its particular approach can be summarized in five main points and features. The first one is the “comprehensive and thematic” approach. e Liturgy of the Word for each Sunday is studied as a coherent message with a particular focus which unifies the readings. e second one is the “exegetical dimension.” To understand the revealed message of the biblical text, the historical, cultural and literary contexts in which it was written must be taken into account. e third is the “contextualized approach.”
The program focuses on the African context. Pastoral reflections come from within the African context, are written by African writers, appeal to African proverbial tradition, and focus on the African youth. e fourth feature is “holistic biblical formation.” LectioYouth.Net others biblical formation in a catholic that is, holistic or inclusive, way. Finally, the fifth one is “communitarian dimension.” While the program can be used by individuals, the primary objective is the formation of local groups in parishes and other institutions which would regularly gather to study the Word of God guided by this program.
By Fr. Wojciech Szypu?a, SVD