[From Vatican Rock Radio: Coming to the 2016 version of Catholic Woodstock (i.e., World Youth Day): Not one, not two, not three, but four Jesus Youth bands, highlighted by the Hindu-disco style of Rexband]
(Vatican Radio) Popular Catholic music bands of the Jesus Youth Movement, based in India and the UAE (United Arab Emirates), are feeling deeply honoured on being invited to perform at the World Youth Day in Poland, in the presence of Pope Francis.
Among their many performances, the oldest of them, the Rexband, from India, will be performing at the Central event of the Night vigil at Campus Misericordiae on July 30, while UAE (United Arab Emirates) based ‘Master Plan’ band will play a concert before the Holy Mass at the same venue the following day, the concluding day of the July 27-31 World Youth Day.
The ‘Acts of the Apostles’, a band from India and ‘Inside Out’ from UAE will also be performing at various events of the World Youth Day.
“My heart is filled with joy, I do not know whether any other movement will have such an active participation in contributing to this WYD,” said Manoj Sunny, coordinator of the ‘Jesus Youth’ in his communique to the Vatican Radio. “In all our four bands will be doing 14 festivals during the six-day event.”
Rexband is the first Catholic band from the Indian subcontinent to perform at the World Youth Day in 2002 at Toronto. From then, they have been consistently invited for the later WYDs in 2005 at Cologne, in 2008 at Sydney and in the 2011 at Madrid. In the most recent WYD 2013 at Rio de Janeiro, the Rexband had the honor of performing at the main stage – right before the Pope’s message at the night vigil.
All these bands of young musicians came into existence in the last three decades, after having experienced profound life-changing encounters with Christ, through the Jesus Youth movement.
In April this year, ‘Jesus Youth Movement’ was officially recognized by the Vatican, granting it Juridical approval as ‘International Private Association of the Faithful’
Jesus Youth is the first movement in the history of the Catholic Church in India and the second in Asia to receive such a Pontifical approval. The decree of approval was awarded during a ceremony held in the Vatican on May 20, 2016.
A Catholic lay movement that began in Kerala, India in the early 80s has now spread to 35 countries around the world, with its presence in all 5 continents. Jesus Youth is an initiative of young people themselves, who, filled with the Holy Spirit try to reach out to other young people.
In addition to the bands, the ‘Jesus Youth’ will be animating two Catechesis Centres in English. They will also be actively represented at the recital of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, at the Way of the Cross, the Vigil and the Papal Mass.
Regarding their overall participation Sunny says “we have registered 273 pilgrims for the ‘pre-WYD pilgrimage: In the footsteps of St. John Paul II’, 416 delegates from the ‘Jesus Youth’ at the YAI (Youth Arise International) Festival at WYD, around 700 delegates for the WYD and 217 youth for the 12-day long post-WYD pilgrimage.”
The Rexband is soon going to release their latest album ‘On my knees’ a musical response to the call of Pope Francis to rediscover God’s mercy in today’s world.