Jesus Youth

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Jesus Youth Logo
Jesus Youth Logo

Jesus Youth is an International Catholic Movement approved by the Holy See. The Movement evolved as an outcome of the Charismatic revival that spread across India in the mid-1970s. As of 20 May 2016, it has been granted recognition by the Vatican as an international private association of the faithful with juridical personality.[1] The movement invites its youth to follow a lifestyle considered to be based on the life of Jesus Christ, based on what it calls 'six pillars'.[2]

Jesus Youth is an initiative of young people themselves, who, filled with the Holy Spirit try to reach out to other young people. The strength of the movement is its special focus on a life centered on the Lord Jesus Christ: beginning with an experience of God nourished by prayer, the Word of God, the sacraments and fellowship, and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with others.

Though not an actual community, Jesus Youth is a network of small but vibrant groups of young people. In their own life situations, they strive to give time to the Lord, responding to the challenges of today's world in the power of the Holy Spirit.


It had its beginnings in Kerala, India, and evolved as an active part of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of the state in the late 1970s. In 1985, the International Year of Youth, a number of youth groups came together under a single name, Jesus Youth. Gradually, it spread to different parts of India and to a number of other countries. Following on from the canonical recognition received from Archbishop Abraham Viruthakulangara of Nagpur on April 8, 2007 and Archbishop Daniel Acharuparambil of Verapoly on August 20, 2007, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India recognized JesusYouth as a national association of the faithful on October 29, 2008.[3]

On 29 October 2008, Jesus Youth received approval from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) and Archbishop Abraham Viruthakulangara was appointed as the Ecclesiastical Advisor.[4] The process of being recognised as an ‘International Private Association of Christian Faithful of Pontifical Right’,with juridical personality in Canon Law officially began on 24 August 2009 with the Pontifical Council for the Laity. Approval was granted on 6 April 2016.


Jesus Youth is an international private association of the faithful of all states of life, with juridical personality, governed by the present statutes in conformity with canons 298 - 311 and 321 - 326 of the Code of Canon Law. The name ‘Jesus Youth’ represents the association's emphasis on living the joy, vitality, and fullness of life discovered in Christ, and sharing the Gospel in contemporary life situations.  The progress of a Jesus Youth is ensured through a lifestyle of spiritual discipline of the association called six pillars. Jesus Youth carries out the work of evangelization by fostering individual apostolates, facilitating group apostolates and engaging in formal missions and projects in various parts of the world. Jesus Youth is missionary in nature and has a special focus on evangelizing today's youth, promoting an active Christian way of life, and commitment to mission.


Jesus Youth is organised on a geographical basis with areas governed by Jesus Youth Councils. Local households are coordinated by the Zonal or Regional Council. Zonal Councils are coordinated by a Regional Council. The National Councils coordinate the Regional Councils. The National Councils are accountable to the International Council. The council is elected for a period of three years. A Jesus Youth Region usually coincides with an Ecclesiastical Region (canon 433 (CIC)). The higher council demarcates and forms a Region considering the number of Jesus Youth members in that area. A Regional Council governs the association in the Region and the National Council governs the association in the country. When the Ecclesiastical Region covers several countries, each country can have a National Council. The organs of governance of the association are personal and collegial. The personal ones are the Coordinator, Assistant Coordinator and Finance Coordinator. The collegial ones are the Councils, and the Assemblies. At each level the association is governed by the Council elected by the respective Assembly.

Coordinators of Jesus Youth International
Year Coordinator
2018–present Shoy Thomas
2014 - 2018 C C Joseph
2011 - 2013 Raiju Varghese
2008 - 2010 George Devassy
2002 - 2008 Manoj Sunny


Jesus Youth is currently present in 30 countries. There are 3 categories of membership in Jesus Youth: Regular Members, Associate Members and Honorary Members. Regular Members are Catholic faithful from all states of life: clergy, religious and laity, and include deacons, seminarians and celibates for the Kingdom. They are those in the Committed, Confirmed and Covenant Phases of the formation. Associate Members are those who desire to accompany the association, but are unable to fulfil the requirements of Regular membership (Art. 14). They undergo a period of formation before becoming Associate Members. They do not participate in the governing councils of the association. Catholics and non-Catholic Christians can become Associate Members. Honorary Members are Catholic bishops who accompany and advise the association. The International Council, in consultation with the Ecclesiastical Advisor of the International Council, confirms the honorary membership. Honorary Members will be invitees to the International Assembly and their respective National Assemblies. Non-Christians may become part of Jesus Youth prayer groups and attend the first two phases of formation, namely, Contact and Companion Phases, but cannot become members of the association.


Cell groups, Small groups and Prayer encourage young people and families to come together regularly for prayer and fellowship. Service teams co-ordinates teams at different levels consist of a Co-ordinator, a Pastor, one or more Animator/s and members. Faith formation is for the personal growth of members, in addition to the regular fellowship groups, there is a wide range of formation programmes in the Jesus Youth Movement - Jesus Youth Fulltime Volunteers, History Makers, Discipleship Training Programmes (DTP), Master Builders, Junior Evangelisers Training (JET). Formation for leaders and animators are offered at National and International Leaders’ Training and National and International Animators’ Training. Jesus Youth ministries include Parish Ministry, Teens Ministry, Professionals Ministry, Nurses Ministry, Campus Ministry. The Backbone of all Jesus Youth activities are Intercession ministry and  Finance ministry. Talent oriented formation include The Rex Band, Music Ministry, Audio visual Ministry, Media Ministry and Exhibition Ministry. Formation through reach out programmes include Outreach Ministry, Prolife Ministry, Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP), and Exposure programmes. Jesus Youth also organises numerous mission experience trips by parish youth, professionals and others.Regional, national and inter- continental conferences, Campus Meet, Nurses’ Meet, Teens’ Meet, etc. play vital role in training youth to be active in their Christian life and witness.

The six pillars[edit]

The Jesus Youth movement is known for its spirituality that promotes an active Catholic life style that is relevant to a young lay person facing the challenges of today. The Six "pillars of Spirituality" on which the Jesus Youth movement is based on are:

Personal prayer[edit]

A daily ‘quiet time’ with the Lord is fundamental in the life of every member of Jesus Youth. This personal prayer leads to an experience of loving friendship with Jesus, fostering a joyful attitude and creative approach to daily life.

Word of God[edit]

A regular time for a meditative reading of the Sacred Scripture helps to shape one's life according to God's will. In this way the person acquires the ability to seek God's guidance through the continuous study of the Word of God. Members should read and meditate on the scriptures i.e. the Bible.

Sacramental Life[edit]

There seven Sacraments in the Catholic Church. Frequent and active participation in the sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation are a pillar. Frequent and active participation in the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation contributes to a life of wholeness and strength, and aims at growth in holiness so as to fulfill the mission.


Christian life is a call to live the life of the Trinity in communion with one's brothers and sisters in Christ through mutual support, encouragement and gentle correction. Cells, prayer groups, vocational groups and various Service Teams (ST), and friendship circles help to make Jesus Youth a family.


Fruit of an active life with Jesus is a joyful commitment to witnessing, sharing the person and message of Jesus with others. This commitment to evangelisation is central to the life of every member of Jesus Youth.

Services (Option for the Poor)[edit]

Willingness to serve those in need and a preferential option for the poor are the signs of a true disciple of Jesus Christ. Following the footsteps of the Master, who brought the Good News to the poor, Jesus Youth stretches out a helping hand to those burdened with poverty and deprivation. He tells us to share, sacrifice and love each and everyone.. service should be demand less.


Jesus Youth ministries are founded on a firm spiritual basis and flourish in the context of growing fellowships. The formation teams gather together to develop the ministry and engage in the apostolate, provide mutual support and promote spiritual growth.

With the vision of sharing the faith and building a witnessing community, Jesus Youth has developed various ministries for its members. A Jesus Youth ministry is usually the initiative of an individual or a small fellowship, and normally tries to share Jesus in a particular context, using one's talent or charism. These initiatives gradually grow into ministries of Jesus Youth. While helping young people to come together and grow in fellowship, these ministries also prepare youth to embrace the Gospel in their daily life and to proclaim the Gospel to others.

Each ministry has a co-ordinating team and a set of formation and outreach programmes. In Jesus Youth there are a number of ministries focusing on different areas such as: i) Formation, ii) The context of life, iii) Talent and iv) Outreach

Jesus Youth ministries include:[5]

  • Audio Visual Ministry
  • Media Ministry
  • Campus Ministry
  • Teens Ministry
  • Nurses Ministry
  • Kids Ministry
  • Doctors Ministry
  • Prolife Ministry
  • Professional Ministry
  • Parish Ministry
  • Intercession Ministry
  • Outreach Ministry
  • Medical Engineering Students Ministry
  • Music Ministry
  • Family Ministry
  • Street Ministry

Nallaayalkkaran is a God given dynamism for jesus youth to be present in the secular world as a face of God`s mercy and sign of goodness in collaboration with all other realities in the society. Rescue operation, Medical camps, Relief work,Supply of urgent materials at the camps,Flood relief support etc.

Full Time volunteers[edit]

Jesus Youth Fulltimership is a year-long formation program for graduates with 40 days training and one year full-time missionary commitment to work in different parts of the world.

After 40 days of intensive training they are commissioned for a one-year formation through a missionary placement and thus prepared for a lifelong Christian commitment, to be the living witnesses of Jesus in a radical way.

It started in 1991 when a Jesus Youth got an inner call to commit life completely for one year to be a missionary in Jesus Youth movement. He left behind his academics and career for the service of the Lord. After consultation of the inner plan with the leaders and elders of the movement he launched himself into this new journey, visiting places, touching the lives of people and challenging young minds in campuses and parishes across the Indian state of Kerala.

When Jesus's Disciples heard His call, they responded to it wholeheartedly. They left all that they had, all their wealth and even their professions, and followed Jesus. This was a call to be with this great Master, to lead a brand new life and later to be sent out to a mission of touching and transforming the heart of so many. John, James, Peter and every one of those followed Jesus had such a personal history of being called and offering a response in a life changing manner.

Today hundreds of young people repeat a similar story of discipleship in this new-found, yet very ancient path called “Jesus Youth – Fulltimership”.[6]

The Rexband[edit]

The Rexband is the musical outreach of Jesus Youth. It is one of the premier contemporary Christian bands. The band has performed widely, across India and in many parts of the world, over the last 20 years. It has also brought out a dozen albums. It was the first band from India to be invited by the Pope to perform for the World Youth Day.[7]

The signature sound of the band is a fusion of contemporary pop and Indian classical music. A Journey through the most recent Rexband album would take one through styles as varied as swing/ jazz, slow rock and pop to ethnic Indian music. It is quite a curious mix by any standards. This mix has naturally evolved from the pot pourri of musicians including Hindustani, Carnatic, pop, rock and hip hop. Though this diversity makes it quite difficult to pin down a specific style of music to the band, the essence of its music has always centered on contemporary popular music with an unmistakable ethnic Indian flavour.

In the late 80s and early 90s, a group of young musicians in India, coming from diverse musical environments ranging from contemporary pop to ethnic Indian music, created a new movement. They took on the name ‘Rexband’ from the Latin phrase 'Christus Rex’—Christ the King——becoming the musical expression of the Jesus Youth movement. After more than two decades, the band has travelled to more than 15 countries across Europe, Asia, Australia and the United States.


Jesus Youth International Office, Navodaya Studio Complex, Thengod P.O, Kakkanad, Cochin- 682 30, Kerala, India


  • Kairos (Monthly Magazine)
  • Kairos Global (Monthly Magazine)
  • Jesus Youth Newsletter (Quarterly Magazine)
  • Rex Band (Music)
  • Sing Halleluia
  • Jesus Youth Prayers
  • Philip and Paul, Emmaus I and II, Emmaus III and IV (Formation Materials)


  1. ^ "Jesus Youth approved by the Holy See". Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  2. ^ "Spirituality". Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  3. ^ "The Movement of Jesus Youth". ROME REPORTS. 2010-04-21. Retrieved 2010-09-16.
  4. ^ "CBCI Circulars published on December 10, 2009". CBCI. 2010-12-10. Archived from the original on September 29, 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-19.
  5. ^ Jesus Youth Ministries
  6. ^ Retrieved 27 May 2018. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ "Rexband". Retrieved 27 May 2018.

External links[edit]