The English, French and Dutch territories of the Caribbean, with the exception of Haiti, constitute the geographical area entrusted to the pastoral care of the Bishops of the Antilles Episcopal Conference (AEC). The AEC Youth Assembly (AEC YA) is the region’s premier gathering of Catholic youth and young adults. The inspiration for the AECYA came from World Youth Day (WYD), the worldwide gathering of Catholic youth and young adults and was first held in Curacao in 1999. In 2003, it was held in Trinidad & Tobago, 2009 in Jamaica, 2012 in St. Lucia, 2015 in Antigua & Barbuda, and 2018 in Martinique. The AECYA 2021 will be held in Dominica from July 15-26, 2021.
The Assembly’s purpose is to put the youth in the forefront, helping them to reaffirm their Catholic identity, and see themselves as vibrant Catholic youth in the region living their call to be disciples. The AEC Youth Assembly is an opportunity for our youth and young adults to gather and interact with other young people from around the Caribbean region, participate in catechetical sessions, experience cultural exchange and to celebrate our Catholic faith through the Word of God and the sacraments.
The objectives of the assembly for the youth are:
1. To be evangelized and empowered to be disciples and missionaries through an encounter with Christ.
2. To renew their faith and commitment for living the Christian way of life; enrich and share their faith with their contemporaries and learn the value of servant leadership.
3.To instruct them in methods of prayer, especially Lectio Divina.
4. To provide direct, close and personal contact with the bishops, priests, deacons and religious of the region.
5. To re-affirm their Catholic identity and deepen their appreciation for the Eucharist and other Sacraments of the Church.
6. To be formed in the Social Teachings of the Church and engage in Corporal Works of Mercy through outreach .